At last council meeting a public question asked how many amended permits have been submitted requesting either an increase in height or number of dwellings and how many were granted since the introduction of the zones. The first part of the question remained unanswered. The second part of the question provided the response of only 4 granted permits.

Either council is suffering badly from amnesia, or its record keeping systems are sub-standard, or perhaps the third possibility is that the responses to public questions are far from accurate, truthful, and precise. Somehow, council simply forgot to note one major application that had been decided at the previous council meeting and neatly sidestepped all those applications in commercial zones – admittedly because the question did not specifically refer to this zone.

The argument consistently put up by council is that the zones have had no impact on the increased intensity of development. Not so we argue. With the introduction of the new zones what is starting to emerge is that developers who have clung onto their land (some for several years) are now taking advantage of the ‘largesse’ provided to them via the new zones and submitting amended applications for either increased heights and increased numbers of dwellings. This is even more rampant in the commercial zones where there are no height limits. Below we feature, in addition to the paltry 4 that council nominated, some examples:

150 Tucker Road Bentleigh – Amend Planning Permit GE/PP-21042/2008 by changing the description of what the permit allows/covers to provide an increase of 7 dwellings (from 13 to 20 dwellings) (GRZ1 zone)

259-261 NEERIM ROAD, CARNEGIE – A previous application for a 3-storey building comprising 19 dwellings was approved by the Delegated Planning Committee with a reduction in the number of dwellings to 17 on 8 September 2010. Subsequently, on 11 January 2011, following a VCAT hearing about conditions, the Planning Permit was amended to allow up to 18 dwellings. This permit expired on 8 September 2013.

The current proposal for 28 dwellings is a complete redesign of the approved building with an increased number of dwellings and one additional storey. (RGZ1) (Note: this is technically regarded then as a ‘new permit application’!!!!!

2 MORTON AVENUE, CARNEGIE – Construction of a six (6) storey building comprising forty (40) dwellings, one (1) shop and a basement; reduction of the car parking requirement for dwelling visitors to one (1) car space; reduction of the car parking requirement for the shop to zero; and waiving of the loading bay requirement (Application to Amend a Planning Permit) AND –

A planning permit already exists for the site. The original permit was issued on 14 June 2011. It allowed the construction of a 4 storey building comprising 20 dwellings and a shop. This Planning Permit is still valid and will expire on 14 June 2014. The current proposal for 40 dwellings and a shop is a complete redesign of the approved building with an increased number of dwellings and 2 additional storeys. (C1Z)

467C HAWTHORN ROAD, CAULFIELD SOUTH – Amend the current planning permit to allow an additional storey (total of 4 storeys), provision of a lift and internal alterations. The four dwellings approved under the current permit will not increase in number. (c1z)

356-364 Orrong Road CAULFIELD NORTH – Application to amend Planning Permit GE/PP-22648/2010 which allows a five (5) storey mixed-use building comprising a supermarket, dwellings and a basement car park with an increase in the number of dwellings from fiftysix (56) to sixty-seven (67), an increase in the overall building height by 1.9m, the inclusion of five (5) advertising signs and associated changes to the internal layout and external appearance of the building (c1z)

338A Orrong Road, CAULFIELD NORTH – Amended Application – Amend the permit preamble to allow for a four (4) storey building – was a 3 storey – permit granted on 30/4/2014) (c1z)

670-672 Centre Road BENTLEIGH EAST VIC – Amendment to existing permit as follows – An increase to the size of the building to five storeys – Modifications to the first, second and third floors, including an increase in size and internal changes to the layout of the dwellings – The addition of ten (10) apartments – A reduction to the commercial floor area – (C1Z)