Council’s Community Plan asserts that in order to meet population demand the city will have to provide for roughly 9,700 new dwellings in the period between 2011 and 2031. Victoria in Future 2014 predicts a higher figure – approximately 9,800. At the rate we’re going, and even if we assume a forecast figure of 10,000, this target will be reached within another 18 or so months. That is 15 years ahead of schedule! Plus, it does not even take into account what will be the final figures for the Caulfield Village!

Data from Planning Permit Victoria reveals the following numbers for ‘net new dwellings’ from 2011/12 onwards. Please take careful note!

2011/12 – 1280 dwellings

2012/13 – 934 dwellings

2013/14 – 1716 dwellings (council’s published data)

For the period from July to December 2014, another 1519 new dwellings were on the horizon according to Planning Permit Victoria. This makes it a grand total of 5449 in three and a half years. If the current rate of development continues, then the target of 10, 000 will be reached by the end of 2017 – even earlier once all the 2046 dwellings at the racecourse have been given the rubber stamp by our very accommodating administration and councillors.

So exactly what is council doing about this predicted future? What initiatives have they introduced, or even thinking about, that will ensure that such a rate of development is sustainable and doesn’t completely destroy the fabric and lifestyle of existing and future residents?

There are countless questions that should be raised and must be answered. For example:

  • What is ‘saturation’ point? When will it be acknowledged that the city is fast approaching breaking point and that no further development is possible unless major environmental, social, and economic safeguards are implemented?
  • How many speed humps in quiet residential streets have to happen, and at what cost, before proper Parking Precinct Plans in all activity centres are introduced and the waiving of car parking requirements ceases?
  • How well is the drainage infrastructure coping and how well will it cope with another 10,000 dwellings?
  • How many double levels of underground car parking will council allow before the water table becomes a real problem? How many of these have resulted in structural problems for the development and/or their neighbours?
  • What happens post 10,000 new dwellings? How many more are feasible?
  • How much will it cost to ensure that infrastructure is adequate?
  • How much should developers contribute to this new infrastructure or is it council’s intention to keep subsidising development and keep raising rates?
  • How much will open space provision decline per person as a result of population increase? Apart from the Booran Road Reservoir, what is council’s long term acquisition plan? Does one even exist, or are we to have more and more pavilions, car parks, and removal of trees and pretend that this is fulfilling our open space needs?
  • Will councillors have the temerity to demand amendments that actually do something to alleviate congestion, shoddy building design, environmental sustainability, or are they as impotent as they appear?
  • When will common sense prevail and council gets off its backside and starts proper strategic planning and consulting with residents as to the future of this municipality? And when oh when will the archaic, inept, and totally out of date planning scheme be reviewed in a proper consultative fashion with residents?
  • And last, but certainly by no means least, when will standards that mean something be introduced and adhered to by this planning department and councillors?

PS: readers may be interested in the following application. Interestingly the developer has bought up surrounding GRZ properties and is now contemplating having 3 storeys alongside 7 storeys on East Boundary Road, which is already a disaster given recent applications and, of course, GESAC. We suggest that residents attempt a left hand turn from Centre Road into East Boundary Road to see for themselves the traffic conditions in this area. And East Bentleigh isn’t even a major activity centre! It merely is a de facto one!

795-807 Centre Road and 150 East Boundary Road BENTLEIGH EAST VIC 3165 – Construction of a part three (3) and part seven (7) storey building comprising 110 dwellings and 4 shops, use of the land for dwellings, reduction of statutory car parking requirements, waiver of loading bay requirements and alteration of access to a Road Zone Category 1