According to the constant Council propaganda regarding development, what is happening in Glen Eira is not unique and has got nothing whatsoever to do with the new zones. It’s all part of a universal ‘building boom’. To support this notion, officer reports (ably supported by Hyams and others) have cited building approval figures as the conclusive proof. Unfortunately for Council, the facts do not support the spin!

Below is an Australian Bureau of Statistics table providing the data on building approvals for the 2014/15 financial year to date. (ie to March 2015). Please remember that building permits usually come AFTER planning permits. Thus the figures below for Glen Eira do NOT include the countless additional permits granted for the Residential Growth Zones and the General Residential Zones or those land banking sites that have been sitting idle for eons. Other points that influence the figures presented below are:

  • Moreland, Moonee Valley and several other municipalities decided to apply to the Residential Zones Standing Advisory Committee to introduce their zones. The committee refused to support these council’s proposed amendments and thus these municipalities were left in limbo – unable to introduce their desired zoning. On 1st July these councils had the General Residential Zones automatically imposed on them. Some amendments are still waiting approval. Glen Eira of course rushed its new zones in secretly and they became ‘law’ on the 23rd August 2013 providing ‘certainty’ to developers that they could get their 3 and 4 storey multi unit developments in immediately.
  • Stonnington has had many building permits. However, Stonnington has 6.2% of its municipality designated as Commercial. Glen Eira has roughly 2.2%. Hence much of Stonnington’s development has occurred in these commercial areas. Boroondara and Yarra also have a huge percentage zoned C1Z.
  • Port Phillip is in the unique situation of having Capital City Zone status for part of its land – plus 4 major activity centres and miles of Mixed Use Zoning – especially along Bay Street, St. Kilda Road etc.
  • Glen Eira is NOT an ‘inner suburban’ municipality such as Port Phillip, Stonnington, Yarra, etc.
  • Other councils have had more building permits issued than Glen Eira. However, readers need to look at the ‘nature’ of these new buildings. Many are for single houses. In Glen Eira the vast majority (ie ratio of 5:1) has occurred as multi-unit development – courtesy of the new zones.
  • The Lobo request for a report of a little while back unfortunately did not ask for figures on Commercial and Mixed Use zones. This is vital to glean a full picture of what is happening – especially when an application can come in for 2 token shops and 100+ units on top! Thus far very little development has occurred in Glen Eira’s commercial centres when compared to what is happening in the growth and general residential zones. It is these two latter zonings which are taking the full brunt of over-development in our view – again thanks to the zones! This must again cast doubt on the spin and efficacy of commercial centres providing the bulk of development.
  • The final point that requires consideration is the number of new dwellings per municipality and the size of the municipality. For example: Boroondara, Kingston, Manningham and plenty of others are double or triple the size of Glen Eira. Erecting 1000 new dwellings in municipalities such as these, compared to Glen Eira will in all probability have a limited impact on overall DENSITY. In Glen Eira, the impact will be far worse, with the resultant loss of environmental and social amenity.

We’ve uploaded the full EXCEL spreadsheet HERE and provided a summary of the data below. We urge readers to do their own comparisons with other councils. We take no responsibility for the ‘totals’ as presented in these figures.