In August of this year, Minister Wynne wrote to councils asking for their ‘feedback’ on the new zones. Thus far, both Glen Eira and Bayside have published his letter as well as their individual responses. The differences between the two are literally staggering. Whilst Glen Eira’s is more of the same bunkum, stating how wonderful they are, Bayside at least seeks to address some of the issues. There are specific recommendations and noticeably, no real self-promotion. Glen Eira’s effort represents another instance of sheer arrogance. That council can even contemplate writing such drivel to a minister says a lot about the planning department, Magee who signed the letter (presumably on behalf of other councillors), and of course, how little concerned council is with the impact of their handiwork on residents.

We have uploaded both submissions (see below) and urge readers to compare. In summary –

  • The first 4 pages of the Glen Eira version of reality are nothing more than regurgitating what a success they are, and how everything is the result of the building boom. Once on a good wicket, then stick to it, it seems. There is perhaps 1% of self promotion in Bayside’s version, but it is in context.
  • Once again, the truth is distorted and inaccurate. On page 5 of the Glen Eira submission there is this comment – In the Neighbourhood Residential Zone, there is limited ability to customise the zone through a Schedule to allow for more than 2 dwellings on large lots such as those greater than 2,OOOm2 in area. Subdivision of the large lot is possible but subdivision does not enable the community to comment on a detailed development. As if council really cares what the community thinks, especially when their secret ‘negotiations’ with Guy, stated that the problem could be overcome by subdividing first! More relevant is the fact that the schedules provided the opportunity for councils to designate minimum lot sizes. Many have. Bayside is even now, with its Amendment C140 attempting to introduce a minimum lot size subdivision of 800 square metres. Furthermore, this entire sentence begs the question of what happens when one developer decides to go to VCAT and because his land may be 1200 square metres use the planning scheme clause that larger lot sizes in the Neighbourhood Residential Zones are to be evaluated against the General Residential Zone schedules!
  • On ‘community response’ there is this wonderful statement – ‘Many have appreciated the certainty’. Evidence? Well a ‘group of residents’ in Elsternwick and the fact that land owners are ‘consolidating’ and selling their land together is supposed to be due to their desire to ‘increase property value’ and ‘development potential’. Not a word that people are getting out BECAUSE OF THE ZONES and what it is doing to their suburbs and local streets.
  • We also get the ‘sting in the tail’ statement on the following page – just to remind the minister that possibly the community wants more than the untrue figure of 78% zoned as neighbourhood residential zone! Which would represent a real headache for any government! Pity that the statistic is so untrue!– ie They would like to see the proportion of land zoned Neighbourhood Residential increased from the present 78%.
  • And just in case the minister wants to appease developers we also find – Developers continue to claim that the municipality has been ‘locked down’. They would like to see more areas zoned General Residential and Residential Growth

What is particularly galling for residents about this entire submission comes towards the end (page 7) where in the totally irrelevant points on Level Crossing Removals, we get a further inkling into Glen Eira’s pro-development, and more and more high rise philosophy –

This will make these centres more attractive as places to live and easier to move around.

They will be more attractive centres to develop.

The present residential zones framework (together with the Commercial Zone) is equipped to respond to this.

In summary, the submission is disgraceful, inadequate, self-promoting, irrelevant to what was asked, and totally dismissive of the problems which have already surfaced. We sincerely hope that Minister Wynne and his minders have a good laugh!

Here is the Bayside effort and HERE the Glen Eira one.

We urge readers to compare and contrast and remember!