Item 9.2 – Centre Road/Browns Road, Bentleigh East.

Application is for a part 3 and part 5 storeys building and 67 dwellings. Officer recommendation is ‘up to 63 dwellings’. Of the 67 proposed dwellings 60 are to be single bedroom apartments, 6 double bedroom apartments and one 3 bedroom apartment. Officer recommendation is to ‘amalgamate’ some of these so that another 3 two bedroom apartments are created and one additional 3 bedroom apartment in the revised dwelling numbers of 63 units.

Whilst this represents an interesting new position in that this is the first time we remember an officer’s report commenting specifically on the issue of ‘diversity’ and imposing conditions that will only marginally increase the number of 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, we remind readers of the following comments made by our wonderful councillors in previous decisions. Once again the question of consistency and arguably integrity (depending on who the applicant is) raises its ugly head.

HYAMS on the MRC Amended Plan for Caulfield Village where 3 bedroom apartments were gutted to create more single bedroom units so that just on 61% of the proposed 463 dwellings got the nod to be single bedroom dog boxes – “I don’t know that there needs to be that diversity in every site – there needs to be diversity across Glen Eira’. . So even though there will be many one and two bedroom places there are ‘family sites around the area’ so that’s the diversity.

PILLING (on same item) – On profit council has to look at the ‘planning process’. 26 3 bedroom places ‘are a plus’ but’ not for us to determine’. Said that council ‘can encourage but we can’t actually have that law’. And this also applies to ‘social housing’. This will ‘happen’ at some point and ‘it’s up to the developer to provide it’ even though council might like it in ‘every part of the development’. Just because council doesn’t ‘like’ it isn’t enough reason to vote against. Council has to make its decisions on ‘good planning’ processes such as the planning scheme, incorporated plan and development plan.

OKOTEL (same item) – was ‘concerned’ about the reduction of three bedroom apartments but she accepts that these could ‘be difficult to sell’ and ‘nobody wants to see vacant dwellings’ especially when ‘there is such a need for housing’. ‘It’s better that apartments are built and purchased’.

The above quotes speak for themselves!