Here is part of the blurb that the developers for the Virginia Estate have published.


Population Growth and Make-up

  • Melbourne’s estimated population of 4.5 million in 2015 is projected to reach 5.3 million by 2025 and almost 6 million by 2031.
  • At this growth rate Glen Eira will not be able to accommodate its share of Melbourne’s projected population growth in the next 15 years.
  • Of the established local government areas in metropolitan Melbourne, Glen Eira has the highest proportion of its residential areas covered by the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) –  the zone that gives the greatest protection to existing residential character and densities.
  • The 84% coverage of Glen Eira’s residential areas by the NRZ will be a major factor in slowing population growth levels, limiting housing diversity and choice.
  • Bentleigh East has no appropriately zoned land for higher density housing other than the possible redevelopment of small areas of business land in the Centre Road shopping area.
  • Based on the latest State Government ‘Victoria in Future’ population projections (2015), there is a projected need for an additional 7,500 dwellings in Glen Eira over the 15 year period from 2016 – 2031 of which 68% will be either ‘couples without children’ or ‘lone person’ households.


There are several unsubstantiated claims in the above which need to be seriously challenged. For example:

On what basis is the statement made that Glen Eira ‘will not be able to accommodate its share’ of population growth when the total number of new net dwellings in the municipality has risen by at least 350% for the past 3 years in a row? The planning scheme claims an average of 600 new dwellings per year is required. In 2014/15 Glen Eira had over 2000 net new dwellings. In the first quarter of 2015/16 (July to September) the figure, according to Planning Permit Victoria was 559 net new dwellings. For the second quarter this number rose to 634 net new dwellings. Thus, at least another 2200 new dwellings in a year if this rate continues. We also mustn’t forget that Newton and Hyams promised Guy an 80+ year supply of land and an 89 year supply if the comnmercial zoning is taken into account. Thus the ability to ‘accommodate’ new dwellings is well and truly there without the grand vision of potentially thousands more at Virginia Estate!

Given that ‘residential’ remains undefined, we seriously query the statement that Glen Eira from all its neighbours has the highest percentage of land zoned as Neighbourhood Residential. Bayside for example claims over 80% of its land is zoned NRZ whilst Glen Eira only claims 78%. Even this figure is a myth – NRZ constitutes just under 70% of the municipality and if the number of LARGE sized lots which can legally have many more than 2 dwellings are taken into account, then Professor Michael Buxton estimates that the Neighbourhood Residential Zones in Glen Eira amount to a paltry 55% of the municipality.

The most unbelievable claim however is that Bentleigh East has only ‘small areas of business land’ available for ‘higher density’ development. Not true! Bentleigh East has more land zoned as Commercial 1 than Elsternwick or Carnegie – both of which are supposed to be Major Activity Centres and Bentleigh East is a Neighbourhood Centre. Only Bentleigh (a Major Activity Centre) has more land zoned as commercial than Bentleigh East. The figures (in square metres) are:

Bentleigh East – 136,551

Bentleigh – 149, 768

Carnegie – 134, 415

Elsternwick – 125,628

Gillon et al are correct however in stating that the latest government population projections (ie Victoria in Future) state that there will be a need for another 7500 dwellings from 2016 to 2031. This figure will be well and truly met within the next 4 years at the current rate of over 2000 net new dwellings per year. And, please remember that this doesn’t include the additional 1500+ dwellings for the Caulfield Village Project that will be coming up pretty soon. In short, Glen Eira will well and truly have fulfilled its fair share of ‘accommodating’ population growth by 2020 – much less by 2031! Of course, no one dares say what figure equates with this ‘share’, nor what ‘capacity’ is and how much all of the necessary infrastructure upgrades will cost and whether or not any of this over-development is sustainable!

Gillon et al also claim that ‘couples without children’ and ‘lone households’ represent 68% of the required 7500 new dwellings. Not so! The Victoria in Future figures which they rely upon (see below) forecast that there will be 16,810 ‘couple only’ households, and 19,690 ‘one-person’ households in 2031. That makes a grand total of 36,500 households. The overall projection for 2031 is 67,295 households. Hence, the percentage is not 68% as claimed, but rather 54.23% on these figures.

We make these points not because we want to indulge in nit-picking, but when information is put before residents so that they can have an ‘informed’ say, then it is incumbent on the distributors of that information to ensure that it is accurate, honest, and not designed to obfuscate at best and mislead at worst.