A comment went up on our last post which we believe needs to be highlighted:

We live in the house next to the 51 units, 4 storeys, 3-9 Elliott Ave. It is on our north side! We will also be opposite 60 more units in Elliott Ave. Only 6 out of 20 houses left in our part of this small suburban street…… what can we say. We explored all avenues including going to VCAT, employing a Planner for quite a substantial fee. We achieved some minor concessions with shadowing and setbacks. It has been an exhausting process. I wonder if we are completely stupid to continue to stay here after 36 years, enjoying the peace and convenience of living in Carnegie. However, all has changed. The council has won. The peace and joy of living here is shattered. We will stay and see how things pan out. The world is changing at such a rapid pace around us and I’m afraid we’ve lost faith in the Council and it’s concern for the community. We will look back in a few years time at the implementation of these zones and wonder how it could happen. In a bizarre way it makes me empathise with the first people of our country and the bewilderment of colonisation! Rapid change can leave a community depleted.

The comment is not from a NIMBY, or someone simply bemoaning the pace of change. What this comment expresses is:

  • the utter devastation that the zones have caused to neighbourhoods and to individuals
  • the failure of council administration and councillors to provide planning outcomes that are justifiable
  • It illustrates completely how incompetent and negligent the imposition of the zones are when they fail to even meet Matthew Guy’s parameters

We have commented numerous times on Elliott Avenue, Carnegie and shown the once beautiful, well kept Edwardian cottages that are now gone. (https://gleneira.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/one-little-local-street/) Elliott Avenue is only one street. The same is happening to countless other streets and entire neighbourhoods. Why? Because the zones and the planning scheme encourage such destruction when there was no need for it. Even in their secret meetings, Newton and Hyams promised Matthew Guy that there would be 80+ years of available development sites! Glen Eira has now quadrupled the number of new dwellings it needs to meet population growth. Yet nothing has been done to ameliorate the damage and to amend the zones so that residential amenity is given greater protection. This failure must be sheeted home to all councillors and planners.

Here are the facts:

  • Guy proclaimed that Residential Growth Zones (which this section of Elliott Avenue is zoned as) should be ‘Medium Density Housing’ and that the zones should be in ‘appropriate locations near activity areas, train stations, and other areas suitable for increased housing activity’. The current papers accompanying the review of the residential zones (MRDAC –advisory committee) define ‘Medium Density Housing’ as LESS THAN 75 DWELLINGS PER HECTARE. The section of Elliott Avenue zoned RGZ, is now approaching 220 dwellings per hectare!!!!!!! This kind of density belongs in selected commercial areas and never in a quiet residential street!


  • Council’s definition of planning is to simply place a compass point at a train station (ie as in Bentleigh and Carnegie) and then draw a circle with a circumference of roughly 400 metres. This then becomes the ‘activity centre’ and determines the RGZ zoning. The map above shows how insane this is when walking distance to the train station from Elliott Avenue is well and truly greater than 800 metres. Plan Melbourne Refresh insists on activity centres concentrating on ‘walkability’. To therefore determine that just because a train station is (as the crow flies) about 400 metres away that this street should therefore be RGZ, is planning at its most incompetent and lazy. But that is what this council has done time and time again.

Residents, especially those residing in activity centres (including ‘neighbourhood centres’) must insist that the current planning scheme and its woeful local policies be consigned to the rubbish bin and that amendments are introduced asap which seek to halt the destruction of streets such as Elliott Avenue. Anything less is unacceptable.

We reiterate and urge all attendees at the ‘forums’ to proclaim loudly and clearly the need for:

  1. structure plans
  2. height limits for commercial and mixed use zoning everywhere
  3. parking precinct plans
  4. Urban design frameworks and Design & Development Overlays (DDO) that include more than simply regulating fence heights as is currently the case in 3 out of the 5 DDO’s in Glen Eira
  5. Infrastructure levies on developers for drainage (removed in 2010)
  6. For every car parking waiver a levy of at least $10,000 per waiver
  7. Tree protection (on private land)
  8. Heritage review of entire municipality and that this has some ‘bite’
  9. And most importantly, amending the schedules to the zones, and the zones themselves!