This is the first of our posts on the draft Master Plan for the development of the Virginia Estate. For this post we have simply picked out some ‘howlers’ that have made their way into the draft. A far deeper analysis will follow in the coming days.

Whilst we acknowledge that legally the developers have only to abide by the constraints of the Amendment passed in 2011 (ie C75) which constitutes the equivalent of an Incorporated Plan designed to set out some broad parameters rather than detail, the Gillon group could have, and should have, done a lot more with this draft to allay resident fears.

In a 24 page document we find:

  • Unfounded claims and statistics
  • A watering down of previous commitments on open space
  • A reliance on developer protocols on ESD, and
  • Half of the document is nothing more than a regurgitation of past documents and actions/events


Several of the published documents make a big deal of our ageing population and the need for increased aged care. We take no issue with this. What we do object to is the deliberate obfuscation of the facts. Lumping together Glen Eira, Stonnington, Bayside, Monash and Kingston into an analysis of population without taking into account what aged care developments are happening in these other municipalities, or even acknowledging that Glen Eira residents could find themselves retiring to these other municipalities is, at best disingenuous and at worst deliberately misleading. Page 21 summarises the argument for Glen Eira alone with – “Those aged 65 years and over will make up 21.2% of the total population.”

The Victoria in Future – 2016 prognostications for Glen Eira differ markedly from this claim as evidenced below –



Originally, the developers were required (and we assume willing) to pay a 5.7% open space levy in cash – according to the minutes of March 17th, 2015. However, since the site has now doubled in size from 12.5 hectares to over 24 hectares, this does represent a huge increase in cash payments. Thus we get a new proposition of 3% cash and 3% in ‘land contribution’.

At a rough estimate, a 3% land contribution should be about a hectare of land. More than enough for wide open spaces within the estate. That is clearly not the aim of the developers. Going on their previous publications we fear that any land contribution will simply consist of concrete pathways and linkages between buildings and the nearby, already existing parks.  We do not envisage a grand open space area of over 1 hectares. Their proposed contribution in all likelihood will be cobbled together bits and pieces sitting between high density towers.


Much is made of the use of ESD and how this will set a ‘benchmark’ for future development. The only problem with the ‘standard’ suggested is that it is owned, devised and regulated by the development industry itself – ie The Urban Development Industry of Australia. The scheme does not cover individual house construction per se. Instead it is geared towards “residential land development” and the developer’s ‘reward’ for adhering to these ‘standards’ is a ‘leaf icon’ as certification. Further, the developer does not have to abide by all the criteria listed – only one will suffice to get ‘accreditation’. We’ve uploaded a research article which compares the various ESD schemes available (HERE). The proposed one in our view falls well short of the mark in comparison.

It is also amusing to read such nonsense as – The EnviroDevelopment rating exceeds the requirements set by the Glen Eira City Council and the State Government. Anything would ‘exceed’ what council has got given that nothing of substance exists in its planning scheme!

Watch this space for more!