The best illustration of how woeful council’s planning scheme is, together with its recently completed ‘work plan’, comes from the following screen dumps of developments in East Bentleigh. These are significant since:

  • East Bentleigh, plus another 9 suburbs, are classified as ‘neighbourhood centres’ and therefore lower down in the ‘hierarchy’ for development that council stipulates in its planning scheme.
  • Yet, council saw fit to impose a 5 storey preferred height limit for Bentleigh (an ‘urban village’) when East Bentleigh is already undergoing major 6 storey developments.
  • Since the introduction of the zones, developers have had a field day. Amended applications keep coming in to increase either heights or the number of apartments. The latest is for the Browns Road/Centre Road site where the developer wants a 5 storey permit changed to allow 6 storeys. Given the countless loopholes in the planning scheme, and other 6 storey buildings in the area, he will no doubt be successful.
  • East Bentleigh is already seeing countless 5 storey permits being granted, as are other neighbourhood centres. Caulfield North already has a 6 storey permit and there is an application in for 8 storeys! If the workplan stays as it is, then residents in these areas can expect to wait at least another decade before council gets around to addressing the development pressures in its neighbourhood centres. Not good enough!
  • Residents may wish to consider the possibility that this inaction is perhaps deliberate? Or is it due to a lack of money or expertise to do the necessary work? Why when other councils can produce amendments that cover all their shopping centres (ie Bayside, Boroondara) has Glen Eira decided to concentrate on only Bentleigh and Carnegie and in a stated time frame of 4 years?
  • Neighbourhood centres cannot afford the luxury of being left behind