The 13-15 Hamilton Street, Bentleigh application (4 storey, 27 units and a visitor car parking reduction of 4 spaces) features some of the most incredible officer comments ever printed. Of course, the recommendation is to grant a permit!

We are literally gobsmacked by the following paragraph:

Officers have balanced both the positions of Councils Transport Planning Department and the views of the applicant and consider that, on balance, one visitor car parking space on site is sufficient and would not have an unreasonable impact on the availability of on-street car parking.

Innumerable questions arise from such a ‘conclusion’ –

  • Why is the developer’s position given more credence than council’s own traffic department which wanted 3 visitor car parking spots (instead of the required 4)?
  • Where is the data that justifies one space for 27 units?
  • Who is this planning department really working for – the community or the developer?

As with the Belsize application noted in our previous post, this officer report again fails dismally:

  • No breakdown of apartments (ie, 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms)
  • No mention of permeability
  • Site coverage is 62%
  • The side setbacks ‘generally comply’ with ResCode but that’s okay since ‘these minor deviations are considered acceptable’

As for front setbacks we get –

Front setbacks do not comply with the numerical standards in the Planning Scheme, which requires 7.3 metres, based on the average setback of the two adjoining dwellings.The proposed front setbacks are between 4.9 metres and 6.1 metres at ground floor,approximately 6.8 metres at Levels 1 and 2 (with balcony encroachment) and approximately 8.6 metres at Level 3 (with balcony encroachment). 


There is a four storey building under construction at 16-18 Hamilton Street (to the south-east of the site). The approved setbacks of that building are similar to that of the proposal being between 4.3 and 5.5 metres at ground floor, 6.8 metres at Levels 1 and 2 (with balcony encroachment) and 9 metres at Level 3 (with balcony encroachment). 

So we now have the situation where one lousy decision means that future decisions are also lousy! Brilliant planning all round!

PS: It’s also clear that the planning department has absolutely no idea of the parking situation in these streets. A trip down Nicholson street at 12.45 this afternoon had cars parked everywhere along Nicholson, Blair, Hamilton, etc. To then present the argument that street parking is available is an utter nonsense.

Since the zones were introduced there has been over 190 new apartments built in these few streets. Here’s a visual image of exactly what’s occurred – how many car spots have been waived we wonder?