It is becoming abundantly clear that council has stuffed up monumentally in its structure planning fiasco. Richard Wynne has obviously not been willing to sign off on the Elsternwick proposals. The reason? Major community opposition plus the failure to provide any strategic justification. The result is that council is now being forced to:

  • Spend more money on more consultants for something that should have been researched and analysed right from the start of the process
  • Commit to further ‘community consultation’ via a ‘reference group’ so that the Elsternwick structure plan is now put back until late 2019 and probably beyond.

The History of Machination

Elsternwick was ignored when the interim height guidelines were introduced for Bentleigh & Carnegie. Why? We still have had no explanation, unless of course the objective has always been to turn Elsternwick into a high rise centre. Now another year at least will pass without any decent protection for the suburb.

Council called for further traffic and overshadowing data in February 2018. It is now 5 months later and still no sign of these documents. Have these even been done? If so, then why do we need more consultants to do the same work?

Are we about to have another Clayton’s  reference group that is sworn to secrecy? Why couldn’t such processes be instituted for all the activity centres right from the start?

So now we’ve reached the ludicrous situation where the ‘objectives’ for Elsternwick include:

All of the above ‘criteria’ were supposedly analysed and confirmed by council in February 2018. We had urban design guidelines that established setbacks and heights; we had ‘landuse frameworks’; we had ‘place making’ projects; we had promises about open space levies and developer contributions, etc. etc. Two conclusions are therefore possible: either this latest consultancy is there simply to endorse what has already been determined or, it is an acknowledgement of the total incompetence of this council where even Richard Wynne won’t go along with the existing draft structure plan and tells council to go back to the drawing board! And all of this begs the question of course as to why Carnegie is being totally ignored. It also has heritage plus 12 storeys and pathetically limited justification. We congratulate Elsternwick residents but bemoan the fact that it is opposition that causes ‘reviews’ rather than sound planning by this council!

For more ‘damage control’ info, see –