In December 2017 (see: https://gleneira.blog/2017/12/03/beware-be-alarmed/)we first warned residents of council’s hidden agenda regarding the expansion of our activity centre borders. Thus far we have proven to be correct with the doubling in size of Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick (when it’s finally done).

A recent council document (below) shows clearly that 80% – 85% at least of Glen Eira will now be ‘activity centre’ land.

Questions abound:

  • Why double the size of these centres? We can only think of one reason why this would be done – to facilitate more and more development and the rezoning of countless properties to achieve this end.
  • Where is the strategic justification for this change? – especially since development is far outstripping population growth in this municipality?
  • What is the strategic justification for 12 storeys in Carnegie & Elsternwick? Why not 6 storeys? 8 storeys?
  • What is the strategic justification for the ‘upgrading’ of South Caulfield and East Bentleigh within the space of a few months to ‘large neighbourhood centres’? What does this mean for potential rezoning and height limits?

Right from the start of this entire process residents have been led up the garden path. ‘Study areas’ have morphed into permanent activity centre borders. Promises of ‘neighbourhood character’ statements have gone out the window. Promised changes to the schedules (ie. Increase permeability standards, site coverage, etc.) have not materialized. Neighbourhood centres have been abandoned. Heritage review, parking precinct plans, developer levies, open space levy, winter solstice overshadowing – all of these have been put back years and years.  Instead we’ve had thousands of pages of documents released that reveal bugger all and certainly don’t provide one iota of valid justification for anything that has thus far been done! In our view, this has been deliberate, with the intention of ensuring that further development is the chief priority. Everything else has been window dressing and public relations bullshit. When residents aren’t provided with real information, or asked the correct questions in order to ascertain their views, then council is guilty of lying by omission.

Just on three years down the track from the planning scheme review, residents are still to be told the truth about council’s plans!