Dirty tactics would appear to be in plentiful supply when it comes to the two largest developments to ever occur in Glen Eira ie Caulfield Village and now East Village.


With wonderful timing, we have another development stage for Caulfield Village that will grow the site by another 437 apartments. Residents can submit their views (not officially ‘objections’ since there are no third party objection rights) by DECEMBER 24TH, 2019. No need to comment on how inappropriate this is!

Please consider the following facts:

  • The developer’s submitted documents are dated from August to September 2019
  • The actual application went into council on the 1st October, 2019 according to the developer’s letter of submission.
  • Given that there would have been plenty of discussions already between council and the developer prior to this date, we do not see why the plans could not have been made public at the November council meetings. We also note that council states that they only announced the application on the 3rd. Again over 8 weeks after it was received. So, is this dirty tactics by the developer and/or council, we ask? How convenient that Christmas Eve is the deadline! Machiavelli couldn’t have planned it any better!

Next we have the actual proposal itself:

  • 4 buildings up to 9 storeys high
  • 94 Studio apartments with an average size of 40 square metres
  • 191 single bedroom apartments with an average size of 50 square metres
  • 142 two bedroom apartments with an average of 70 square metres
  • 10 three bedroom apartments

Even more startling is that NONE of these properties are to be sold. They are all for rent! And that includes 21 dwellings that will be offered at 20% rent reduction for ‘social/affordable housing’. So magnanimous of the developer when they fought tooth and nail to avoid any social housing component, even though this was stated in the Incorporated Plan.  And so magnanimous of council to cave in and not fight this tooth and nail when they had the opportunity!

Bear in mind that we still have the 20 storeys and more to go and that will probably add another 1500 dwellings to this monstrosity, ably abetted by council. The 2014 Incorporated Plan that was passed by Hyams, Esakoff, Lipshutz and Pilling (only 4 out of the existing 9 councillors) specified a dwelling component of 1100 to 1200 apartments. We are already past this figure with this application and still have the Smith Street Precinct to go which will include at least 20 to 22 storeys!

Even more outrageous is that the Incorporated Plan states that if any of the site is to be listed as ‘student accommodation’ then third party objection rights would come into play. Nothing in this current application designates this as ‘student housing’. Yet it is a stone’s throw from Monash Uni and with dog boxes (studios and single bedroom) the majority, how can they be anything but student housing?

This is simply another application in the long history of the Caulfield Village fiasco and a council that has aided and abetted the developer at every step of the way.


The Planning Panel for Amendment C155 has now concluded. In an attempt to possibly placate residents councillors resolved for the following in their updated Comprehensive Development Plan and Schedule in October 2019.

  • Mandatory heights of 8 storeys
  • Mandatory 3000 maximum apartments
  • Mandatory setbacks
  • Mandatory overshadowing conditions, especially at the winter solstice

In private discussions between the developer team and council’s team we now have the possibility of:

  • 4 storey podium along Central Park instead of 3 storeys
  • Trigger points for road construction relaxed and/or removed entirely

The only mandatory condition that council maintained was 3000 apartments when the vast majority of residents stated this was an ‘over development’.

Whilst there is no guarantee that the panel will accept these compromises, our guess is that when the two major stakeholders reach agreement it is unlikely that the panel will adjudicate differently.

Plenty of questions come out of this episode, namely:

  • Were councillors informed of this change of heart by officers? Judging by Hyams’ comment on social media they certainly weren’t!
  • Since this was a formal council resolution and has not been rescinded then it still stands
  • Given that we are now dealing with an entirely different amendment to what was put out for comment, shouldn’t this be readvertised to the public?
  • What legal authority is granted under delegation for officers to change/alter a council resolution, especially without consultation and further decision making?

Both of these examples illustrate completely how ineffectual our councillors are when it comes to representing the community. It also illustrates who runs the show at this council and that all important decisions are made by officers, regardless of whether or not they have the power to do so. Councillors can change this via their voting on delegations. The fact that they continually cede more and more power to officers is against the public interest and certainly shows an inability to either understand what is happening or the will to change it. Either way, these councillors are failing the community!