This is the latest permit application to come in for Caulfield North and underlines again how this council continues to fail its residents. We have a City Plan that nominates 5 storey height limits. We have Built Form Frameworks for Caulfield South, Caulfield North and Bentleigh East. None of these are anything but ‘guidelines’ and aren’t even part of the Planning Scheme, so therefore quite useless.

It’s not as if council didn’t know this was happening. The first permits for high rise along Hawthorn Road occurred about 6 years ago. The writing was on the wall. So what did council do? Bugger all, we say. No structure plan. No DDO. Nothing but sitting tight and giving developers a free hand. Even now, with the adopted Built Form Frameworks, council decided that they can’t do all three together. Caulfield South got in first. No time frame has been provided for anything on Caulfield North and East Bentleigh. All in the too hard basket.

It’s quite staggering to think that other councils such as Boroondara and Bayside are capable of producing amendments that cover multiple neighbourhood centres and activity centres in the one hit. In Boroondara they managed an amendment that covered 28 shopping precincts via the same amendment. Here in Glen Eira we are still waiting six and a half years later for a single permanent structure plan for Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick. The latter was not even included in the proposals for Bentleigh and Carnegie that constituted Amendment C184. Why? And what is the time line for when this area will be privy to its own structure plan.

This Council has an appalling track record on strategic planning. How one interprets this lack of progress is obviously in the eye of the beholder – either sheer incompetence or, an agenda that is geared towards facilitating as much development as possible. In the meantime it is residents who are paying the price with the destruction of their neighbourhoods, their environments, and residential amenity.