Last evening’s zoom ‘information’ session on the draft Elsternwick Structure Plan was a small improvement on previous sessions held by council. At least participants could see who was present, could use the chat function, and could ask questions directly or via the chat component. It was also good to see 4 councillors present – Szmood, Zyngier, Pennicuik and Parasol. But, what hasn’t changed are the officer responses to residents’ queries and/or statements. Everything basically boiled down to the Urban Design Frameworks – which surprisingly are now up on the Have Your Say webpage together with the transport analysis.

This is surprising because previously in response to a public question the answer had been – They haven’t been put on the website because the amendment is yet to be authorised by the Minister for Planning. Once Ministerial authorisation is received, the full suite of reports and information will be made available as part of the formal amendment exhibition. So what has caused this change in ‘policy’? Perhaps the knowledge of resident opposition and continued criticism of how this council operates. However, we still have the situation where councillors vote on major strategic planning documents, and in all probability haven’t been provided with access to the foundational documents that are meant to justify the recommendations. In other words – they vote blindly and nothing approaches what we would regard as ‘evidence-based’ decision making.

Provided below are the questions/comments taken directly and verbatim from the chat function. Not a happy bunch of campers! Council stated that they would put up the audio on their website. We urge all residents to listen carefully to the responses provided to these queries/comments.

12 storeys is way to high for Elsternwick

The yellow section is not right. It is 12

You have also rezoned a heritage listed building – Caulfield Scout Hall, which is

I don’t believe the Council has a role in developing affordable housing, especially using precious open space. What precedent is there for that?

You 12 storey and 8 storey building heights opposite St Clements Church devalue Elsternwick. In this area you are creating a future ghetto that has not considered infrastructure support

St Clements Church is also heritage listed

Please explain your rationale for 1 and 8 storey building heights

The City Futures referral document 4th Jan 2019, (quote) ‘ in relation to housing need, the Elsternwick structure planning process population modelling found that housing targets for the area could be achieved with less intensive development 6-8 storeys with greater setbacks and fewer dwellings’. So why are you allowing higher, and mandatory or discretionary?

If bike paths are being installed which is a good thing, which streets will take the delivery trucks going for the new supermarket

You do realise what this building is – the scout hall? It is of high community value. your rationale for developing the scout hall is stupid. Do you value community space

allowing these enormous heights totally changes the landscape of Elsternwick and only result in over crowding and totally agree with above

Affordable housing should be the responsibility of all levels of government and society

Katie, you do realise that you are adding 8 and 12 storey building in a very small area. Where is the infrastructure. The step backs are also not right compared to other

Were there any homes in C239 now shown in this draft E’W structure Plan, this is a current request for heritage overlay to the Minister? Has this progressed, councillors voted on this to go to the minister for planning in Feb or March 2022

How much of this is depends on which government we have?

What can the Council do to actually protect or enhance the heritage value of the activity centre – which would protect it from overdevelopment? Many shops are in a poor state of repair, don’t remedy graffiti etc.

Katie, you may not be aware but there is signficant objection for 8-12 storey heights. You are not respecting the heritage of Elsternwick.

OBJECTIVE 5.1.3 of the Urban Design Guidelines for Victoria


To ensure buildings in activity centres provide equitable access to daylight and sunlight

Locate and arrange the building to allow daylight and winter sun access to key public spaces and key pedestrian street spaces.

Question: what protection will there be to avoid blocking of winter sun from the southern footpath of Glen Huntly Road?

The new building on Glenhuntly rd across the street from Horne st is HUGE far too big for this area. I think its 13 storeys and has a huge footprint, one of the “exceptions” Katy mentioned.

One ideal for open space  in higher density urban development is 2 hectares per 1000 people or 25% of the development land – both primary and contributory – how does this structure plan allow for ideal open space provision?

i am told other nearby suburbs have restricted their heights why has Elsternwick done nothing and 5-6 storeys are far too high to retain the village concepts and we don’t want to be surrounded by forest of high rise buildings instead of trees

The rationale for 12 storey heights on the west of the railway line was stated as that “it could not be seen from the east side of the railway line:. This is not a valid reason for creating 12 storeys

Has the Council made any enquiry or planning to perhaps roof/cover the railway channel to either create open space or strategic parking? if not, why not?

We have not seen the urban design document. However the peer review of the earlier version (circa 2017) (quality design guidelines) stated: Mid-winter overshadowing controls limit

development envelopes to the north of spaces

severely with the need for setbacks that are equal to

approximately 2.5 times the overall height of the


As an example this would require a 12 storey built

form to be setback over 90 metres from the northern

edge of a public open space.

My question relating to the above is therefore: has council chosen by introducing 12 storey height limits (discretionary) to ignore the previous findings and to ensure that development can proceed with no consideration for overshadowing at both the summer equinox and winter solstice?

Has the Council made any enquiry or planning to perhaps roof/cover the railway channel to either create open space or strategic parking? if not, why not?

The focus on removing cars from Carre St lacks logic and rationale – the access the street provides for residents south of the shops to G’huntly Rd is essential to ease load on Riddell Pde & Orrong Rd traffic. Also the 2 disabled parking spots are absolutely critical for disabled residents to easily access the shops, doctors, gyms, post office etc. The disabled spots in Stanley St carpark are too far away and its not possible to put disabled spots on G’huntly Rd. As a pedestrian area Carre St is unattractive as it is over-shadowed for much of the day & year – the parklet outside the café there is virtually unused as a result and is a waste of space.

the practical issues are not being considered  that these huge buildings will house large increase in people causing congestion and in my opinion we are already at capacity . We should focus on improving the current building and preserving open space and car parking

Why so much “discretion” in the Plan?  Developers will seek the maximum and beyond, and ratepayers – either personally or via Council – end up financially burdened by the VCAT process

The doc I referred to is City Futures referral, application # GE/PP-31572/2018 04.01.2019.

Has anyone studies the effect on the Trees

Its not a village any more, its a “hub”. All we have is village shops, one supermarket and a station..

Why should we think this plan will achieve anything given that the Elsternwick South plan which consumed huge amounts of time and no doubt money – and caused a lot of grief for residents at the time – is now apparently in the bin. Any hope of that plan helping with the imposition of height limits – which was a big part of the justification for it at the time – has proven to be fanciful given what has happened  in last few years.

and old trams! We need new trams. Council needs to demand it from Yarra Trams if we are getting ‘000s of people here

Please take the community feedback on reducing building heights seriously.  Innovative town planning would be able to find a way to achieve your objective without having to allow this. I am particularly concerned about your plans for St Clements Church and the Caulfield Scout Hall but also for Elsternwick as a whole.

totally agree our council representatives should be fighting for us to retain the village concept and avoid overcrowding and totally unreasonable to have 12 storeys

The advisers probably don’t live in wonderful Elsternwick , nicely put tracey

planning panel report for Melbourne city council c278 included this comment/recommendation for winter solstice standards for public open space – The Panel supports the shift to winter based controls. Winter sun access plays an important role in

providing high amenity in Melbourne’s parks year round, and in ensuring park health. The move

to winter sunlight protection is supported by high level policy, as well as community sentiment.

The Panel supports the proposed hours of protection. They reflect a more holistic understanding

of how people use parks for diverse reasons and through the day. People who wish to access

sunlight in parks and the amenity and warmth it provides should be able to do so when it is

convenient for them, provided it does not result in an unreasonable impact on development

potential. The shortened hours of protection for Type 3 parks are a reasonable and sensible

response to the existing shadow conditions in those parks.

Higher density residential development Guidelines-for-Higher-Density-Residential-Development-2.pdf ( – which was a subset of the Urban Design Guidelines states: local policy : where a shopping centre currently enjoys sun at mid winter there would usually be  a reasonable presumption that sun access will be preserved” (note this is now replaced by the words: provide winter sun – within State Govt Guidelines.  I will be documented this within a separate submission – we need the sun shine access on the south side for the trees (in a high priority Heat response area) and also for retail activity.)