GE Consultation/Communication

Glen Eira planning scheme


Mr DIMOPOULOS (Oakleigh)

— On Monday the Minister for Planning visited Carnegie to make a pretty big announcement for both Carnegie and neighbouring Bentleigh. My community in Carnegie specifically are acutely aware of the devastation caused by the former government and the then planning minister, now the Leader of the Opposition — I think they called him Mr Skyscraper — changing the rules to allow developers to take over Carnegie, and people have paid the price since then.

I am really pleased that on Monday the Minister for Planning came to Carnegie and announced everything that the Glen Eira City Council had asked for in relation to height controls — that is, maximum mandatory height controls in Carnegie, which will help protect the remaining character of that wonderful suburb. I am really pleased that the minister visited. I think it was his third visit to Carnegie, and I appreciate his support. He understands the need to balance development with community expectations, and that is exactly what he delivered on Monday.

Council’s Media Release –

Please pay careful attention to our highlighted sections given that:

  • No mention is made of the fact that hundreds upon hundreds of current properties will be upgraded from 2 to 3 or 4 storeys when the final amendment sees the light of day
  • ‘Discretionary’ height limits basically mean nothing when challenged at VCAT
  • Exactly what are the ‘positive outcomes’ and what is the data to justify 12 storeys?
  • Amenity is defined in the dictionary as – “any feature that provides comfort, convenience, or pleasure”. We doubt very much whether increased traffic, increased shadowing, decreased open space per resident qualifies as providing ‘comfort, convenience or pleasure’ for the vast majority of residents.
  • As for the ‘shared vision’ bullshit we suggest that councillors go back and read residents’ comments about what they wanted for their activity centres! These documents are anything but a ‘shared vision’ – they are the vision of a council determined to progress its pro-development agenda at the expense of ‘amenity’ and community representation!

Elsternwick and Carnegie development height limits: Residents blast plan

Emma-Jayne Schenk, Caulfield Glen Eira Leader

August 7, 2018 11:30am

NEW height limits for Elsternwick and Carnegie have been blasted by residents who claim they’ve been cheated because they don’t live in a marginal seat.

The interim State Government planning rules approved this week outline discretionary heights of two to 12 storeys in Elsternwick and eight to 12 storeys for the commercial area on Dandenong Road in Carnegie.

Lower limits of two to five storeys were approved for Bentleigh — a marginal seat — and two to four storeys in Carnegie’s Koornang Rd commercial area and surrounding residential zones.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the limits respected the area’s low-scale shopping strips, residential heritage and gardens, and “would provide certainty for developers and residents”.

Woolworths’ development proposal for 10-16 Selwyn St, Elsternwick.

But key campaigner and Caulfield South resident Sandy Togias questioned how such high-density living respected the area and said politics and the upcoming election had clearly come into play.

“It’s interesting that a marginal seat like Bentleigh gets two to five storeys but a safe seat like Elsternwick gets 12,” she said.

The measures will be in place until Glen Eira Council develops permanent controls, including the Elsternwick Structure Plan, which details 12-storey limits and opposed by more than 100 residents.

Ms Togias said much of the community staunchly opposed high-rise development in Glen Eira, especially Elsternwick, but had not been listened to.

“Once 12 storeys is applied for, the chances of reducing this to six, eight or 10 are very difficult,” she said.

“This now gives about a year’s grace for developers to build whatever the hell they like.”

It comes as residents fight against Woolworths’ plans for a 13-storey, 180-apartment complex at the former ABC studios on Selwyn St. Under new guidelines, it’s believed the maximum height allowed would be 10-storeys.

Opposition planning spokesman David Davis said a Liberal government would review the 12-storey height limit in Elsternwick with an intention to lower it, if elected in November.

He said the Liberals would also restore Neighbourhood Residential Zone protections.

“The caps in Bentleigh and Carnegie are too little too late and allow an absolute open season in the surrounding streets of these areas where the neighbourhood zone protections have been stripped away by Daniel Andrews,” Mr Davis said.

“These small residential streets will now become the target.”

He said Labor’s recent scrapping of visitor parking requirements in large side-street developments would cause further chaos and compromise residential amenity and parking.

In 2017, the government approved height limits up to five storeys in Bentleigh and seven storeys within Carnegie.


Nick Staikos Media Release –

Mandatory height limits for Bentleigh

The Andrews Labor Government has unveiled new planning rules for Glen Eira that will protect neighbourhood character and put local residents first.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has approved new controls for activity centres in Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick, with maximum building height and setback rules that respect the area’s low scale shopping strips, residential heritage and gardens.

For Bentleigh and Carnegie, height controls have been updated and extended to reflect planning work by Council.

In Bentleigh the maximum mandatory heights are now between two and five storeys.

In Carnegie’s Koornang Road commercial area and surrounding residential growth zones, heights are set at a mandatory maximum of two to four storeys. The commercial area adjacent to Dandenong Road in Carnegie now has a maximum of eight to 12 storeys.

For Elsternwick, which previously had no height controls, discretionary heights of between two and 12 storeys have been introduced.

While the new controls are interim measures, Glen Eira City Council will prepare permanent controls to be exhibited for public consultation.

Former Planning Minister Matthew Guy approved skyscrapers that lined the pockets of developers but the Labor Government is putting residents first, protecting our famed liveability with transport infrastructure, growth corridors and fair height limits.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“These interim controls will protect these communities while Council develops permanent controls.”

“This will provide certainty for both developers and residents as to what can be built in these important shopping precincts.”

Quote attributable to Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos

“The mistakes made by the previous Liberal Government are obvious to everyone who lives in my community. The changes announced today are a massive win for local residents.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos

“As a lifelong local, I am pleased to have secured height controls in Bentleigh. Unlike the local Liberal candidate, who has supported 30 storey buildings in our suburbs, I will always act to protect Bentleigh’s liveability.”


We’ve received the following email –

We, the residents of Glen Eira have tried to appeal to the integrity of Glen Eira City Council-we now realise that there is no conscience and no integrity to be found amongst our ‘representatives’

We are witnessing the destruction of our city through overdevelopment. Our homes are deprived of sunlight as the Council ignores our pleas to safeguard our habitable areas and gardens. We are not against developing more housing in our city. However, we would have expected our representatives to research how best to manage that development for the greater good of all. We now know the close relationship our Council have with developers and business (GECC mtg 24/7/18). Residents are not consulted about planning for future growth, but traders and developers are. Logic and reason have been ignored. Whilst the Council and the developers may well have joined together to restructure our city without any concern for the impact on the residents, we seem to have forgotten that the residents of the city of Glen Eira far outnumber the developers and Council. We are now numbering over 150 000.

We need to show our force in numbers…………perhaps a ‘People’s March’ in our streets might gain the Council’s attention.

Past generations established laws to protect the citizens of a democracy. These laws still stand.

We need to review the Statutory Regulations which our council assumes have no relevance to them:

  • Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
  • Local Government Act 1989
  • Local Government Bill Exposure Draft 2018
  • Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • Environment Protection Act 1970

We have no time to waste…………each day more streets are taken, residents’ lives are dismantled.

We need now to think collectively……….How can we unite to ensure our voices are heard?

Mr DAVIS (Southern Metropolitan)
— My matter for the adjournment tonight is for the attention of the Minister for Planning in the other place, and it concerns the planning scheme in Glen Eira. Glen Eira is an area that needs significant protection. I note that it is an area where in 2013 –14 Matthew Guy as  planning minister provided significant protection through neighbourhood residential zone layers to prevent the intense development of many areas of the municipality.
Under this government those neighbourhood zones have been trashed, have been weakened significantly, Removing the two -dwelling cap and allowing a cap of nothing. There is no cap: you can have as many dwellings as you wish on a property. Indeed the general residential zone issues are also significant, with an increase in height and, as of right, three storeys in many locations.
Parallel with that there has been a battle by many in the City of Glen Eira to protect Elsternwick, Bentleigh and Carnegie. The minister put temporary height restrictions in Bentleigh and Carnegie a year or so ago. But the issue remains: what will occur now? We know that the council has asked the minister, through section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, for its draft structure plans for Elsternwick, Bentleigh and Carnegie to be approved. Residents believe there has been insufficient justification for some of the proposed heights. For example, in Elsternwick 12 storeys is significant and is likely to change the area of Elsternwick that has that proposed height very significantly so that it would be unrecognisable from its current shape. What would justify an increase of five storeys in Carnegie and some of those other areas of Glen Eira?
I say that there needs to be a change of government and there actually need to be protections in Glen Eira that protect open space and indeed protect the quality of life, the livability of Glen Eira, which has one of the lowest amounts of open space of any municipality.
Council has done significant strategic work, but I ask the minister to come forward with clear policies. I do not necessarily endorse the structure plans put forward by the City of Glen Eira. I ask him, though, in the coming months before the state election to come forward with structure plans and arrangements that provide sufficient protection. That does not mean five storeys as of right in Carnegie and Bentleigh, and it does not mean 12 storeys in Elsternwick. So I ask him to act and come forward with those structure plans before the election.

An astonishing item (9.8) features in today’s agenda. Council is proposing to enter into a potential 9 year lease with the VRC (aka MRC) for 2 sections of the Wedge – ie the land that has stood vacant at the top of Glen Eira/Booran Rds for years and years. The terms of the proposed lease are:

  • For the first 5 years the payment to council (as committee of management) of $137,500 and for each 2 year extension up to a further 4 years, a rental of $30,400 per annum.
  • The land under discussion includes a 153 square metre area that contains a water bore, and another area to the east of the Wedge of 675 square metres. This second area abuts the current freehold land containing the stables.

Our take on this is as follows:

  • Why would the MRC agree to pay even this pittance for a lease on land that has stood empty for years unless this is nothing more than a major land grab to accommodate future residential development to the east of this strip? Below is a screen dump taken from the VPA website which makes it clear that the MRC is thinking of more development once training goes.

  • Is the payment of basically $27,000 per annum a reasonable rent given that any commercial block of 675 square metres would certainly receive far more in rent?
  • Does this lease mean that training will not be gone for another 9 years at least? In 2011 a 5 year time limit was put on. We are now talking 2027 at the earliest.
  • Why has this item made an appearance at this stage given that the newly appointed trustees are set to begin their reign on the 1st August, 2018. Does the signing off of this lease usurp their power and authority and hence is the timing deliberate? Surely council could have waited another 2 weeks given the years when nothing has happened?
  • What does this mean for the proposed dog agility facility? How can dogs, kids, and adults co-exist with trucks, workmen, etc having unrestricted access to the bore?
  • Why is the last sentence of the Department letter redacted? What potentially damaging info does this sentence contain?
  • One sentence of the officer’s report is worth repeating –As the lease term is less than 10 years Council is not required to give public notice of the intention to enter into the lease with the MRC. Skull duggery at its best! No publicity, no objections, no community involvement whatsoever! Well done council!

All in all another cave in by council and the department to the Melbourne Racing Club!

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