GE Open Space


Presented below is today’s council Media Release. Please note the following:

  • It’s all about money
  • Not a word about strategic planning and halting the overdevelopment in Glen Eira

Council has distinguished itself by failing to make any public comment on recent State Government changes to planning schemes and legislation. We can only suspect that any criticism of government will not be rewarded by millions as ‘pay off’. There have been innumerable instances where council should have stood up for its residents if ‘advocacy’ was genuine. What we had was absolute silence.

It’s also worth pondering whether these projects do in fact represent money well spent. We remind readers that the Bentleigh Library underwent a million dollar plus renovation in the past few years. Community views on the Carnegie market were never solicited appropriately and the comments that have been received remain highly dubious as to the potential ‘success’ of these grandiose plans.

More importantly however, please compare how other councils ‘advocate’ for their residents when they feel it is important to highlight state government actions that will have a negative impact on their municipalities. Here are two examples from the Mayor’s Blog from Boroondara. Again, no such public comment from Glen Eira and definitely not a word of criticism to be found. As we’ve stated: this isn’t ‘advocacy’ it is a sell out.

The reality of the Victorian Government’s Reformed Residential Zones

Boroondara Mayoral Blog

Thu 25 May 2017

Accommodating Melbourne’s unprecedented population growth is not an easy task. It requires all three levels of government to work together, respectfully.

Unfortunately, local councils and specifically the planning system are unjustly targeted to address a housing supply and affordability problem. The most recent example is through the Reformed Residential Zones.

When the Victorian Government announced the reforms, we sent a letter to inform you about the impact of the reforms to the zone that you live in and asked you to write to the Minister for Planning to express your concerns. Thank you to those who have taken the initiative. Your voice is important in this debate.

It is disappointing to learn that in responding to the community’s concerns, the Minister has attacked Council for representing the interests of our community, accusing us of making “petty political arguments” and calling us “mischievous” and “deliberately misleading”.

Let’s look at the facts.

In the Neighbourhood Residential Zones (NRZ), the limit of two dwellings to a lot has been removed. In the General Residential Zones (GRZ), irrespective of the established character of these areas, the new height limit is 11m with a
maximum of three storeys.* As we outlined in our letter to you, “… the removal of the dwelling density requirement will have a significant impact on potential development outcomes in the NRZ.

The fact that properties within the NRZ can now be developed for more than two dwellings means that the NRZ is going to experience more intensive in-fill development in areas that were previously identified for minimal change. Coupled with the increase in building height, multi-unit development and apartment style development proposals are likely to be the inevitable consequence of the reformed zone.”

Nothing in the above statement is incorrect. In his letter, the Minister doesn’t deny the above facts, but rather deflects from the reality created by the new zones. For the Minister to suggest that the changes to the zones won’t lead to more intensive in-fill development is simply untrue.

The new mandatory garden area requirement introduced by the Minister will have little positive impact on the design of development beyond what is already required under existing planning controls, and will not achieve the protection of neighbourhood character or amenity as stated by the Minister.

There was no opportunity for either Council or the community to comment on the new controls before they were introduced.

Council did provide a submission to the Minister’s Managing Residential Development Advisory Committee, which reported the outcome of the residential zones review to the Minister. However, the Minister’s reforms go much further than what
his own committee recommended.

We are deeply concerned for the future of our City. Victoria needs a responsible longterm strategy for the provision of housing to retain Melbourne’s mantle as one of the world’s most liveable cities, not short-term planning reform that will line the pockets of developers and inextricably change the character of our suburbs forever.

We will not stop voicing our concerns about the reforms. We urge you to do the same. You can write to the Minister for Planning by emailing Richard Wynne.

*This change doesn’t currently apply to our current GRZ1, GRZ2 and GRZ3 areas. However, these zones will inevitably lose their existing stricter height requirements after three years.

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Source: https://www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/about-council/news-and-media/boroondara-mayoral-blog/boroondara-mayoral-blog/reality-victorian-governments-reformed-residential-zones

Victorian Government weakens protection of Boroondara’s neighbourhood character

Boroondara Mayoral Blog

Tue 28 March 2017

The Minister for Planning’s decision to reform residential zones is unravelling the protection of Boroondara’s neighbourhood character.

About 80 percent of our residential area is classified as Neighbourhood Residential Zone where the maximum number of dwellings on a lot is two and the maximum building height limit is 8 metres.

Yesterday, the Minister removed the limit of two dwellings to a lot and increased the mandatory building height limit to 9 metres. The changes were made without consultation with local residents, communities and Council.

The Minister argued that the reformed residential zones “will be fair and provide certainty for all of our suburbs”, “provide for new housing opportunities” and “get the balance right”. We strongly disagree with his argument.

There is no transparency, accountability and justification to the proposed changes. The extensive process of planning work required to introduce the current residential zones by Boroondara and other municipalities has effectively been thrown out at the stroke of a pen. It is heavy handed and unfair.

Council’s planning policies have created capacity for an additional 62,546 dwellings which is more than four times the Victorian Government’s own forecast dwelling need for the area by 2031. These policies have clearly been working as Boroondara has the second highest spend on building projects in Victoria.

What will be certain is that the reformed residential zones will result in more intensive in-fill development in areas that our community has told us they want to preserve. The changes will have long lasting negative impacts on our highly valued streetscapes.

The Minister hasn’t got the balance right. He has tipped the balance in favour of increased density that will only benefit developers and destroy both Boroondara’s and Melbourne’s liveability.

We are deeply disappointed by the Minister’s decision. We urge community members to write to the Minister for Planning (richard.wynne@parliament.vic.gov.au) to voice their concerns.

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Source: https://www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/about-council/news-and-media/boroondara-mayoral-blog/boroondara-mayoral-blog/victorian-government-weakens-protection-boroondaras-neighbourhood-character

PS: Here’s another post that could be compared to Amendment C157 and Wynne’s refusal to grant Elsternwick mandatory height limits. In contrast, our council meekly accepts the outcome it would seem. Since this mayoral post Boroondara has achieved mandatory 3 storey height limits for 15 of its neighbourhood centres.

See: https://www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/about-council/news-and-media/boroondara-mayoral-blog/boroondara-mayoral-blog/minister-plannings-discretionary-height-policy-lead-suboptimal-outcome-boroondara

Council has released a new set of documents that underpin the planning for the Elsternwick South ‘masterplan’. Accompanying these documents is the invitation to provide feedback via the Have Your Say web link.

All of this sounds marvelous! Except that we have to wonder whether:

  • This is the ‘best’ way to conduct ‘consultation’ and
  • What ‘value’ the Have Your Say survey really has

The Elsternwick South area is pivotal in that the current proposals, together with the overall Structure Plan for the northern areas will change the face of Elsternwick forever if implemented. The vast majority of residents have already made it clear that:

  • 12 storeys is unacceptable
  • Overshadowing is an issue
  • Traffic is an issue
  • Lack of open space is an issue

The newly published documents are supposed to address most of these concerns. But do they? And do the surveys come within cooeee of asking residents what they think about the proposals themselves? Or are they merely a set of feel good questions that everyone can agree with whilst parading as genuine ‘consultation’?

Here is what could and should have happened if council is genuine in wanting informed feedback from the community.

  • Given the significance of this area why has council not produced a simple, objective, ‘Discussion paper’ as the first step in the consultation process that outlines all the pros and cons of the various aspects and the recommendations? As it stands now, those residents interested in the issue will need to read, analyse and comment on well over 200 pages of new documentation. This is on top of what has already been published, making the grand total of recent documents dealing with this area to well over 486 pages. If we include the ‘past documents’, then we are approaching close to 1500 pages. https://www.haveyoursaygleneira.com.au/elsternwick-urban-renewal-south-masterplan/documents. How many residents will bother?
  • The Have Your Say and survey questions need to be directly addressing the efficacy of the proposals in these reports. They don’t! Instead we get the following which isn’t asking the vital question ‘Do you think these road closures will address the parking and traffic concerns? Please explain”.

  • The 4 proposals concerning road closures would now appear to be set in concrete  and residents are simply asked to ‘prioritise’ them. Yes, we do get the ‘other comments’ section but unless residents bother to read through the documentation carefully, and analyse what is proposed, then we suspect that most comments will be easily ignored. No choices are provided to residents regarding rat running in neighbouring streets. Nor is there any question relating to residents’ views on parking, safety, etc. In short, the focus is entirely on St James Parade.

  • The first part of the survey is basically nothing more than motherhood statements. Of course no one in their right mind would be in favour of creating rat runs, or endangering safety, or be indifferent to congestion, etc. Again these have to be ‘ranked’. Why? Surely it can be assumed that the entire list of ‘problems’ is something that needs fixing. The question is again, do the reports and recommendations actually ‘fix’ any of them? Does the ranking then mean that the end result of the strategic planning will only seek to address the top 5 priorities and ignore the rest? Or will we get the argument that a ‘balance’ has to be achieved and we can’t do everything? More importantly, how many of these ‘problems’ are remedied via the report recommendations? Couldn’t council have produced some neat little table that displayed such information in a clear and accessible manner?
  • The other survey option is titled ‘tell us your ideas for resolving these issues’. Please note that again there is no connection with the report recommendations. Simply pie in the sky questions that could apply to anywhere and not specifically the sites under investigation.

It is surely time that council got its act together and produced some consultation techniques that were genuine, meaningful, and truly intended to seek the best results. Time and again we have had councilors apologizing to the gallery for their poor consultation methods but nothing has been done to remedy the situation. We continue to get sham consultations, (or no consultation as with aged care) and processes that are simply there to endorse what has already been decided.

We have not commented on the documents themselves at this stage. All we will say at this stage is the irony that council’s consultants chose to use as part of their standard for traffic generation the Woolworth’s traffic assessment that accompanied the latter’s application! Then to top it all off, there is a further reduction in the standard because council aims for a 60% reduction in car use! Thus we get this gem:

Therefore, if this reduction rate is applied to the peak hour generation rate of 0.4 trips per dwelling, a generation rate of approximately 0.19 trips per dwelling could be adopted for the apartments within the proposed Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area South development. 

What this means of course is that every apartment will only produce 0.19 trips per peak hour instead of the 0.4 trips that date back to 2002 guidelines. Unbelievable hocus pocus!

Residents’ antennas should also be raised at the potential ramifications of this sentence:

……given the 60% public transport target, it could be realistically be proposed that 25% of apartments in the renewal area would have no parking spaces.

So with 1500 dwellings proposed (and no justification for this number) are residents to assume that developers will be given the gift of nearly 400 apartments with no parking spots?

We urge all readers to carefully consider these documents and to make your views on the consultation process itself known to this council.  It’s well and truly time that residents stopped accepting a process that is anything but adequate and appropriate.

Permits for:

  • 68 Bevis Street, Bentleigh East. 3 storey, 22 dwellings
  • 554/556 Inkerman Road, Caulfield Noth. 3 and 4 storey, 24 dwellings

The Inkerman Road application is interesting since the site is zoned GRZ1 (ie supposedly 3 storeys and a 10.5 metre height limit). Since council’s schedules do not specify the number of storeys, and the land slopes, this application for a part 4 storey was deemed to be okay. We point out again that for all of council’s structure planning and quality design guidelines, the schedules largely remain intact. No changes to site coverage, permeability, etc.

Worthy of keeping a close eye on, is the following from the minutes of the Local Law committee. This could be ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ for residents.

For quite a while now, council’s reporting of the open space reserve in the monthly financial report has opted to camouflage what is really happening. This can only be deliberate and is another example of the lack of transparency in Glen Eira. We are supposed to believe that the ‘kitty’ currently contains $20m. Yet, we are not privy to how much of this total has been spent on ‘development’/’upgrade’ of open space. Hence how much is really left in the open space reserve?

By way of contrast and transparency, we highlight how these figures were reported previously and ask why the change?

Finally, here is what we don’t know about the Open space levy:

  • Has the levy been insisted upon for every application for 3 or more subdivisions? If not, why not? See one of our earlier posts https://gleneira.blog/2018/06/08/open-space-favours/
  • What percentage of the levy has been spent on the acquisition of new open space and what percentage has been spent on ‘development/upgrading’?
  • What ‘land contributions’ has council accepted instead of a financial payment and where are these located?
  • How much of the following ‘promises’ has council kept and why can’t this be disclosed to the public?

This isn’t the first time that the issue of overshadowing of residential properties, especially during the winter months, has come up. Council’s Planning Scheme Review of 2016 acknowledged that this was a major concern for residents and is only exacerbated with council’s decision to seek approval for 12 storey apartment blocks in both Carnegie and Elsternwick.

One public question from last week’s council meeting, returned to this question of what council intends to do to ensure that adequate controls are implemented. Below is the query and the response.

In the above council claims to have “proposed winter shadow controls” for public open spaces. Not a word about residential sites! One must also wonder exactly how the following may be interpreted as ‘controls’.The only mention of overshadowing in the Design & Development Overlays that relate specifically to the 3 activity centres are:

Buildings should minimise overshadowing impacts on existing and future open spaces, commercial footpath-trading areas and existing residential sites. 

AND in the decision guidelines we get this ‘criterion’.

The impact of overshadowing to the public realm.

None of the above are ‘controls’ in any shape or form. Nor do they even mention the winter solstice. The emphases remains firmly on public open space.

Even in the adopted structure plans there are not ‘controls’ mere motherhood statements such as:

Ensure overshadowing from new buildings and works does not result in significant loss of sunlight to future and existing public open spaces.

Ensuring adequate sunlight provision and minimising overshadowing of future plaza space.

Consideration of Council’s Open Space Strategy in the design and function of the new park, including minimising any overshadowing.

The Elsternwick Structure Plan sets out clear key design principles, including:

Σ minimise overshadowing to existing residential sites

ensure no overshadowing of residential areas between 9am and 3pm at the September Equinox,

Minimise overshadowing to existing residential sites

The form and scale of new development must be guided by minimising overshadowing impacts on existing residential sites. Development must satisfy the overshadowing objectives and standards of the Glen Eira Planning Scheme and may need to step down in scale towards residential sites in order to minimise overshadowing impacts

Principles have also been included in the new Carnegie Structure Plan that address concerns such as overlooking, overshadowing and traffic impacts on existing residential areas.

Protect the future open space at Egan and Woorayl Streets, in accordance with Council’s Open Space Strategy, with no overshadowing for a minimum of 5 hours at the September Equinox (9am to 2pm achieved) and 3 hours at Winter Solstice (11am to 2pm achieved).

Ensure no overshadowing of residential areas between 9am and 3pm at the September Equinox.

As can be seen from the above quotes, the only time that the winter solstice is specifically mentioned relates to Egan & Woorayl Streets in Carnegie, and even this does nothing to extend the hours. Further, given that this section of Carnegie is now geared towards highrise, then why oh why wasn’t the same consideration given to Elsternwick?

Telling residents to go off and advocate to the State Government does not abrogate these councillors’ responsibility to do everything they can to implement adequate controls. Given the history of this issue, council has not even been able to come up with official support for Melbourne City Council’s proposed amendment that would extend the winter solstice hours for planning applications. Overshadowing of public open space is important. But equally as important is to ensure that council is doing everything it possibly can to halt the plunging into darkness of those residents who find themselves within the shadow range of 12 storey apartment blocks. This, council has steadfastly refused to do and the reason is obvious. If planning applications have to adhere to winter solstice controls then that means that permits for 12 storeys would be jeopardised and would undermine council’s prodevelopment agenda. Worthy of note is that even the commisioned Peer Review of the Urban Design Guidelines had this to say:

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 building.
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.

Overshadowing impacts to Woorayl Street Park would likely to substantially decrease the
overall height and development yield of sites between Woorayl Street and Arawatta Street
(to 5-6 storeys) if June 22 shadows are adopted in Guidelines, while September 22
shadows are more easily reconciled with the maximum height (with community benefits) as
shown in Figure 20. This model has assumed an adoption of September 22 shadow.

Caulfield Electorate Planning

Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield) (09:51): This morning I tabled a petition with over 1700 signatures of support calling on the Andrews government to immediately review and reduce interim height limits for the Caulfield electorate, and I note the Minister for Planning is at the table today. Minister, the inconsistent and unfair height limits established by yourself as the Minister for Planning in amendment C157 to the Glen Eira planning scheme have encouraged a wave of inappropriate high-rise development proposals in Selwyn and Horne streets, Elsternwick, on what was the Daily Planet site and also the old ABC site. We are also seeing on South Road another development of up to 12 storeys with no height restrictions whatsoever.

These high-rise developments threaten to impinge upon the neighbourhood character, amenity and traffic flow, introducing overshadowing and privacy concerns for thousands of residents in my electorate. I have met with a number of residents, some of whom are in the gallery today, from Caulfield South and Elsternwick that are affected at these sites, where I have seen firsthand the effect of inappropriate overdevelopment in these areas on the community. I have written on behalf of residents to the mayor of Glen Eira City Council to seek assistance in reviewing and addressing the concerns of these residents. Minister, these residents would like to meet with you to talk about these issues and to see if we can get some consistency with the Oakleigh and Bentleigh electorates which have restricted height limits of six storeys while we have discretionary height limits of 12 storeys. If it is good enough for the goose, it is good enough for the gander. We should have consistency in our planning scheme.

Applause from gallery.

The SPEAKER: Order! Order in the gallery, please.

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Caulfield Electorate

Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield) (11:47): (385) My constituency question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, throughout the electorate of Caulfield we are seeing a number of overdevelopment proposals that are currently out of character with the local amenity and threaten residents’ way of life in the Caulfield community. In fact we tabled a petition today of that nature. Caulfield residents have seen these proposals from Horne Street, Elsternwick, the old ABC site, and of course now in Caulfield South. There is inconsistency when it comes to planning in the electorate of Caulfield. Of particular concern is the discrepancy in the interim height limits of Elsternwick, Bentleigh and Carnegie because of planning scheme amendment C157. Minister, we ask you why there is such an inconsistency in the planning scheme. In Glen Eira City Council on the Caulfield side there is a 12-storey discretion, and within Oakleigh and Bentleigh it is four to six storeys. Why is there that inconsistency, Minister?

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PETITION

Caulfield Electorate Planning

To the Honourable the Speaker and members of the Legislative Assembly

We, the undersigned citizens of Victoria, call on the Legislative Assembly of Victoria to note:

The interim height limits established by the Minister for Planning, The Hon Richard Wynne MP in Amendment C157, are inconsistent, and unfairly impact Elsternwick and the broader Caulfield community.

The interim height limits have encouraged a wave of inappropriate high-rise development proposals in areas such as Selwyn and Horne Streets, Elsternwick and Hawthorn Road, South Caulfield, These proposed high-rise developments will impinge upon the surrounding neighbourhood character and traffic flow, introducing overshadowing and privacy concerns, without necessary community infrastructure upgrades.

The discrepancies between current interim height limits lack essential strategic justification, therefore the petitioners request that the Legislative Assembly of Victoria call on the State Government to immediately reduce the interim height limits for the Caulfield Electorate.

By Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield) (1747 signatures)

 

Tonight’s council meeting resembled a three ring circus and revealed once again to what extent decisions are made behind closed doors in Glen Eira. The ‘circus’ involved Item 9.1, on the 14 storey application for Horne Street, Elsternwick..

There was a significant pause before Delahunty put up her hand to move a motion for refusal of the application. This was seconded by Magee. What became obvious was:

  • The motion was entirely unexpected by all. Hence no grounds for refusal (as required) were as yet drafted.
  • Countless apologies to officers for this ‘surprise’ and not a word of criticism for their recommendation that went beyond the current Design & Development Overlay. Instead, we got comments as to how well they are interpreting the planning scheme.
  • Silver admitted his opposition to the application
  • Same old arguments from Hyams and Sztrajt such as ‘we could get worse outcome at VCAT’.
  • A 5 minute break in proceedings so councilors can again ‘decide’ what to do behind closed doors.
  • Magee’s ‘liking’ for 12 storeys, but only if it’s in the ‘right place’. That is along Nepean Highway.

On return, Delahunty’s motion was voted out. Only Delahunty and Magee voted in favour of refusal. All the rest voted against. Please note that Athanasopoulos and Esakoff were absent.

Davey had foreshadowed a new motion for a permit of 8 storeys. It was then decided that the issue would come back for decision once Torres had been given some time to draft the relevant motion and its conditions.

Silver moved motion for 8 storeys. Sztrajt seconded. Voted in 5 votes to 2. Interestingly, Davey who foreshadowed the 8 storey motion, voted against! Magee also voted against. Cade was silent throughout this item.

Please listen to what was said (below) and consider the following:

  • Baseless claims by Magee and others that the structure plans were in line with community sentiment. All community feedback was strongly against the 8 to 12 storey heights.
  • No justification has ever been provided for such heights
  • Traffic and overshadowing documents that were to be done over a year ago are still to make it into the public domain. Has council actually done this work?
  • Why does this council continually blame the State Government and yet not one single formal public statement has been made that challenges anything. When other councils such as Boroondara, Mornington Peninsula, Stonnington can voice their disapproval of government decisions, why is our council silent and compliant? This is not advocacy. It is complicity!

Please listen carefully to the incredible waffle that epitomises these councillors decision making!

Finally, we also point out that in response to the 4 or 5 public questions council did not provide a single answer.

PS: FROM HANSARD 19/3

SOUTHERN METROPOLITAN REGION Mr HAYES(Southern Metropolitan) (18:01):My constituency question is to the Minister for Planning. I refer the minister to the case of my constituent Graham Huntly, who is helping the government meet its renewable energy target by putting solar panels on his home at Ross Street, Elsternwick. If Woolworths succeeds in building 10 and 14-storey towers in Elsternwick, Mr Huntly’s sunlight will be blocked and his solar panel investment—to say nothing of his quality of life—will be devalued.

What rules does the government have in place to stop developments overshadowing solar panels, and will the minister support Glen Eira council’s eight-storey height controls—and make them mandatory—and reject 10 and 14-storey towers in Elsternwick?

Council continues on its merry way of destroying Elsternwick by recommending a 12 storey permit for Horne Street (Daily Planet site). We remind readers that this area sits alongside single and double storey dwellings, even though the latter (Ross Street) is zoned RGZ (four storeys). Council therefore sees no problems with a 12 storey building backing onto dwellings of this size.

The application was for 14 storeys and true to form we get a recommendation to lop off a couple of storeys. There is much in this officer’s report that is highly questionable if not straight out farcical.

In this post we will simply concentrate on the draft permit and what the recommendations allow. We quote from the report. 

The building height to be reduced to not more than 46.30m above natural ground level comprising not more than 12 storeys, with no architectural features,services, stairs, lift overruns or masts higher than 50.30m above natural ground level.

COMMENT: Amendment C157 has as the ‘maximum building height43.0 metres (discretionary). Thus, even though council might be reducing the number of storeys, the overall height of the building itself will be even greater than the structure plan suggests. Plus with masts up to 50.30 metres the building will definitely reach for the skies. The adopted C157 Amendment only allows a 4 metre extra height for masts, telecommunications, lift overruns, etc. So now we have the absolutely ludicrous situation where council first wanted 8 storeys and with ‘community benefit’ maybe 12. Now they are okaying extra height for both building and its masts, both in opposition to its own planning scheme!

The owner will maintain the shared space side laneway for not less than 5 years after the date of its completion to the satisfaction of Glen Eira City Council. 

COMMENT: This is the only time that the phrase ‘not less than 5 years’ is included in the officer’s report. It is only to be found in the pages upon pages of the ‘conditions’ and not in the body of the report itself. Instead we find this contradictory statement in the rest of the report

A Section 173 Agreement should be entered into for the permit holder to provide and maintain the shared space side laneway for the life of the building and to secure the office floor space for the life of the building.  

Which is it? Or is the above comment intended to camouflage what the Section 173 agreement will state? Surely the ‘life of the building’ is more than the 5 years stipulated in the conditions for the permit? Secondly, why only 5 years? Does this mean that in the 6th year the costs of maintenance will now fall upon council and hence ratepayers?

The front (north-eastern) setback of the tower element (third floor and above) to Horne Street increased to a minimum of 4.0m. 

COMMENT: We have to ask, what’s the point of having a structure plan if it ends up being ignored. The recommended setbacks are the perfect example of this. Amendment C157 included a requirement (preferred) of a 5 metre setback. The original urban designs for our activity centres had featured a 6 metre setback but council changed this to 5 without any real explanation. Even so, how on earth is it now considered appropriate that this be even further reduced? Why bother with structure plans at all when council itself decides it can ignore what it so loudly championed? 

As to what constitutes ‘community benefit’ we get the rubbish of widening a laneway by a few metres as proof of this, plus the creation of ‘passing areas’ because otherwise cars won’t get through.Creation of offices is nothing more than pie in the sky at this stage as well.

 

We have also had a good laugh at this sentence  Over time, the character of Elsternwick will change as buildings, consistent with the planning controls are constructed. One must question how many of these past high rises and now this one can be seen to be ‘consistent with the planning controls’?

We can only speculate as to why council would recommend a permit of this height? Our suspicion is that it is merely another nail in the coffin for low rise along Nepean Highway. Council is determined that Elsternwick becomes the high rise capitol of Glen Eira. Granting a permit for one more eyesore makes it a lot easier to have 12 storeys along all of Nepean Highway, regardless of whether this is needed or not!

Well done council. At least you are consistent in your appalling planning decisions!

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