Caulfield Racecourse trustees face sack in community push for more open space

Just published in The Age  – after 140 years, and almost two years after the scathing Auditor General’s Report (17/9/2014) on the Management Performance of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Trust, it looks like the State Government is taking the first step in ensuring this Crown Land (valued at $2bn) is governed in accordance with it’s 3 specific purposes of racecourse, public park and public recreation ground.

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The AGE article –  Farrah Tomazin – August 20 2016 – 4:18PM

A powerful board that manages the Caulfield Racecourse faces being sacked after years of “unworkable” governance, paving the way for one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets to be opened up for greater public use.

In a move likely to be welcomed by residents, the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve – the equivalent of about 15 MCGs worth of open space – could soon be utilised for more recreation, local sport and much-needed parkland in the heart of inner-city suburbia.

Racecourse Centre

An aerial view of Caulfield Racetrack. Photo: Google Earth

The reserve is home to premier racing events such as the Caulfield Cup and the Blue Diamond Stakes, but the land was put aside a century ago for broader community use, not just the city’s sporting elite.

However, most Melburnians would not know they can simply walk in and use the space, largely because the governing board – made up by a secretive group of trustees heavily influenced by the powerful Melbourne Racing Club – has made the site look unwelcoming and managed the area for years to serve its own interests: predominantly training and racing.

A bipartisan panel set up by the Andrews government earlier this year has now branded the trustee structure “unworkable” and “anachronistic”, and called for a new independent body to manage the reserve.

The panel’s report, seen by The Sunday Age, suggests the government could first request the resignations of the trustees, whose 15 members comprise six MRC nominees (including chair Mike Symons and vice-chair Peter Le Grand); six government nominees (including former ALP national president Greg Sword and federal court judge Shane Marshall) and three from the Glen Eira Council.

If the trustees don’t stand down legislation would be introduced giving the minister the power to dissolve the group and set up a new, clearer governance structure based on bodies such the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust or the MCG Trust. In the meantime, the department of environment would be appointed the interim land manager.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said she was considering her options and would respond shortly.

“This historic issue has been languishing for far too long and requires decisive action,” she said. “We must ensure there is a balance between the needs of the racing community and local residents.”

A key problem with the governance of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve is the trust is the landlord and the Melbourne Racing Club its tenant – yet six of the 15 trustees also happen to be MRC appointments.

The composition of the group has therefore resulted in perceived and real conflicts of interest, a lack of accountability, and unresolved disputes between trustees on everything from the lease arrangements to how the area should best be used.

The City of Glen Eira has the least public space of any municipality, and councillors have previously pointed out there were about 400 children unable to play sport in the area last winter because they simply didn’t have the room.

Liberal Caulfield MP David Southwick – part of the working group, along with Labor Oakleigh MP Steve Dimopoulos and independent chair Ken Ryan – told Fairfax Media: “The Andrews government must act immediately and implement the working group’s report and sack the Caulfield Racecourse Trust to restore appropriate governance and to unlock this prime open space for the community.”

Mr Dimopoulos said it was crucial the MRC deliver on a plan to remove training from the site within five years, to allow sports grounds to be established around the reserve.

The skewed way in which the reserve has been managed was highlighted in a 2014 Auditor-General’s report, which found 37 out of the reserve’s 54 hectares were being used by the MRC for racing and training “without clear legal entitlement or transparent arrangements in place that recognise the financial benefit to the club”.

A further 11 hectares were leased to the MRC. But only six hectares were identified as space the public could use – if they managed to navigate their way past the poor signage and unwelcoming access points.

Please help Local Traders

Underground works

GERA has received a request from the local traders (Bentleigh, McKinnon and Ormond) who been adversely impacted by the current level crossing removal project.  The traders have asked us to urge our readers to support them in their quest to receive some financial assistance from the State Government.

Local Traders are reliant on passing trade and the local customers, the major disruptions arising from the massive project has caused their customers to shop elsewhere.  Unlike residents, who have been offered various forms of financial assistance, the traders have not been offered any financial assistance (eg. short term, low interest loans) even though the disruptive impact on small businesses was just as foreseeable.  While nearby food outlet businesses have prospered (Age, 17/6/2016), many other local businesses have been forced to close.

GERA encourages our readers to

Below is the appeal received.

My shop Mad Flowers McKinnon was forced to close a few months ago.  This was as a direct result of LCRP. Make no mistake we needed the level crossings to go but they have ignored our suggestions at meetings regarding harm minimization. There are 10 businesses which have had to close and there are many more who don’t think they’ll make it through these final months.

The LCRA have offered traders

  1. telephone number for Lifeline
  2. email project updates
  3. a generic colour brochure
  4. 3 free mentoring sessions through “The Small Business Mentoring Service Vic. (with volunteer mentors)

 The govt have cut off rail and road access to our businesses and we are suffocating. We can’t make a living and just need a bit of a hand financially to get through it.  But our politicians tell us, “Short term pain for long term gain” and will not help us beyond the above listed measures.

I have been told by the LCRA that there are 1300 residences along the rail corridor. Some of these people have accepted the offers of staying at Quest Hotel/Apartments during these 34 days of noisy works.  Along with offers of house and pool cleaning, gardening services and regular car wash vouchers.

Originally govt were not prepared to offer any compensation or purchase houses under the Sky Rail but with the public’s loud persistent protests, offers have been forthcoming. I know its not the outcome homeowners wanted but its a start. We’ve lost our homes and businesses and are being told to get over it.  I was hoping your assoc. could encourage its members to email Nick Staikos MP and Philip Dalidakis MP and tell them they should be supporting local traders financially to get through the LCRP.   The LCRP was moved forward time wise so as to be well and truly  completed before the next State elections. Hoping that all the inconvenience will be forgotten.

Business interruption insurers consider government projects to be in same category as an “Act of God” and therefore the Insurance Co does not pay.

Please can you help us?

 

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Disclaimer – Please note that while GERA supports the Local Traders in their quest for financial assistance from the State Government, any opinions expressed above are those of the Author and are not necessarily those of GERA.

EAST VILLAGE, BENTLEIGH (previously known as Virginia Park Estate)

Updated Concept Plans for the major “ East Village” commercial, retail and residential  development (20.2 ha or 202,400 sqm) have recently been released.   The “East Village” site is located on the current Virginia Park Industrial Estate on the eastern side of East Boundary Road (near the North Road intersection) in Bentleigh East.  The site has poor access to public transport and, with the exception of East Boundary Road, has limited vehicle access.

Concept Plan

The first plans for re-development of part of the Industrial Estate were known as the Virginia Park Estate and were presented to residents in 2015 – they generated resounding resident opposition.   These plans related only to the section of the above schematic labelled as the Gillon Group/Abacus Group (ie. 123,400 sqm/12.3 ha) and proposed a development that comprised

  • a large retail (ie. major supermarkets and Bunnings) component
  • a large (4,600 dwelling) “across the site” residential component and
  • a limited commercial (ie. employment opportunities) component.

These plans were rejected by Council in July, 2015, and the developer proposed to undertake a process of community consultation to ensure that the current and future needs of the community were provided for, prior to submitting amended development plans.

The current/amended Concept Plans (June 2016) are the result of that community consultation,  with those results to be applied to what has become a much larger site – now a joint development between 3 major developers (Gillon Group, Abacus and Make Property Group).  The site is now 202,400 sqm (20.2 ha) vs the 2015 site of 123,400 sqm (12.3 ha)

These East Village Concept Plans are being strongly criticized by residents as being little more than a “public relations exercise” designed to assure Council that the proposed development is supported by residents.    However, residents advise that, aside from an increase in the size of the site and the absence of any quantitative information, they see little change to the plans rejected by Council almost a year ago.  Residents are withholding their support/comments until more substantive plans, which quantitatively show how the community’s needs are to be incorporated in the development, are released.

Below is a  resident’s review of Concept Plans

“Having read the document I have concerns that this is just a PR exercise to convince councillors that this time they have the public on side.

The mere fact that it has been renamed the “East Village” worried me from the get go. The term conjures up shops, businesses and housing before any sod has been turned or any plans are prepared. It is meant to soften the attitude of both residents and council. I fear that this has happened during the recent phases.

In my view nothing has changed – the proposals still concentrate on providing a revamped business park with multiple housing. But they do not mention the number of dwellings this time or any specific business type – such as specialty shops or convenience grocery shopping. Their terminology of “Establish Retail Development” is hiding their real intent. Reading each plan gives the reader a sense of ease that low to medium housing will be provided around the fringe. But reading further the proposal is to still have housing throughout the entire complex. If the frightening thought of the previous proposal of 4,600 dwellings was a real one, then this current, expanded proposal has the capacity to possibly add another 2,000.

Besides what the hell is low and medium density in terms of the number of houses and people in real terms.  Just two terms used to soften the understanding of real numbers in my view.

It’s the same directions as the previous stuff, only lager.  And although Gillon and Co. have not specifically stated anything about it in regard to further directions to North Rd except to say Incremental Change To Existing ServicesI can imagine that Business and Housing will eventually be proposed to complete this “False Activity Centre” or “False Urban Village” that is being conceived and born from this confused location of Commercial Zones.

The traffic generated from this larger concept will be much worse than the previous proposal along with parking issues already noted of concern. While an additional intersection at North Road is merely mentioned as a possible outlet, in reality it will not give a great deal of relief, in my opinion, because the local road leading to North Road from the site is small in width and will not allow a significant traffic flow to warrant a decision not to use the two East Boundary Road locations. So parking and traffic issues will be increased along with over saturation of housing. Nothing is changed.

Whilst there is mention of tree a lined East boundary Road and the main Internal Roads along with some minor key new public open space, I don’t believe that the thought of profit over amenity is at the forefront of this developer’s mind. It’s an attempt once again to show that they have listened and provided for something that the masses wanted. With all due respect to those seeking the inclusion of a school, I for one do not wish a school to be located on the site. I understand all the reasons why folks would think a new school is needed. Schools generate traffic during two peak times and this will add to the traffic problems on East boundary Road along with parking. As a resident of East Boundary Road I admit I am totally selfish with my view on this one.

As a resident of Glen Eira I am really concerned about the future of this proposal and the attitude of the council (both officers and councillors) on it.”

No doubt, the East Village development (which dwarfs the Caulfield Village development) will remain a highly contentious issue (both the short and long term) as the planning approval process continues.   And no doubt we’ll continue to update readers on progress.

East Village Background

The following is a brief outline of the planning processes that have occurred with regards the current development proposal.

2011 – Planning Scheme Amendment C75 approved by Council 15/3/2011

  • Only applicable to above schematic “Gillon Group/Abacus” (123,400 sqm, 12.3 ha) section
  • Rezoned site from Industrial to Business
  • Applied Development Plan Overlay that
    • Defined building heights and building footprints
    • Building heights rise from
      • 2-4 stories at the periphery to
      • 5-6 stories in the middle ring to
      • 7-10 stories in the core
    • Restricted future 3rd Party objector rights (ie. future objections to heights and building footprints not permitted)

Labelled Plan T

2013 – July Planning Zone Implementation

  • Zoning Changed from
    • Business 1 to Commercial Zone 1 (retail, commercial and residential uses permitted)
    • Business 3 to Commercial Zone 2 (retail and commercial uses permitted – no residential usage)
    • No zoning change to Make or Abacus properties

Current Planning Zones

2015 – Planning Scheme Amendment C126  – Council Meeting Minutes 21/7/2015

  • Proposed rezoning of Commercial Zone 2 (retail and commercial uses only) to Commercial Zone 1 (retail, commercial and residential uses permitted). No change to Industrial Zones (Make Property Group and Abacus).
  • Development plan included provision of 4,600+ dwellings, large retail outlets (e.g supermarkets, Bunnings), limited office/commercial usage.
  • Significant objections from residents and local traders
    • Council presentation of Planning Scheme Amendment C126 information to residents strongly criticized – presented as a simple commercial zone change without indicating the potential impact of the residential component (ie. C2Z – no residential usage vs.  C1Z – residential usage permitted).
    • Proposal is an overdevelopment of land without any strategic justification
    • Expansion of retail and residences ( 4,600+) diminishes office and commercial usage and therefore limits employment opportunities.
    • Landlocked site with inadequate public transport (bus only) and restricted site vehicles access (already congested East Boundary Road only) .
    • Adverse impacts on local businesses and flawed retail impact assessment
    • Inadequate provision of open space and other services
    • Adverse impact on traffic congestion and parking  within the development, on East Boundary Road and surrounding residential streets.  VicRoads concerned that the wider area is not being looked at holistically to ensure safety and efficiency of the road network;
  • Council abandoned Planning Scheme Amendment C126

2016 06 – East Village Concept Plan

  • Site size increased from 12.3 ha to 20.2 ha
  • Concept Plans released – no details on proposed
    • building heights or footprints in the “Make Property Group” (4.3 ha)  or “Abacus” (3.6 ha) sections or
    • usages (commercial/retail/residential) across larger site
  • In the absence of qualitative information, many questions remain unanswered.

WALK AGAINST SKYRAIL

UPDATE 21/06/2016

Congratulations to those who organised and attended the “WALK AGAINST SKYRAIL”.   The event was well attended (900+) and received significant media coverage.

ABC News

The Age, 19/06/2016

One significant point we’d like to clarify is the proposed height of Skyrail.   The most frequently mentioned height of 9 metres (i.e. approx. 2 stories flat roofed) is the distance between street level and the base of the concrete railway line structure only.  The below diagram, put together by the No Skyrails group, shows the completed structure’s heights – at stations, between stations and in comparison with surrounding single storey, pitched roof homes.  Even though the structure’s width is not depicted, the structure will dominate the skyline and will have major impacts on access to sunlight and rain water for the surrounding areas (ie. nearby residences and the proposed below Skyrail public parkland).

Skyrail heights

 

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GERA has been asked by the No Skyrails/Lower Our Tracks folks to advise our readers of the below “Walk Against  Skyrail”.    While we believe that the removal of level crossings is a long overdue of State Government priority, we also believe that, given the magnitude of the proposal,  there has been insufficient open analysis and assessment of possible options and their impacts.  GERA supports the Lower Our Tracks Inc. in their quest to ensure the best outcome is achieved and encourages readers to learn more by attending the Walk.

Below is information, supplied by Lower our Tracks, about the ”Walk”.  It is followed by additional information on a recent Ministerial Amendment to all Municipal Planning Schemes impacted by the proposed Caulfield Dandenong Level Crossing Removal Project.

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WAS Flyer

Map

We are keen to get as many people as possible coming along to the walk so that they can see just what the scale and impact of this proposal will be.   We are asking that anyone who cares about the impact of this proposal, their families and friends  join us in numbers at the Walk Against Skyrail.

Recently we had news that the planning minister Richard Wynne has put through an Amendment GC37 to the planning scheme  –  this was very unusually put through on a Friday – and is wide sweeping in its impact – it gives the State Government full power over any other overlays or authorities (such as the council) to carry out works.

Lower Our Tracks Inc is not political – it is a community group with members of all backgrounds.

CAMP MAGEE (a.k.a. Camp Caulfield) – OPEN UP THE RACECOURSE

Update 2/6/2016 – CAMP MAGEE TEMPORARILY HALTED

Camp Magee has been temporarily dismantled  – the magnitude of public and media attention generated by the “Bear” has been such, that the State Government is “more actively” progressing their review of the MRC’s occupation of the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve.

Therefore, Camp Magee and next Saturday’s wrap up session are now deferred to give the newly appointed Minister (Lily Ambrosio) time to assess the current situation and determine the best way forward.

The “Bear”, with his tent,  promises to return if required (something we hope doesn’t eventuate).

A big thank you to the “Bear”, the media and the public for their efforts in highlighting this significant issue.

For those of you who missed viewing the centre parkland while Jim was in residence,  don’t let that deter you from visiting the centre parkland.   It’s an awesome sight and a tremendous community asset that is under utilized by the community.

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Update 31/5/2016 – The Age 31/5/2016 – The Age

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GERA original posting – 28/5/2016 below

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Cr. Jim “Bear Grylls” Magee has set up a week long camp* on the 5584 sqm of neglected crown land  located near the Glen Eira Road roundabout.  This land was a major part of the infamous land swap and was to become parkland that provided visual and physical above ground pedestrian access to the public parkland in the centre of the racecourse.

The purpose of “Bear” Magee’s camp out is to highlight the inequitable racing vs public use of the Crown Land known as the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve and the need for Government action.  The camp out will end next Saturday (4/6/2016) at 1.00 p.m. with  a wrap up session attended by the  Minister responsible for the Reserve’s management (the newly appointed Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change – Lily D’Ambrosio), the Minister for Sport (John Eren) and various media representatives.   Residents are also urged to attend to show their support for the “opening up” of the Racecourse for public parkland usage.

* You can follow “Bear” Magee’s progress on Twitter

For those of you who don’t know, we re-iterate – the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve was created by a Crown Grant in 1858 with the grant being formally enacted in 1876.  Under that Grant and all subsequent legislation, the primely located Reserve has 3 separate yet equal purposes of racecourse, public park and public recreation ground (ie. 33% racing and 67% public usage).

As per the scathing Auditor General’s Report (September, 2014), since the late 1990s mismanagement by the Board of Trustees and lack of Governmental oversight, has resulted in the Reserve’s current 54 hectares (valued at $2 bn) having the following usages*

  • 11 hectares (20%), is leased by the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) for a flat rate of approx. $170,000 p.a.   The lease revenue is paid to the Trustees who generally return it to the MRC to fund racing related projects (as opposed to parkland related projects).  All revenue derived from the commercial activities (including the Glasshouse Tabaret) held on the Reserve land is retained by the MRC.
  • 37 hectares (69%) is used by MRC without any clear legal entitlement or payment arrangement.
  • 6 hectares (11%) is open space for potential use by the community 328 days p.a. (ie. excluding racing – 27 days p.a. and major MRC commercial event days – 10 days p.a.) and during prescribed hours (ie. 10 am. to dusk).   The 6 ha is not visible from the surrounding streets, is difficult to physically access and comprises limited facilities that don’t meet park users’ needs.

* ie. 89% racing and 11% public usage

In short, the Auditor General’s Report (which concurred with the findings of the earlier 2008 Legislative Council Select Committee Report on Crown Land Management) found that the current Crown land management arrangements over the reserve are untenable from a public interest perspective  …. attention urgently required”.

21 months after the tabling of the AG’s report there’s been talk but little action on the part of the Government.  Meanwhile

  • the above usages and leasing arrangements remain in place, to the advantage of the MRC and the detriment of the public.
  • the centre of the racecourse, which is the area originally set aside for public usage, sits empty most days (except for the 27 race days and 10 major event days p.a. when it is used as a car park) and every evening after dusk
  • innumerable children and adults are unable to play sport or train within their own Municipality because demand far exceeds supply.

“Bear” Magee is asking, on behalf of residents, for the Reserve’s current inequitable usages to be aligned with the three separate yet equal purposes.  Undertaking a week long camp out (without any facilities) in Melbourne, in June, is no mean feat.     GERA thanks him for his efforts and is a strong supporter of the cause.  GERA also urges residents to show their support by

  • going to view what they are missing out on (by accessing the racecourse centre via the Glen Eira Road Tunnel), then stopping for a chat with “Bear” Magee afterwards, and
  • attending the camp out wrap up session next Saturday.

Finally, words of wisdom from the past

The Argus, 16th August, 1884 (8 years after Grown Grant was enacted).

Extract of a meeting between the  Minister of Lands (Mr. Tucker) and VATC (Victorian Amateur Turf Club, later became the MRC) re management of the reserve being vested in the VATC

 “It seemed to him (Mr. Tucker) that to agree to the proposals of the club would be to limit to some extent the right of the public to use the ground for the purposes for which it was originally reserved – namely, for recreation and a public park. … The vicinity of the Caulfield racecourse would no doubt soon be thickly populated, and the value of the reserve to the public would then be widely enhanced.   …  Mr. Tucker said he thought the public ought not to have to ask for permission to go on a public reserve. ”

28/5/2016 – Residents wanting to play sport at the Glen Eira Road Tunnel Entrance Gates

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2016 PLANNING SCHEME REVIEW – WHY YOU SHOULD PARTICIPATE

Council’s 2016 Planning Scheme Review offers residents the first opportunity to formally express their views on Glen Eira’s Planning Scheme since 2010.   GERA urges all residents to attend one of the 3 remaining Planning Review Sessions and/or lodge a written submission with Council (preferably both).  If you don’t take advantage of this current opportunity to comment on the “relevance and applicability of all Glen Eira’s town planning policies and controls”, your next opportunity will probably be in 2020 (ie. as prescribed by the 1987 Planning and Environment Act, reviews are required every 4 years unless granted an exemption).

GERA supports the concept of focusing the demands made by an increasing population towards areas which are best suited to meet those demands (ie. the provision of  housing, transport, employment, retail and commercial services and recreation).  In supporting that concept, we also recognize that local Councils, being the local planning authority, play a key role in identifying appropriate areas capable of accommodating those demands and ensuring, via implementing planning policies and controls, the long term viability and liveability of those areas.

Since the 2003 Housing Diversity/High Density and Minimal Change Area policy was implemented, residents (ourselves included) have consistently criticized Glen Eira’s town planning for allowing development to occur without implementing appropriate planning policies and controls that give consideration to the cumulative (ie. in total) social and environmental impacts that arise from intensive development within targeted areas.

The 2013 Zone Implementation, as documented in the media, resulted in a dramatic increase in that criticism.  As residents’  knowledge of the GE Planning Scheme grows (the result of the objection process), so too does criticism of Council’s planning performance and the absence of appropriate planning policies and controls.  Such criticism, combined with that of developers and VCAT, resulted in the Planning Minister’s decision (December 2015) to require Glen Eira to undertake a planning scheme review in consultation with the community.

The significance/importance of your participation in this Review is highlighted, not only by the Minister’s assessment of the need for the review but also by the all encompassing scope of the review.  Council’s Review Discussion Paper outlines the topics to be reviewed under “Themes”  as follows

  • Municipal Strategic Statement and Local Planning Policies
  • Activity Centres
  • Environmentally Sustainable Development
  • Car Parking and Transport (both private and public)
  • Neighbourhood Character
  • Heritage

Below is a bullet point summary* of the issues raised by residents attending the first  two sessions which readers may wish to consider – no doubt additional issues will be raised in the 3 remaining sessions.   All issues currently raised fall within Council’s ambit of responsibility and all directly impact all residents (regardless of which zone they live in)  – they are also all integral to how you envisage Glen Eira developing.

* Subsequent GERA postings will discuss the most significant issues.  GERA accepts that, although presented under one Theme,  many of the issues are related to more than one theme

DISCUSSION THEMES AND RESIDENTS INPUT

THEME 1 Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) and Local Planning Policies (LPPs)

  • MSS – Despite providing the strategic (overarching) direction for urban/town planning within Glen Eira the current MSS is outdated (i.e. pre 2006) and is based on 1996 Census data.
  • Local Planning Policies reflect the outdated nature of the MSS, while some MMS policies/objectives are yet to be developed eg.   Structure Planning, Parking Precinct Plans.

THEME 2 – Urban Design in Activity Centres

  • Structure Planning and Urban Design Frameworks to be implemented for all high density areas.
  • Review of all high density area boundaries
  • Development Contribution Levy (drainage) to be re-instated and advocating for higher levy rate
  • Overlays required to ensure or provide
    • Application of height controls for all Commercial and Mixed Use zones
    • Provision of diverse dwelling types (eg. apartments and townhouse) and sizes (eg. 1,2,3+ bedrooms) and density parameters
    • Reduced site coverage and basement car park dimensions not to exceed above ground building footprint (ensures increased site permeability and landscaping opportunities)
    • Neighbourhood/Preferred Character Statements
    • Balconies not permitted to exceed property boundaries or overshadow lower balconies.
  • Advocating for minimum apartment sizes and internal amenity standards
  • No waivers on parking or loading bay requirements and the implementation of parking acquisition overlays
  • Private open space provisions (eg. balconies) to be applicable to Commercial and Mixed Use Zones.
  • Enforcement of time restricted parking provisions and a review undertaken on the applicability of those provisions.

THEME 3 Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD)

  • Implement tree protection  (private and public land) – planning scheme provisions are inadequate
  • Energy efficiency ratings and Water Conservation strategies to be applicable to all new construction.
  • Mandatory access to natural light and ventilation for all habitable rooms in multi-unit, multi-storey dwellings.
  • Increased permeable surface requirements in all zones
  • Acquisition of open space
  • Increased open space levy and higher levy rates applicable to Commercial, Mixed Use, Residential Growth and General Residential zones
  • Improved public safety
  • Focus on Sustainable Transport – public transport, pedestrian and cyclist safety.
  • Advocating for an improved public transport system.

THEME 4 Car Parking and Transport

  • Reinstatement of Road Safety Strategy (lapsed in 2012) – focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety and traffic management treatments
  • Reinstatement of Local Area Traffic Management  (LATM)
  • No. of budgeted traffic management treatments to be increased from 3 p.a. to at least 10 p.a.
  • Implementation of Parking Precinct Plans and Parking Acquisition Overlays
  • Application of residential parking permit system and time restricted parking provisions required to be reviewed

THEME 5  Neighbourhood Character

  • Regular assessment of Neighbourhood Character required. Reassessment required to be undertaken in 2016.
  • Neighbourhood Character (NCO) and Design Development Overlays (DDO) to be applied to Neighbourhood Residential Zones
  • NCO and DDO to be applied to “large lots” (> 2000 sqm) in Neighbourhood Residential Zones

THEME 6 Heritage

  • Regular assessment of Heritage required. Glen Eira’s 1996 Heritage Management Plan is overdue for reassessment.
  • MSS and LPPs should include provision for Heritage classification as per Heritage Advisors recommendations both on an ad hoc basis and as part of the regular review process.
  • Significance of recognized heritage areas diminished by allowing unsympathetic redevelopment of sites deemed “non contributory”.
  • Councillors and Council Officers to take into account Independent Heritage Advisors recommendations  and residents expressed views as heritage issues arise.

 CLOSING SESSION

  • Performance measures included in MSS and LPPs to be included in current and all future Planning Scheme Reviews.
  • Planning Scheme Review should take into account recent VCAT judgement justifications which contain criticisms of Glen Eira’s Planning Scheme.

As mentioned previously we urge residents to take advantage of this overdue community consultation opportunity by

  • Attending one of the 3 remaining Planning Review Sessions and the Key Issues Meeting on 15th June, 2016.
  • Making a formal submission to Council – numbers count

Only your participation ensures that your opinions are considered.

MORE HERITAGE LOST ??????

GERA supports the National Trust, RSL and the Glen Eira Historical Society in urging residents to  contact Council/Councillors to request

  • An independent heritage advisors assessment of the historical significance of a rare World War 1 Soldiers Rest Home located at 294 Kooyong Road, Caulfield, within the context of the City of Glen Eira. This Rest Home, built by public subscription and known as the Caulfield Rest Home (later Montgomery House), was formerly operated by the Red Cross and staffed by volunteer nurses.  The building is not currently protected by a Heritage Overlay.
  • Deferring the decision on Planning Permit Application (GE/PP-28748/2015), beyond 17th May, 2016, to allow for
    • Preparation and assessment of an Independent Heritage Advisor’s Report on the historic significance/merits of the Caulfield Rest Home within the context of the City of Glen Eira, and
    • Heritage Victoria to receive submission and assess the historic significance/merits of Montgomery House within the context of Victoria.

The above planning permit seeks to demolish the Caulfield Rest Home (in 2017) to provide an additional 30 beds within a planned new Aged Care/Dementia  Facility, operated by an independent Christian charity (HammondCare) and located adjacent to the Caulfield Hospital.

Those advocating retention of the Caulfield Rest Home are not opposing the continuation of the site’s usage for the provision of aged and/or dementia care.  Rather they are advocating that the development of the new facility should not be at the expense of heritage and that the Caulfield Rest Home could and should be integrated within the proposed development.   Such integration would be in accordance with the heritage and planning objectives included in

  • The Victorian the 1987 Planning and Environment Act and
  • Glen Eira’s Planning Scheme
    • Municipal Strategic Statement, and
    • Heritage Clause 21.10, and
    • Local Policies

While HammondCare is proposing a pictorial record, memorial pavilion and poppy garden instead of incorporating the Rest Home within the proposed new facilities this is seen as a poor substitute when  the “real thing” could be retained rather than lost forever.

Recent media and internet articles referring to the historic significance of the Caulfield Rest Home are:

A summary of the above articles is as follows:

Today T

  • The Caulfield Rest Home is the last intact building from Caulfield Hospital’s era as one of Australia’s biggest World War I repatriation hospitals.  Built in 1916 entirely by funds and materials raised/donated by the local community, it was an outpatient home for World War 1 soldiers, providing support, comfort and friendship for recovering soldiers.  Prior to the advent of purpose built rest homes, convalescing (from major/catastrophic injuries) soldiers were inappropriately housed in the verandahs and dinning rooms of military hospitals with little opportunity to socialize (with families or fellow patients) or to acquire new skills to aid their re-entry into the community.

Skills

  • The Caulfield Rest Home continued to play an important part in Red Cross Services during and between two world wars. From 1958 it operated as a handicraft centre in the grounds of the then Southern Memorial Hospital, until the Red Cross’ lease expired in 1976. In 2000 it was renovated and re-opened in 2001 as Montgomery Nursing Home with 30 beds for dementia and aged care patients. In 2015 the site was leased by HammondCare.
  •  The Caulfield Rest Home is believed to be the only purpose-built rest home remaining in Victoria and one of the only surviving tangible links to a highly significant period of Caulfield’s history.

 For readers wishing to contact Council/Councillors and object to this planning permit application, a proposed objection and Council/Councillor contact details are available on the Trust Advocate website.

Coming less than 12 months after the appalling  loss of Frogmore, GERA urges readers ensure their views are made known to Council.