CONTINUING SAGA – BETHLEHEM HOSPITAL 19 STOREY DEVELOPMENT

Earlier this month, GERA received advice from the BHCA Group that, barring exemptions and time waivers, the 60 day window for Calvary Healthcare to lodge a VCAT Appeal against Glen Eira Council’s refusal of a proposed 19 storey Health Care and Retirement Village in a Caulfield South Neighbourhood Residential Zone (2 storey height limit) had lapsed.

This advice included a comment that the Group “has contacted Calvary Healthcare with a view to moving forward in a consultative manner, should they choose.  From the outset we have indicated our desire to support an appropriate and sensitive re-development and would welcome any genuine community consultation.”

Unfortunately today, despite the BHCA Group’s wish for genuine community consultation re  sensitive redevelopment, GERA received another advice

  • Calvary Healthcare has lodged an appeal with VCAT and
  • Glen Eira Council and David Southwick (MLA, Caulfield) have both asked the Planning Minister to call in the application.

Details of the advised VCAT hearing dates are included in today’s advice (see below – click to enlarge) and GERA joins the BHCA Group in encouraging residents to register their objection/s with VCAT.

STRUCTURE PLANNING FORUMS

UPDATE 17/5/2017

Don’t forget to attend tonight’s Structure Planning Forum for Elsternwick.  Details are

Wednesday, 17th May, 6.30pm–8.30pm at the Caulfield RSL, 4 St. Georges Road, Elsternwick.

UPDATE 8/5/2017

Don’t forget to attend tonight’s Structure Planning Forum for Carnegie.  Details are

Monday 8th May, 6.30pm–8.30pm

Boyd Room of the Carnegie Library,

7 Shepparson Avenue, Carnegie

As we have pointed out many times, this is an opportunity for residents to assess and comment upon the Structure Planning work currently being undertaken by Council.   It’s about how Council is planning for the expected future developments in the centre and Council’s proposals for ensuring that the Carnegie Centre continues as a safe, socially and economically viable Centre that is readily accessible to all.

If you want a say in what can/should be built where and what basic needs (eg. open space, safety, traffic parking, neighbourhood character) Council should plan to provide for a burgeoning population then attend the forum.

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For those not aware, commencing next week, Council is holding  Community Forums* on the preliminary results of the Structure Planning work being undertaken as a result of the 2015 Ministerial Directive for Glen Eira to review it’s planning scheme.

We urge all residents and interested parties to attend the forums – numbers count.  The Structure Planning (first recommended by an Independent Planning Panel in 2003) currently being undertaken sets the requirements/standards for future developments in Glen Eira, ie what can built where (ie. locations, building uses, heights, footprint, setbacks etc.) .   It also incorporates the myriad of related planning issues (eg. traffic, parking, open space, tree protection, heritage, drainage etc.) which fall within Council’s planning responsibilities.

Although the current focus is on the major activity centres and skyrail route, the requirements set for these centres will also have significant impact on the

  • Requirements determined, at some yet to be determined future time, for the smaller activity centres (a.k.a. Neighbourhood Centres) and
  • Flow on impacts (eg traffic & parking) for the surrounding areas (ie. the smaller activity centres and Neighbourhood Residential Zone).

Now is the appropriate time for community involvement – the planning scheme requirements are being set.  Once set, it is too late to object to planning permit applications that are in compliance with the requirements ( eg. those that have been approved for Carnegie and Bentleigh since the current zones were implemented in 2013).

Below is an email which highlights some of the issues identified by the Centre Road Bentleigh Group (the Group can be contacted via email – centreroadbentleigh@gmail.com).   GERA believes that many of the issues raised below are equally applicable to Carnegie, Elsternwick and Murrumbeena and that the residents of these areas may wish to add further concerns at the forums.

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Over the last few years, Bentleigh residents have been actively lobbying Council to put in the right controls and plans for future developments within the area.  As an outcome of this lobbying, some interim height controls have recently been introduced and Council is now also undertaking a Bentleigh shopping centre and surrounds structure planning process. This structure plan will significantly influence future development

 Our thoughts on the preliminary plan are:  

  • There is no meaningful increase in open space and this is an issue with increasing development and also the general lack of open space in Glen Eira (lowest in Melbourne).  
  • It is proposed that the existing car parks are to be consolidated into a multi-storey with the remainder to potentially be converted into more residential developments. This is not acceptable (Stonnington for example are doing one underground car park and developing open space above). 
  • There is limited if any innovation or creativity in the plan.  
  • It is proposed that the library be relocated ($20M plus cost) however this was not identified as a need by residents.  (perhaps Council wants to sell off the current library site for a major development?). 
  • There is no direction included for future development heights. 

In summary, we believe that more work needs to be done to deliver a plan that is consistent in quality with other local government areas.  

 Please attend the community forum to again ensure Council clearly understands the views of residents.  Numbers are important, please also forward this onto friends. 

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As always, if you have any comments or need additional information, please feel free to comment on our Facebook Page

 

*Details of the Forums, together with support documentation, is available on Council’s website

Bentleigh

Wednesday 3 May, 6.30pm–8.30pm at the Bentleigh Senior Citizens Centre, 2 Arthur Street, Bentleigh to further discuss this preliminary plan.

Carnegie

Monday 8th May, 6.30pm–8.30pm at the Boyd Room of the Carnegie Library, 7 Shepparson Avenue, Carnegie

Elsternwick

Wednesday, 17th May, 6.30pm–8.30pm at the Caulfield RSL, 4 St. Georges Road, Elsternwick.

Murrumbeena

The previously advised 24/5 Murrumbeena Structure Planning Community Forum appears to have been cancelled and has been replaced with a Structure Planning Forum for the East Village Development.  Details of this Forum are provided below.

East Village

Wednesday, 24th May, 6.30pm–8.30pm at the Duncan McKinnon Reserve Pavilion, Cnr. North and Murrumbeena Roads, Murrumbeena

 

EAST VILLAGE – COMMUNITY INPUT BEING SOUGHT

Glen Eira Council, working in conjunction with the VPA (Victorian Planning Authority),  is undertaking  Community Consultation on the proposed massive  East Village re-development and is asking residents to  “Tell us what you would like to see”  included in the development.

To assist residents preparing their submission, below is the submission lodged by GERA.

As usual, if you have any comments or need additional information, please feel free to comment on our Facebook Page

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 SUBMISSION – EAST VILLAGE RE-DEVELOPMENT

Although a “brown field” site, to ensure future development results in a sustainable, socially and economically viable community that enhances the surrounding area, the site should be viewed as “green field”.   Vehicular and pedestrian access to the site and the site’s facilities, are key to determining the viability of the redevelopment.  The creation of precincts (ie. designated areas within the site that provide various community oriented facilities or business focuses) is good, however, determining the location and heights/densities of precincts based on the site’s existing internal road network may not result in a desired community outcome.

GERA requests that the following points be considered

  • Building Heights/Densities – ranging from 2 to a “core height” of 8 stories.

Refer to below illustration (previously presented in November, 2016 presentation) for clarification on indicative heights/densities.

  • Core of Village to comprise
    • Retail and Commercial areas, including shops and stores as per planning definitions (GE Planning Scheme – Clause 72).  To become a centrally located, vibrant village hub.
    • Public transport connections
    • Open Space provisions (ie. communal areas and playground)
    • Potential location for Retirement Village
  • Buildings
    • All buildings above 2 stories to have graduated setbacks to reduce building dominance
    • All residences to have private open space (eg. courtyard at ground level, balconies at higher levels).
    • Density levels defined and applied to site.
    • Diversity of housing types (townhouses vs. apartments) and sizes (1,2, 3 bdr). Ratio specifying no. of 3 bdr to 1 & 2 bdrs dwelling defined and applied.
    • Mandatory requirement for inclusion of social housing.
    • ResCode parking requirements applicable across site (no waivers granted)
    • Below ground basement car park areas not to exceed above ground building envelope
  • Precincts/Areas differentiated by architectural variations and landscaping.
  • Proposed bus route
    • Road accommodating bus route to accommodate bus stops without impacting traffic (vehicle and cyclist) flow.
  • Road network
    • Vehicle movements to/from site impact on existing traffic congestion in North and Boundary Roads to be minimized.
    • To include free, time restricted on/off street parking provisions
    • Possible inclusion of paid off street parking
  • Pedestrian connectivity
    • Safe pedestrian connectivity between all precincts/facilities and adjoining parkland (Marlboro Reserve and Virginia Park)
    • If shared pedestrian vehicular connectivity, separation between vehicles and pedestrians provided (e.g. kerbing, bollards)
  • Proposed School
    • Provision of vehicle drop off/pick up points
    • Proximity to public transport to be considered
    • Height limits (consistent with surrounding precincts/areas) to be defined and applied if proposed school does not eventuate
  • Proposed Retirement Village
    • One on-site car park provided for each unit, on-site visitor parking to be provided
    • Height limits (consistent with surrounding precincts/areas) to be defined and applied if proposed retirement village does not eventuate
    • Possible location in “core” precinct/area to be considered
  • Vegetation
    • Mature canopy trees to be planted in ground (not above ground planter boxes) – refer requirement for below ground basement car parks not to exceed above ground building envelope
  • Open Space
    • Given the magnitude of the site, medium density development will generate a substantial increase in the demand for, and usage of, surrounding parkland. The proposed Open Space Levy of 6% (being marginally higher than that charged for smaller developments – 5.7%), is felt to be inadequate to meet the open space needs of the future residents.  A more appropriate levy would be 8-10%.
    • Within the site, open space (grassed areas and playgrounds) to be provided in accordance with forecast demographics

HELP SAVE McKINNON VILLAGE

UPDATE

At the last Council Meeting (21/3/2017), Council voted to abandon the proposal to

  • rezone the site (88-100 McKinnon Road, McKinnon) to a Mixed Use Zone (Schedule 1) and
  • a Design and Development Overlay to apply a 4 storey height limit

and instead voted to

  • rezone the site to a General Residential Zone (Schedule 2), which has a mandatory 3 storey height limit and requirements for side and rear setbacks, and
  • refer the General Residential Zone (Schedule 2) and an Environmental Audit Overlay to an independent panel in accordance with Section 23 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

This change to the proposed zoning, while not acceding to residents request for input into determining the most appropriate zoning (General Residential – 3 stories vs Neighbourhood Residential – 2 astories), does show that Council has acknowledged the concerns expressed by residents.

GERA congratulates both the residents and Council on the decision to abandon the proposed Mixed Use zoning and 4 storey height limit.   In particular, GERA acknowledges Cr. Hyams for his comments on the assistance GERA gave to residents opposing the proposal and for acknowledging the validity of the planning arguments presented, by incorporating them in his reasoning for voting to abandon the original amendment.

 

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Many readers will be aware of a development proposal within the McKinnon Village (a.ka. McKinnon Neighbourhood Centre) that involves re-zoning of a large site that is currently zoned for industrial use to a Mixed Use Zone capped at a height of 4 stories (refer to our Save McKinnon Village posting).  178 residents lodged formal objections to the proposal and 30+ of those objectors attended the recently held planning conference (refer Proposed McKinnon Mixed Use Zone – Planning Conference Report.  Overwhelmingly, the residents found that

  • Council (the Local Planning Authority) had accepted a developer’s proposal without undertaking an detailed analysis of available re-zoning, height options and site limitations* to ensure that proposed rezoning was the most appropriate for the future development of the Village.  The arguments presented to justify the selection of the MUZ and 4 storey height limit were considered weak as they were equally applicable to the selection of site’s surrounding zones (GRZ – General Residential Zone with a height limit of 3 stories or NRZ – Neighbourhood Residential Zone with a 2 storey height limit)

* Site Limitations = on the village’s boundary, surrounding zonings, local road network limitations, significant drainage issues, limited parking and lack of compatible/complementary businesses

  • the presented proposal was both inappropriate and unacceptable and that Council should  abandon/reject the current proposal pending completion of a detailed analysis and the presentation of that analysis to the community via consultation.

The Officer’s Report arising from this planning conference is included the Agenda  for this coming Tuesday’s (21/3/17) Council Meeting (insert link).  Unfortunately, as per the Save McKinnon Village website,

 “The planning officer’s report overlooked many of the objections raised including the most basic, ie.  that Council has yet to undertake an objective analysis to determine and justify the most appropriate zoning or height limit  …  the planning officer is recommending that council vote to send this amendment to an independent panel for their recommendation”

 The Save McKinnon Group and GERA believe Council, as the elected representatives of the community and the Local Planning Authority, should act in accordance with the residents clearly expressed wishes, as afterall it is frequently claimed that “it is your Planning Scheme”, by

  • abandoning/rejecting the proposed amendment
  • undertaking and presenting the analysis then,
  • if necessary, considering a third party assessment.

We accept that committing to above will add a further delay to the lengthy planning scheme amendment approval process (which, incidentally, is not subject to the 60 day time limit applicable to large planning permit applications), however, we contend that compared to lasting impact of unacceptable and inappropriate development such delay is minimal.

The Save McKinnon Village folks are appealing for your assistance in lobbing Councillor’s to vote to abandon/reject the proposal before Tuesday’s (21/3/2017) Council Meeting.  A sample email to Councillors and Councillor contact details are available on their website

 

PROPOSED McKINNON MIXED USE ZONE – PLANNING CONFERENCE REPORT

Proposal: 

Planning Scheme Amendment (C143) to re-zone a 3671sqm site currently zoned for Industrial Use  to a Mixed Use Zone – Schedule 1 and implement a Design and Development Overlay – Schedule 6 (DDO6) to apply a 4 storey height limit and rear setbacks requirements for the site.  The site is located on the south and western edge of McKinnon Village Neighbourhood Centre on the corner of Wheatley and McKinnon Roads

For those interested, background on this Amendment and proposed DDO is available in our previous posting Save McKinnon Village.

Planning Conference Details

  • Date:     23/02/2017
  • Chair:    Cr. Jamie Hyams, with Jacqui Brasher, Principal Strategic Planner, in attendance.
  • Properties Notified:   90
  • Submissions Rec’d:  182, 5 in support and 177 objecting

Officer’s Recommendation:   To be presented to Council 21/3/2017

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The planning conference proved to be a marathon event lasting almost 4 hours with the approx. 30 attendees raising strong objections to the proposal itself and equally strong criticisms of Council for  presenting residents with the developer’s proposed zoning, heights and setbacks,  without Council (the responsible Local Planning Authority) presenting to residents any analysis of available options.  Their overwhelming opinion was that the presented proposal was unacceptable and should be rejected by Council.  Council should consult with community to obtain their input on the most appropriate zoning, height and setbacks for the site.

Before outlining the major objections raised at the Planning Conference readers should note the following “supplementary” issues raised and discussed

  • Attendance Requirements – Council advised that the change in attendance requirements (i.e. pre-registration) and the police presence at the Conference, were precautionary measures undertaken in response to the developer (a well known local resident) receiving threatening and intimidating letters re the development proposal. Fortunately, nothing untoward occurred and many of the objectors, prefaced their opposition to the proposal, with well wishes for the developer as he embarked on his next endeavour.
  • Generally, when it comes to planning matters, there are two types of community consultations. These being amendments to the planning scheme and an application for a planning permit.
  • Amendments – basically the Planning Scheme defines what (ie. physical parameters) can be built where and the nature of the uses (ie. businesses) that are allowed in the various locations. The current proposal  fits into this category and, it is at this stage that community involvement is emphasized – it’s when the parameters are set for building heights, footprints and setbacks etc.  Although Ministerial approval is required before an amendment is effected (formal term = gazetted), Council as the Local Planning Authority is responsible for preparing and substantiating the proposed amendment – provided appropriate documentation is presented, Ministerial Approval is generally given.  VCAT has no involvement in this approval process.
  • Planning Permit Applications are the next level down from the Planning Scheme Amendments – these are applications (which include detailed building plans) to develop a site in accordance with the parameters/clauses incorporated in the Planning Scheme (ie. predefined maximum heights, building footprints and set backs etc). VCAT is the arbiter in this approval process.  With regards this current proposal, as the proposed Amendment and DDO is yet to be defined, detailed development plans are yet to be prepared.
  • Roadworks – Residents requested information on the proposed roadworks on the Cnr. Wheatley and McKinnon Roads (the tender notice appeared in the Age 21/1/2017). Since such roadworks would impact the traffic and parking conditions around the site, residents had sought (6/2/2017 & 20/2/2017), but had yet to receive information on the proposed roadworks.  The details of the roadworks provided by Cr. Hyams were that they involved raising the height of the current roundabout (to ensure motorists drove around, rather than across, the roundabout) and for associated road re-surfacing and kerb replacement.   No comment was made on the delay in passing this information on to residents.
  • Conference – As previously mentioned the Planning Conference was well conducted/facilitated. All attendees were given adequate opportunity to express their views (some more than once) on the proposal and their dissatisfaction with Council’s poor planning performance and the quality of information re the proposal that had presented to residents.

 OBJECTION ISSUES

 Mixed Use Zone (MUZ1)

  • Cr. Hyams confirmed that the proposed Mixed Use Zone, building heights and setback requirements originated with the developer, as is his right.
  • Residents argued that the creation of new Mixed Use Zone (MUZ) at this location is inappropriate due to:
    • Council’s Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) which includes the following
      • Clause 21:07Encourage the conversion of isolated pockets of industrially zoned land to residential where residential land use surrounds such sites”
      • Clause 21:07 – Zones & Overlays: zoning non-conforming industrial uses to match the predominant surrounding zone

Due to some planning quirk the Mixed Use Zone is classified as a residential zone even though the zones higher densities, various features and allowed uses are not aligned with the sites “predominant surrounding zone” (ie. GRZ1 and NRZ1).  Attendees were extremely critical of the level of analysis undertaken in selecting the MUZ for this location and commented that all justifications presented in support the creation of a new MUZ for this location either

. equally justified rezoning to one of the alternate “predominant” surrounding zones (GRZ or NRZ) or

. were unsubstantiated (eg. increased employment opportunities) or

.  did not consider the negative amenity impacts (significant noise, traffic volumes and parking demand) the MUZ’s allowed uses (shops, food and liquor premises that favoured businesses operating with trading hours) would have on the predominant surrounding residential zones

Please note that the maximum leasable floor area for MUZ allowed uses (ie. no planning permit required) is capped at 150 sqm.  However, Council advised that area can accommodate sit in/take out stores, cafes and restaurants.  Additionally, although not specifically mentioned, planning permit applications can be lodged to expand areas beyond the 150 sqm cap.

  • Contrary to information contained in the Explanatory Note, the site is not “surrounded by residential and commercial uses” . It is a stand alone site on the boundary of McKinnon Village that is surrounded by residential zones only.
  • As previously mentioned the MUZ features lower requirements for permeability, landscaping, private open space and setback requirements than those of surrounding GRZ and NRZ zones.  Setback requirements and landscaping being “hot” issues as the location is prone to storm water flooding and providing the transition  from growth areas to the NRZ areas.
  • Located away from the Village core, the site lacks
    • Facilities (eg. parking, train station) and complementary businesses
    • The Commercial Zones “buffering” impact on noise levels impacting residential areas
    • Is not readily accessible to the majority of the centres residents
  • McKinnon Village currently has many vacant shops. The recently completed grade separation works had added more vacant shops and more will be added as already approved multi-unit developments are completed.  McKinnon doesn’t need additional shops, particularly shops located away from the village core.

Design and Development Overlay – DDO6

  • As the Mixed Use Zone has no height limits or set back requirements DDO6 defines a 4 storey (13.5-14.5m depending on land slope) height limit and rear setbacks for the site.
  • Height limits

The proposed height limit of 4 storey/14.5m

    •  is contrary to the designation of McKinnon Village as a Neighbourhood Centre and the 2013 Zone Implementation that implemented a 10.5m/3 storey height limit on residential zones within this neighbourhood centre and other such centres
    • Is inconsistent with the concept of scaling down building heights from the Village centre towards the Neighbourhood Residential Zone.
    • The site is subject to a special building overlay (SBO).  An SBO is related to requirements for storm water flooding treatments, it is not and should not be a justification for a height increase of an additional storey.
    • Like wise, describing a proposed building as a “Gateway” is not a justification for increased height that is inconsistent with the surrounding zones.
      • A “Gateway” is not specifically related to height, its a description that can also be applied to a building with architectural merit that fits within or enhances the character of the surrounding area
      • A Gateway building is more appropriately located on the Jasper Road (a main road) entrance to the village rather than that village’s boundary with the NRZ.
    • Will result in visual bulk, dominance and overshadowing. With regards visual bulk, residents highlighted the dominance of the only 4 storey building within Village (diagonally opposite the new train station) .  The dominance of this building when viewed from across the road or when approaching along McKinnon Road  indicates how dominant a 4 storey building, surrounded by 3 and 2 storey buildings, will be.
  • Inadequate Setback Provisions

The absence of above and below ground street-front, side and rear setbacks

    • restricts ground absorption of storm water runoff (a Special Building Overlay applies to the site).  Surrounding topography and  inadequate Council maintenance of drains within the Village frequently resulted in storm water flooding of the immediate and surrounding areas.
    • restricts on-site landscaping opportunities (eg mature vegetation) that would mitigate visual bulk and provide a positive amenity  impact for future residents.
  • In response to questioning on above ground side and street front setbacks the Developer’s Representative indicated that diagrams of proposed setbacks had been forwarded to Council. The diagrams, distributed to objectors the next day, are flagged as being indicative only – this combined with the absence of such setback requirements in DDO6 raises serious questions re the inclusion of side and street-front setbacks if the current proposal is accepted by Council.
  • Additionally, the Developer’s Representative was unable advise if side and street-front setbacks would be included at ground level or commence at a higher level.

 Traffic and Parking

 In addition to criticisms of Council’s failure to address the cumulative traffic and parking issues arising from increased development within McKinnon Village and flow on impacts arising from the Villages close proximity to the Ormond and Bentleigh centres, the following issues were raised

  • Already congested McKinnon Road is becoming even more congested (despite removal of the level crossing). The intersection with Wheatley Road (the only local road that links North and Centre Roads) is becoming increasingly dangerous.  The proposal would increase traffic volumes on both roads.
  • Wheatley Road services schools and significant redevelopments within the Ormond, McKinnong and Bentleigh centres.  The road is narrow and experiences high parking demand that requires regular “crossover pullovers” by current traffic.
  • On Street parking (on both McKinnon and Wheatley Roads) within the vicinity of the proposal is minimal (due to the roundabout slipways, bus stops and crossovers) and is simply incapable of providing for the extra demand that will generated by a Mixed Use Zone.
  • Proposed development vehicle access via a one-car width laneway accessed from Wheatley Road is inadequate.

Precedence

Following on from the above questioning of the proposed new MUZ and DDO height limit and setbacks, the issue of precedence was raised.   The approval of this proposal would set a significant and far reaching precedence for the whole of Glen Eira.  This precedent would be far more significant than the current of precedence used  justify incremental building heights (ie from 8 stories to 10 stories) within the various centres.  This precedent would justify

  • the creation of new MUZ higher density zones
    • on the edges of any neighbourhood centre rather than in the centres core and
    • in locations not accessed by main or arterial roads
  • negate the concept of scaling down building heights from the village core to NRZ

This precedent doesn’t currently exist,  don’t let it be created.

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Apologies for the length of this posting folks – it’s a challenge to summarize 4 hours – thanks for hanging in there.

As always, if you would like to make any comments or seek some clarification of issues raised, feel free to access GERA’s Facebook page

 

PROPOSED 9 STORIES @ 277-9 CENTRE ROAD, BENTLEIGH, PLANNING CONFERENCE

The Centre Road Bentleigh Group, who are opposing high rise development in Centre Road, have prepared the below posting on the recent (6/3/17) Planning Conference for the proposed 72 unit development at 277-9 Centre Road.

GERA supports the group and encourages residents to do the same – the group may be contacted via email at centreroadbentleigh@gmail.com

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – STOP THE DESTRUCTION

 A call for all of the Glen Eira community to attend the Council meeting on Tuesday 21st March at Glen Eira Town Hall.

At the next Council meeting, Tuesday 21st March at 7.30pm, Councillors will consider the rezoning of a large site at 100 McKinnon Road McKinnon, a nine storey development application at 277 Centre Road Bentleigh (summary below), an eight storey development application at 348 Centre Road Bentleigh. 

With a 15 storey development application also recently submitted for Koornang Road Carnegie incorporating a reduction of 56 statutory car parks, Enough is Enough.  The whole community should attend this meeting to demonstrate that the destruction of Glen Eira is not acceptable.  We are all being affected by inappropriate unplanned development and it’s not good enough. Enough is Enough.

Nine Storey Development Planning Conference Summary

A Planning Conference for the nine-storey (72 apartment) development application at 277 Centre Road Bentleigh was held on Monday 6th March.  In excess of 200 objections were received for the development and the planning conference was well attended particularly given that many objectors only received advice on the day.  Numerous attendees highlighted that they lived very close to this potential huge development and they, and others, did not receive any formal notification from Council about the development application.  Please City of Glen Eira get this process right and allow for genuine consultation!

It was good to see a new Councillor take the chair, hopefully this conference provided first hand insight on resident disenchantment and anger over excessive, inappropriate and unplanned development in Glen Eira generally and Centre Road Bentleigh specifically.  Of great concern at the meeting was the performance of the Council officer who did not know the actual location of the development, its height, its zoning under the interim controls and many other elements.  This situation is unacceptable and needs to be addressed if the leadership of Glen Eira want the planning process to have any credibility in the future.

As per previous planning conferences for developments in commercial areas, residents again highlighted the following points:

  • Height and scale of building is excessive for Bentleigh.
  • Development in Bentleigh is increasing too rapidly.
  • Loss of neighbourhood character.
  • Poor transition in height and setbacks to residential area.
  • Visual bulk and dominance of building within streetscape.
  • Development will detract from nearby heritage dwellings.
  • Inadequate parking provided on site.
  • Traffic congestion – street parking is already inadequate.
  • Poor internal amenity and design is not sustainable.
  • Strain on infrastructure.
  • Inadequate open space to accommodate additional population.

In the absence of reasonable controls (such as a structure plan – which is due to be completed in October 2017 and interim height limits – evidently due very soon!), much discussion was focused on the provision of on site car parking and general traffic management.  The applicant has sought a waiver in the reduction of statutory car parks by a number of 26 and they included a very outdated 2015 car parking survey as part of the submission.  Historically, Council has allowed a reduction in the number of statutory car parks and when asked about the reason for this, the Council officer could not provide any justification.  The applicant’s traffic management consultant provided no confidence either with residents left absolutely bemused as to why more rigor has not been done in this area.

As the representatives of residents, Council was requested to seriously and rigorously assess the implication of cumulative car parking and traffic and in the absence of any justification, to not provide a waiver of statutory car parking numbers.  Several residents (doing Council research) pointed out that since the car parking survey was completed in 2015, the following developments have been approved (one at VCAT) with waivers on statutory car parking provision. 

  • 324 Centre Road 8 storeys 39 dwellings reduced parking.
  • 343 Centre Road 4 storeys reduced parking.
  • 270 Centre Road 4 storeys reduced parking.
  • 348 – 352 Centre Road 8 storeys 38 dwellings reduced parking (at VCAT).
  • 339 Centre Road 3 storeys reduced parking.
  • 342 – 346 Centre Road 19 dwellings reduced parking.
  • 331 Centre Road reduced parking.
  • 261 Centre Road 18 dwellings reduced parking.
  • 24 Mavho Street 4 storeys 28 dwellings reduced parking.
  • 40 Mavho Street 4 storeys 24 dwellings reduced parking.
  • 39 Mavho Street 3 storeys 27 dwellings reduced parking.
  • 32 Mavho Street 3 storeys 10 dwellings reduced parking.
  • 37 Nicholson Street 26 dwellings reduced parking.

The traffic management considerations for the site are very unique as the access/exit location is via a residential street (Oak Street), close to Centre Road and is opposite from the residential entrance to apartments above Aldi, the Aldi loading bay and the Aldi car park entrance.  The most astonishing element however is that the applicant proposes that the entry/exit point to the 72 apartment development will be via a rear laneway which is one car width wide.  You don’t need to be a traffic engineer to work out that this is not an acceptable solution in this century!  If Council is serving its community it will fully review this and challenge the suitability of this proposal. 

Enough is Enough – Stop this Destruction. 

Attend the Council meeting on Tuesday 21st March at 7.30pm to show Councillors that the current planning situation is not acceptable. 

MORE HIGHRISE FOR CENTRE ROAD BENTLEIGH

A group of concerned residents (Centre Road Bentleigh Group) has been formed to oppose the seemingly constant highrise development that is occurring along Centre Road, Bentleigh. The latest planning permit application is for a 9 storey development at 277-9 Centre Road.  Details of the current and past planning permit applications are included in the below posting that has been prepared the CRBG.  GERA supports the group and encourages residents to do the same – the group may be contacted via email at centreroadbentleigh@gmail.com

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OPPOSE THE DESTRUCTION OF CENTRE ROAD BENTLEIGH

The residents of Bentleigh are extremely disappointed about the unplanned and inappropriate developments in Centre Road.  At this stage, two major developments have been approved: 8 storeys at 324 Centre Road and 7 storeys at 342 Centre Road with two other major developments going through the application process: 8 storeys at 348 Centre Road and 9 storeys at 277 Centre Road (refer map).  Of further concern is that limited communication of these significant developments to the broader community has occurred.

Given that no height limits exist for the commercial areas of Centre Road Bentleigh and there is no structure plan in place, Centre Road is highly exposed to total destruction with these developments being the start of an absolute disaster.  Years of planning neglect have resulted in a totally ad hoc approach to development and unless this is stopped the legacy for the community will be atrocious.  This unfortunately is the same situation for other commercial areas in the City of Glen Eira.

This situation is totally unacceptable and we seek your objection to the 277 Centre Road development, which is currently being advertised.  This will continue to send a clear message to Council that the residents of Glen Eira care and are passionate about the place in which we live. 

 To deliver the right long-term outcome, and consistent with surrounding municipalities, we are seeking the introduction of the right planning framework (including structure planning, height controls, traffic management, etc.) as a matter of the highest priority.  This will ensure that Bentleigh (and surrounds) are passed onto the next generation with respect and consideration.  We don’t need development we need a clear plan, this ad hoc approach to development must stop.

We ask that Councillors embrace this opportunity and work collaboratively with residents to achieve an outcome that respects the importance of developments in making places special for people and as an outcome contribute to building stronger communities.

 The map below shows the developments approved and development applications. centre-rd-devts

 What You Can Do

  • Lodge an objection to the proposed 9 storey development by the end of February. To assist with your objection, a Sample Objection  is provided.  Details of how to submit your objection are provided on the bottom of the Sample Objection.  However you choose to submit your objection please remember to include your Name, Contact Details (address and telephone no.), Signature and Date. 
  • Email centreroadbentleigh@gmail.com if you want further details

THIS DESTRUCTION MUST BE STOPPED