Category Archives: Planning

Planning

ORMOND SKY TOWER – BACK TO SQUARE ONE

Congratulations to the No Ormond Sky Tower folks who mounted the residents campaign.

The Age, 15/11/2017

A controversial plan for a high-rise tower on top of Ormond train station has been dramatically blocked at the 11th hour after a motion to reject the project was passed in Parliament.

The highly unusual move has been slammed by the property industry and planning experts, who warn it will undermine proper planning process and increase red tape.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne had approved the 13-storey tower despite a long-running campaign against it by local residents and Glen Eira Council, which pushed for eight storeys to match the low-rise area.

Mr Wynne backed the mixed-use development in the politically sensitive south-east with retail, offices and 233 apartments after a planning panel endorsed the project.

But it was blocked at the final planning approval stage in the Victorian Upper House on Wednesday by the opposition, Greens and Australian Conservatives’ Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins.

The project will now go back to square one, undoing a costly and extensive six-month planning panel process. It is an exceptionally rare move, with the last revocation occurring eight years ago.

Glen Eira mayor Mary Delahunty has already indicated that the council will now have to fork out tens of thousands of dollars to re-engage legal representation and experts for another round of planning panel hearings.

Shadow Minister for Public Transport and Planning David Davis, who first moved to revoke the project, said he was not opposed to the “value capture” model at level crossing removal sites.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy approved thousands of high-rise apartments in Melbourne’s CBD when he was planning minister, yet Mr Davis claims he chose to intervene in the Ormond station project because the building was too high for the local area.

“Even though the Ormond level crossing removal was fully funded by the previous Coalition government, the prospect of a quick buck led to Labor’s outrageous approval of a 13-storey development in Ormond.”

It comes as the opposition and Greens unsuccessfully sought to block another development on Wednesday – the controversial Markham Estate – which is 1.4 hectares of prime Ashburton land the Andrews government wants to develop for both private and public housing.

Greens MP Sue Pennicuik​ and Mr Davis have suggested that they will use the revocation tool to block projects they disagree with, which could create a headache for the government with minority status in the Upper House, as it pushes through development and transport projects across the state.

The Ormond station tower falls in the safe Liberal seat of Caulfield, but borders on the marginal seat of Bentleigh, currently held by Labor.

Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan accused Mr Davis of pulling a “political stunt”.

Ms Allan said those losing out were “young families wanting to rent a house or get into the property market in Melbourne close to public transport”.

The Property Council of Australia’s Victorian executive director Sally Kapp​ said revoking projects in Parliament opens up a “new avenue” for properly vetted projects to be pulled at the last minute, driving up cost, delays and creating uncertainty.

She warned that this would threaten investment and development in the state.

“We have just made it harder to do business in Victoria. We have made it harder to build worthwhile projects in Victoria.

Associate Professor in Urban Planning Alan March said if the opposition continues to successfully revoke planning amendments, this would “change the face of the planning system”.

“It would mean more and more political influence and less and less professional influence over the planning scheme,” said Dr March.

Land value capture, which involves selling public land to developers, is the strategy used by the Andrews government to help recuperate funds for the $6.9 billion level crossing removal project.

 

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DRAFT STRUCTURE PLANNING COMMUNITY FORUMS

Council has released information on the next round of Community Forms to discuss the Bentleigh, Carnegie, Elsternwick and East Village centres Draft Structure Plans.

The Draft Structure Plans outline the current (to date) vision for  future development of the above centres and surrounding residential areas.  These plans will provide the basis for changes to the Glen Eira Planning Scheme that will set the “rules” (i.e. what can be built where) within each cente’s defined boundaries.  The Plans include:

  • development and future land use
  • transport, traffic management and parking
  • types and heights of buildings (what can be built where)
  • employment
  • open spaces
  • infrastructure and
  • the preservation and protection of neighbourhood character and vegetation

Unfortunately, the timing isn’t the greatest (proximity to the upcoming Festive Season) and the documentation is voluminous (the time required to assess will be significant), however, what’s being presented is significant and resident participation/commitment is essential.  Basically, it’s a case of make the effort now, to ensure the revised Planning Scheme reflects community views or, make a potentially greater effort later as individual planning permit applications are lodged.

Forum details and links to the appropriate documentation are

Bentleigh Draft Structure Plan Community Forum

  • Monday, 13th November – 6.30pm-8.30pm
  • Duncan Mackinnon Reserve Pavilion
  • Corner North and Murrumbeena Roads, Murrumbeena

Council website links:

Bentleigh Forum and Information Sessions

Bentleigh Draft Structure Plan Documentation

 

Carnegie Draft Structure Plan Community Forum

  • Monday, 20th November – 6.30pm-8.30pm)
  • Glen Eira Town Hall – Auditorium,
  • Cnr Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield

Council website links:

Carnegie Forum and Information Sessions

Carnegie Draft Structure Plan Documentation

 

Elsternwick Draft Structure Plan Community Forum

  • Monday, 4th December – 6.30pm-8.30pm)
  • Glen Eira Town Hall – Auditorium,
  • Cnr Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield

Council website links:

Elsternwick Forum and Information Sessions

Elsternwick Draft Structure Plan Documentation

  

East Village Draft Structure Plan Community Forum

  • Thursday, 7th December

Forum and follow up session times, location and documentation should be available on Council’s website shortly.

 

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

BETHLEHEM HOSPITAL – IT CONTINUES

GERA has just received the below email from the BHCA Group challenging Council’s proposed representation at next month’s VCAT Hearing.  The BHCA Group is the residents group opposing the proposed development of a high rise Retirement Village at Kooyong Road, Caulfield South – the development site is surrounded by the Neighbourhood Residential Zone with a 2 storey height.

“Previous statements from councillors and planning department representatives have offered confidence that the Development, as revised, would be strongly resisted and defended by council.  …. It is with alarm that BHCA Group has learned the City of Glen Eira is not appointing a barrister.  Nor is it presenting planning evidence, instead addressing matters by way of submission.”   

We agree with the BHCA Group that Council’s proposed submission falls short of past promises and we note that it is in line with residents’ long standing and increasingly vocal criticisms of the quality of Council representation at VCAT.

The Bethlehem Hospital Community Action Group can be contacted by email at bhcagroup@gmail.com

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Dear Cr Delahunty (Mayor), Cr Silver, Cr Sztrajt, Cr Esakoff, Cr Davey, Cr Athanasopoulos, Cr Hyams, Cr Magee and Cr Taylor

Re: Calvary Healthcare Bethlehem Hospital Application GE/PP-29481/2016

To date, the Bethlehem Hospital Community Action Group (BHCA Group) has been reassured that the council possesses a similar strength of objection to the Bethlehem Hospital Redevelopment (the Development) as the local, affected residents.

Previous statements from councillors and planning department representatives have offered confidence that the Development, as revised, would be strongly resisted and defended by council.  The draft permit conditions tabled by council at the VCAT compulsory conference and the early assurances that the City of Glen Eira would steadfastly defend the integrity of its planning scheme by appointing counsel and expertise provided affected residents with the impression that their elected representatives were listening and would act to oppose an irrevocable affront to the unique neighbourhood character.

Unfortunately, this confidence has been misplaced.

It is with alarm that BHCA Group has learned the City of Glen Eira is not appointing a barrister.  Nor is it presenting planning evidence, instead addressing matters by way of submission.  While this approach may be sufficient for the routine or typical VCAT planning or development related matters, for a VCAT determination, which goes to the heart of the integrity of City of Glen Eira planning scheme, it is not, sufficient or adequate.

The developers, Calvary Health Care, have engaged a high quality and experienced QC, instructed by legal, planning, urban design, traffic, landscape and related experts.  They all have a motivation to successfully argue that the planning scheme does not apply to the Development and hence, they can flout the planning regulations and destroy the neighbourhood character with impunity.

BHCA Group strongly believes that this VCAT hearing commencing on 20 November 2017 is a test case for the integrity of the planning scheme for developments of this type.  Issue of a permit, in the form proposed or substantially similar would represent a highly undesirable precedent that will propagate throughout the City of Glen Eira and other regions.

BHCA Group, with the full appreciation of the distinction between the arguments and representations of local residents and those of the City of Glen Eira, recognises that it must advocate on behalf of affected local residents.  BHCA Group has obtained funding from local residents to engage its own barristers, planning and other experts to argue its case.  BHCA Group reasonably expected that its efforts would complement those of the City of Glen Eira’s.

We therefore call upon the council, representing the residents of the City of Glen Eira, to move a motion to instruct the planning department and its legal counsel to appoint a senior barrister with suitable planning experience, planning expertise, whether it be from within the City of Glen Eira’s planning department or externally appointed, to complement and coordinate the urban design and parking experts that are currently contemplated.

As has been previously communicated, BHCA Group remains committed to work with the City of Glen Eira to coordinate our defence and objection to this inappropriate and objectionable Development. 

Kelvin Cope

on behalf of

BHCAGroup

CAULFIELD RACECOURSE REQUIEM

The Victorian Parliament is currently debating the “Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Bill”  that arises from the scathing 2014 Auditor General’s Report into the “Management and Oversight of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve”.    It’s taken 3 years to get to this point and it’s our assessment that the Bill misses the point.

Since the Auditor General’s Report much has be promised, yet it is hard to relate those promises with the content of this Bill.  Rather than addressing the inequity between the Reserve’s three separate yet equal purposes of “racecourse public recreation ground and public park” by aligning Racecourse and Community usages with those purposes, we argue that the Bills provisions favour racing rather than public interests and fall short of  addressing the issues raised in the Auditor General’s Report.   For example,

  • the purposes have been redefined to align more closely with existing inequitable uses and the Minister is given the authority to assign/vary the weightings assigned to the purposes.
  • Ministerial appointment of Trustees, without adequately defining selection criteria.  Appointment is for a period of 3 years with re-appointment for an indefinite number of terms is permitted.
  • Ministerial determination of lease periods of up to 65 years.  This is contrary to past practices and inconsistent with commercial practices and the Reserve’s defined purposes
  • Inadequate management and financial reporting requirements (both Parliamentary and Public) which are not in line with contemporary practices.  Likewise with Conflict of Interest provisions.
  • Provides for a 20 year Strategic Land Management Plan that lacks performance reporting requirements and can be amended without public scrutiny.
  • Ministerial determination of allowed activities – “detrimental” is a key determinant, however, detrimental is not defined.

The inadequacies of the Bill, combined with the Government’s  planned dramatic increases in commercial, residential and educational activities in an area widely known to be lacking in parkland and sporting facilities, has prompted both the Stonnington and Glen Eira residents groups to jointly conduct this event.

As per the Auditor General’s report, the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve, has three separate yet equal purposes – racecourse, public recreation ground and public park.  As a result of poor performance by the Trust (in managing the reserve) and successive State Governments (in overseeing Reserve Management) Racing has been permitted to dominate the Reserve to the extent that current usage of the reserve’s 54ha (valued at $2bn+) is allocated as

  • 11 hectares (20%) is under lease for racing purposes.  The Annual rental of $170K is generally returned to the MRC for racing related projects.
  • 37 hectares (69%) is used for racing purposes without any clear legal entitlement or payment arrangement, and
  • only 6 hectares (11%) is available as open space for the potential use of the community.   That 6 ha comprises facilities that do not meet the needs of community, are not easy to physically access and are subject to restricted usage times.  No accessibility issues and time restrictions are applicable to racing usage.

JOIN US IN REMINDING OUR POLITICIANS OF THE FORESIGHT OF OUR FOREFATHERS.  

In 1884, 8 years after the management of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve was vested in a Board of Trustees, the Victorian Amateur Turf Club (VATC) sought sole management of the Reserve.  The response from the then Minister for Lands was:

“…. he thought the public ought not to have to ask for permission to go on a public reserve” … and …”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”.  

THAT TIME HAS ARRIVED.  

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The “Requiem” will be held in the Centre of the Racecourse.   The Centre may be accessed by the

  • Glen Eira Road Tunnel – vehicle and pedestrian access
  • Guineas Tunnel, Neerim Road and Queens Avenue Gates.

 

 

 

CARNEGIE SURVEY RESULTS

The results for the Carnegie Survey (a survey by residents for residents) have been published.

The results include, for each question

  • Comments made by residents and
  • An overall analysis of participant responses.

The results are worth reading as they are relevant to the current Planning Scheme Review and provide residents views on topics not adequately covered by the Draft Concept Plans.

Thanks to the survey participants and organizer.

Carnegie Residents Survey Results

LODGE A DRAFT CONCEPT PLAN SUBMISSION

A reminder that residents submissions for the Draft Concept Plans, presented at the recent community forums, are due to be lodged today.  Although, as mentioned by Aiden Mullen at the Elsternwick Forum, some leeway will be granted for late submissions.

The Draft Concept Plans for Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick Activity Centres all feature

  • expansion of the centre boundaries and significant changes to height limits (particularly for newly defined Urban Renewal Areas and Strategic Sites)
  • no strategic justification for these changes
  • scant detailed information on expected population densities, government targets and
  • no information on the planning tools to be implemented to achieve desired outcomes

Regardless of whether or not you attended a Forum, GERA urges all residents to lodge a submission either today or early next week.

The changes are significant and have far reaching implications for all residents who live in, nearby or frequent these activity centres. Likewise for the “lesser” Neighbourhood/Local Centres which, although yet to be reviewed are more than likely to experience  similar expansions and height increases. 

 

Details of Draft Concept Plans and a copy of GERA’s submission* are available

Bentleigh

Carnegie

Elsternwick

This could be your last chance to express your views/concerns.

Submissions may be lodged via either

  • the online feedback form – refer above or
  • email – mail@gleneira.vic.gov.au  (be sure to include an appropriate subject heading) or
  • mail – City Futures Department, Glen Eira Council, PO Box 42, Caulfield South 3162,

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*The GERA submission is presented as “food for thought” – residents are free to amend or copy comments should they wish to do so.

RESIDENTS NOTICE – ELSTERNWICK CONCEPT PLAN

GERA has been contacted by a number of dissatisfied Elsternwick residents who, post Concept Plan Forum, have become aware of the proposed height changes for the Urban Renewal Area (12 stories) and Strategic Sites (8 stories).  As residents of, or nearby, these areas they are concerned that Council did not formally notify them of the proposal and has not provided any strategic justification for these significant changes.

Draft Concept Plan – Current Planning Zones and Heights

Draft Concept Plan – Proposed Building Types and Heights

Residents are expressing their dissatisfaction directly to Council and have asked us to help “spread the word” by publishing the following notice which they are distributing to impacted residents.

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I was shocked yesterday when I went to the Elsternwick Library and the booth to provide feedback stated “Help us plan for the future of the Elsternwick Shopping Strip”!!

 Elsternwick plan to re-zone for 12 storey high rises

Last chance for Elsternwick residents to provide feedback on re-zone of residential streets to allow 12 storey high rise development. 

Many residents are unaware of the plan to rezone many Elsternwick residential streets for high rise development and which is estimated to increase Elsternwick’s population by 20%.

 Residents who recently learned about this plan are furious the council have disguised the consultation process under a ‘Help us plan for the future of the Elsternwick Shopping Strip’ feedback survey and are already 5 stages through an 8 stage process without consultation with the directly impacted residents (or those in surrounding streets who will be flooded with an influx of traffic).

 Feedback on the proposal closes Sunday 3 September – don’t miss the chance to have your say!  Many residents are also making formal complaints to the council and directly to the Mayor regarding the lack of transparency and consultation around these very significant changes.  Council complaints can be made via the Glen Eira Council website.

 Feedback closes Sunday 3 September – don’t miss the chance to have your say!  Access Council’s “Have your Say – Elsternwick” to access documentation and lodge your submission

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Please note that, as per our previous Elsternwick Forum posting, Council will accept late submissions.