Tag Archives: Glen Eira

NEW MAYOR – 2017-18

Congratulations to Cr. Anthony (Tony) Athanasopoulos on last night’s  election as Mayor of Glen Eira 2017 – 18.  Tony has long been an active supporter of numerous community groups and is an established trader and resident of Carnegie.

First elected to Council in October, 2016, his election as Mayor is well deserved recognition for his outstanding Councillor performance over the past 12 months.  A performance that shows a growing understanding of planning issues and always a willingness to listen and question (ourselves included).

We are looking forward to the next 12 months and “agreeing to disagree” over some (not all) issues.

Well done Tony!!!!

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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.

 

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

CARNEGIE LANEWAY PRIMARY SHOOL ACCESS – Finally sense Prevails

This morning’s (8.30 a.m.) installation of bollards in the laneway (between Shepparson Street and Koornang Road, Carnegie) ends over two years of frustrating argey bargey between residents and Council re a significant pedestrian and child safety issue.

Koornang Road Laneway Access 08/09/2017

Shepparson Avenue Laneway Access 08/092017

This safety issue being the shared vehicle and pedestrian (particularly primary school children) usage of a confined narrow laneway to access the Carnegie Primary School via the Koornang Road School Crossing.  For background refer GERA’s previous postings – Child and Pedestrian Safety – Access to Carnegie Primary  and Child and Pedestrian Safety – Access to Carnegie Primary – Part 2

In line with residents initial request, permanent bollards and appropriate signage have now been installed.  Gone are Council’s unacceptable and unsuccessful earlier solutions of time restricted vehicle laneway signage and the recent installation of speed humps.

While residents are happy that a significant longstanding issue has finally been resolved without any personal injury occurring, they are also seriously questioning Council’s processes which did not result in the timely application of a simple cost effective solution to a high risk situation.  A high risk situation that at all times was undeniably within Council’s traffic and pedestrian safety responsibilities.

More about these processes in a subsequent post – for now, residents are extremely relieved that “finally sense prevails”.

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.