The below pdf file is a posting submitted to GERA by a resident who is concerned about the impending adverse traffic and parking impact the land locked Bentleigh East Clover Estate development (a 50 – 60 lot subdivision almost opposite the GESAC complex) will have on local residential streets. Although the planning approval process commenced in 2006 (with a combined Planning Scheme Amendment (C52) and planning permit application) the development has only recently commenced infrastructure (roads, power, water, sewerage, drainage etc.) work. The delay was primarily due to soil and water table contamination.
As the Clover Estate residential development is situated on land that was previously an industrial site, an Environmental Audit Overlay (EAO)* was placed on the development in 2006. The EAO prohibited the “construction or carrying out of buildings and works” for the residential development until the Environmental Protection Authority issued of Certificate of Environmental Audit for the site. The Certificate was issued in March, 2011, and recently work on the site infrastructure (roads and utilities) commenced.
Clover Estate – A Residents Perspective
Following on from receipt of the resident’s submission, GERA has researched the Clover Development (East Bentleigh) and in this post outlines Glen Eira Councils approval of the development. GERA is concerned that through the various planning stages of this development Council
- has not been open, transparent and accountable with the contamination issues and
- has not been responsive to (current and future) residents’ concerns over site access and traffic issues in Ellen, Charles and Malane Streets, and
- via the application of a Design and Development Overlay restricted residents rights to object to the development.
Clover Estate Location
The site is located within the block bounded by McKinnon, Tucker, Centre and East Boundary Roads, Bentleigh East. The development is located in a minimal change area and abuts the housing diversity (i.e. high density) area known as the Bentleigh East Neighbourhood Centre. Currently, the address of the site is 219-221 East Boundary Road, East Bentleigh.
Although the site had some frontage on Ellen Street, when operating as the Boral/Cyclone foundry and factory, access was from East Boundary Road only.
Boral/Cyclone Site – 2006
In 2005 Harofam P/L (a development company) acquired the site and in 2006 submitted a combined planning permit and request for a Planning Scheme Amendment C52 to rezone the land (from industrial to residential) request to Council.
Details of the proposed development were given as 50 housing blocks, 22 two-storey townhouses and 8 units, totalling 80 new residences. Access to the development would be via the existing the East Boundary Road access point and a new roadway connection at Ellen Street (effectively an extension of Malane Street). It was recognised that this new connection would alter the Ellen Street–Malane Street-Charles Street traffic patterns from being local access only to also becoming the through route to the development. It was also recognised that a traffic control device of some type (later determined to be a “Give Way” sign) would be required at the Ellen–Malane Streets intersection.
Three overlays were placed on the development
- Environmental Audit Overlay (EAO) – to deal with contamination issues
- Design Development Overlay (DDO) – to outline specific built form guidelines and if complied residences within the Clover Estate would not require an individual planning permit. Planning permits would only be required for dwellings not complying with the DDO. The DDO requirements were not discussed with residents prior to them being applied and, by applying the DDO, Council restricted residents’ ability to object on development design criteria.
- Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO) – to establish tree protection zones for trees identified in an aboricultural report dated July, 2005. This overlay was later removed as the trees it sought to protect had also been removed.
Residents strongly objected to proposal (173 objections) and over the period 2006-2007 the development was discussed at Council Meetings (22nd May, 2006, Council Minutes – section 8.3 and 25th September, 2006 Council Minutes – section 8.1) and an Independent Planning Panel Report – Amendment C52. During this period the planning permit application was separated from the planning scheme amendment.
In December 2007, the developer submitted an amended planning application to Glen Eira Council. This amended planning application was for 50 housing blocks and 10 two-storey townhouses. Local residents lodged 126 objections to these revised plans.
In February, 2008, Council approved the subdivision of the land (Council Meeting Minutes, 26 February, 2008) and the lots were sold off the plan at an auction in 2010 (Leader Article on sale of subdivided lots). Settlement on the sale of the lots was conditional on the completion of Clover’s infrastructure (roads, power, water and drainage). The delay in commencing the infrastructure works (due to soil and water table contamination) means this work is currently ongoing.
Clover Estate – April, 2012
The local residents/objectors have consistently raised traffic and parking congestion in surrounding streets and traffic management in the immediate area as being key issues.
Although infrastructure work is ongoing (an estimated timeframe is not known) it is believed that dwelling construction is imminent. As a result Council, without consulting residents, is beginning to introduce restricted parking in Ellen, Charles and Malane Streets and installing a “Give Way” sign where the Clover Estate connects to Ellen Street (aka the Malane Street extension). These were the traffic treatments recommended in 2006/7. Since that time there have been substantial developments both in the streets named and the surrounding residential streets which have significantly added to the traffic volumes. Additionally the proposed Centre Road reduced speed limits and approved 5 storey multi unit developments in Centre Road will also adversely impact traffic volumes in the named streets. Residents have now added the issue of an unco-ordinated approach to traffic management and parking to their concerns.
* An Environmental Audit Overlays (EAO) purpose is to ensure that potentially contaminated land is suitable for a use which could be significantly adversely affected by contamination. An EAO requires that before a sensitive use (residential use, child care centre, pre-school centre or primary school) commences or before the construction or carrying out of buildings and works in association with a sensitive use, must get either:
- a certificate of environmental audit (clean bill of health)
- a statement of environmental audit (subject to conditions)
When reviewing planning permits or approving subdivisions, the planning authority (i.e. Council) must satisfy itself that the environmental conditions of the land are or will be suitable for the proposed use. EAO – Department of Health