Category Archives: East Village (a.k.a. Virginia Estate Development)


The below update to the EAST VILLAGE DRAFT STRUCTURE PLAN has be forwarded to us by a concerned resident.


A community consultation session was held to discuss the Concept Plan for East Village on 27th July, 2017.

The Forum was well attended by residents and chaired by Aiden Mullen (Manager, City Futures).

Significantly two of the major bodies (ie. the Education Department and Vic Roads) did not send reps, so many questions about a possible school and traffic and parking management went unanswered.

Once again residents were asked to respond to a plan with very little detail.  The one handout missing from the handout pack was the one that provided the most detail in respect of height and density.  Two of the major factors residents continue to voice their concerns about.

The major points to come out of the Forum were

  • The Education Department is investigating the need for additional educational facilities in the area. No “answer” as yet.  The developers would be prepared to sell the land to the Department/Government.  This would be in the vicinity of 1 hectare.  If not a school, then possibly a “community centre”.  We assume that this would involve Council either purchasing the land or accepting land in lieu of the open space levy.
  • The possibility of a commercial car parking venture on the site
  • The areas currently zone Commercial 1 (C1Z) would remain. The rest of the site would be rezoned to Mixed Use (MUZ).
  • The project life is up to 15 years.
  • No solution to traffic, apart from advocating for care share, more traffic lights and buses to run through the site.
  • The developers have been in constant contact with Council’s various departments.
  • Now 24 hectares (doubled in size) – how many apartments, residents and cars does this mean?

All in all it practically impossible to comment on what will eventuate given the lack of detail on just about everything.

One particular concern regarding the areas surrounding this site was a boundary never before seen or referred to by Council.

Is this the area targeted by Council for re-zoning?

Border:  McKinnon Road, Deakin Street, Mackie Street, North Road, Brett Street, Dalny Road, Hunter Street, East Boundary and Tucker Roads.


Having heard what is intended for Bentleigh at the Thursday, 10th August Concept Plan Forum, regarding height limits and rezoning, residents are urged to contact Aiden Mullent, Nick Staikos – MLA Bentleigh and all Councillors  contact Nick Staikos – MLA Bentleigh, all Councillors and to get assurance that these areas are not targeted for re-zoning by Council. (Contact Details)

If your house is in this area be alert and get informed.





With the upcoming  community forum (27/7/2017) on Draft Concept Plan (prepared by Council, in conjunction with the Victorian Planning Authority) for the mammoth East Village development we thought it appropriate to draw attention to the below Leader Article.

Draft Concept Plan Community Forum

Thursday 27 July, 6.30pm-8.30pm

Duncan Mackinnon Reserve Pavilion, corner North and Murrumbeena Roads, Murrumbeena

Further details and documentation on the Draft Concept Plan are available on Council’s website.  An opportunity for residents to comment on the Plan is also provided.


East Village development in Bentleigh East sparks flood fears for Elwood and other areas

Bianca Carmona, Caulfield Glen Eira Leader  – July 16, 2017 12:00am

THE proposed multi-million dollar East Village development in Bentleigh East must include a lake or wetlands to prevent flooding, environmentalists say.

The site, formerly Virginia Park, is on East Boundary Rd and was used as a business estate in the ’90s.

Developers are planning to build a precinct with a retail centre, housing, retirement accommodation and a school.

But Elwood Floods Action Group secretary Geoffrey Love said 80 per cent of rain falling on Glen Eira catchments was channelled into Port Phillip.

He said that without a lake or wetlands for the development, the water would run down the storm water system and increase flooding in Elwood.

Mr Love said Melbourne Water had identified three flood retention sites (reservoirs where water could be stored) including Duncan Mackinnon Reserve, Marlborough Street Reserve and Packer Park.

Make Property Group director, and a site landowner, Kris Daff, said mitigating flooding was “definitely on the radar” for the development.

He said sustainability was a “key consideration”.

“One of the core things we’ve committed to is to be environmentally sustainable at multiple levels,” Mr Daff said.

Recently four councils – Glen Eira, Port Phillip, Bayside and Kingston – signed a Memorandum of Understanding about managing the waters with a view to flood mitigation, to develop consistent policies, encourage water-sensitive urban design and use best practice.

Glen Eira planning and place director Ron Torres said it had partnered the Victorian Planning Authority to deliver the East Village Structure Plan.

“Council has partnered with VPA due to its experience with large urban renewal sites,” he said.

Port Phillip Mayor Bernadene Voss said maximising ground permeability through soft rather than hard landscaping would benefit the entire community.



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



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



At tonight’s Council Meeting, the proposed partnership agreement with the Victorian Planning Authority for the East Village Development Site  was amended and approved.  The amendment includes significant and effective community engagement during the developments planning process.

Congratulations to Council for hearing the call and to residents for answering the call to action – it’s a good outcome.  Hopefully, it bodes well for future community engagement.


Original Posting 4/2/2017

GERA urges all readers and residents to read this Agenda Item 9.2 for Tuesday’s 7th February Council Meeting

The purpose of this report is to seek Councillor endorsement for a proposed partnership with the Victoria Planning Authority (VPA) to assist Council to undertake the structure planning and preliminary planning for the ‘East Village’ site.

For those not aware – the East Village site (24ha or 240,000 sqm) is an expansion of the previously rejected Virginia Park Re-development Proposal (12.3ha).  Located near the corner of North and East Boundary Roads, development of this massive site is severely constrained by the site’s limited vehicular and pedestrian access and a lack of accessible public transport.


The VPA has significant experience in development planning for challenging and significant sites.  As outlined in a letter attached to the Officer’s Report, the VPA, in close collaboration with Council, will undertake

– Project management, including convening meetings between VPA, Council and Developers

– Coordination of State agencies and utility service providers

– Preparation of structure plan and appropriate amendment material

– Assistance and support as required

Development Planning to be completed by September, 2017 with community consultation occurring after Structure Planning (May/June) and after September.

While GERA welcomes the recommendation for VPA involvement (it brings to the table a level of expertise and resources that quite simply are beyond the usual planning functions of Council), the report raises significant concerns re community engagement.   Such a massive site has far reaching and potentially adverse implications for the surrounding community.  Therefore, it is extremely important that open and transparent community engagement is embedded in the development planning process.

Unfortunately, neither the Officers Report nor it’s attachments provide details on how such community engagement is to be achieved.  Officers reporting to Council at key decision points or Council presenting completed plans (“done deal”) for residents to comment on does not constitute good or appropriate community engagement.

GERA therefore urges

  • Councilllors representing us to put forward an amendment to the Officers Recommendation that states:

That a decision on this proposal be deferred at this time so that Councillors have more time to consider the proposal and how best to actively provide for community input during the development planning process.

  • Residents to contact all Councillors (email and/or mobile) prior to Tuesday’s Meeting, to urge them to support the proposed amendment.   Remember – the strongest message is numbers, your support in contacting Councillors is vital.


Councillor Contact Details

Sample email – feel free to cut and paste.

Subject: Agenda item 9.2  for Tuesday’s 7th February Council meeting

While I welcome the recommendation for VPA involvement, Agenda Item 9.2 raises significant concerns re community engagement.   Such a massive site has far reaching and potentially adverse implications for the surrounding community.  Therefore, it is extremely important that open and transparent community engagement is embedded in the development planning process.

Unfortunately, neither the Officers Report nor it’s attachment provide details on how such community engagement is to be achieved.  Officers reporting to Council at key decision points or Council presenting completed plans (“done deal”) for residents to comment on does not constitute good or appropriate community engagement.

I therefore urge you to put forward/support an amendment to the Officers Recommendation that states:

That a decision on this proposal be deferred at this time so that Councillors have more time to consider the proposal and how best to actively provide for community input during the development planning process.


As always, if you wish to comment or seek additional information on this posting, please feel free to access our Facebook Account



UPDATE – 6/12/2016

Have your say on the draft masterplan

Members of the community are invited to attend an open forum on Tuesday 6th December to discuss the East Village draft masterplan. It will be held from 7-9pm in the meeting room at Duncan Mackinnon Reserve Pavilion. The forum will be run as a Q&A, so people are encouraged to come along and ask their questions.



Original Posting

The draft 20 year East Village Masterplan, together with supporting documentation, is now available –


Public comment is now being sought on this huge (20+ha) site, previously known as Virginia Park Industrial Park (refer to GERA’s previous post –  – for background information).  Two information sessions are to be held at 18 North Drive, 236-262 East Boundary Road, Bentleigh East on

  • Wednesday, 23/11/2016 – 5.30 – 7.30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 26/11/2016 – 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.

GERA urges residents to attend the information sessions and review the supporting documentation.  Given the magnitude of this development, residents need to become aware of what is being proposed to ensure that appropriate and informed feedback is provided to the developers and Council.

GERA will provide our assessment of the current development proposal in subsequent postings.

Feel free to provide your assessment of the development proposal on GERA’s Facebook Page –



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.