Tag Archives: community consultation

EAST VILLAGE AMENDMENTS – SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE

It’s taken a long time (since 2015) and significant involvement by the VPA (Victorian Planning Authority), Council and residents to get to this stage ie the release of the Planning Scheme Amendments for community consultation.

These Amendments  set the requirements for the massive (20ha) redevelopment on East Boundary Road (near the North Road intersection) in Bentleigh East.  Basically, they outline what is required to be built where within the site to ensure the Structure Plan (passed by Council, 2018) comes to fruition over the next 15 years.

Residents are concerned that the

  • Structure Plans inadequately addressed
    • Land locked site – vehicle access from East Boundary and North Roads only
    • Limited access to public transport (bus only)
    • Down stream flooding impact – Elster Creek
    • Impact on proximate activity centres – Bentleigh, Bentleigh East, McKinnon/Ormond and Murrumbeena
  • Amendments, as presented, do not include sufficient detail or controls to ensure the outcomes included in the Structure Plans will be achieved. For example (but not limited to):
    • building heights are “preferred” and, therefore may be increased, no density controls
    • no requirement for provide housing diversity in the form of no. of bedrooms
    • no controls to ensure adequate or appropriate employment opportunities.

Also of major concern is that the process undertaken for the this redevelopment (known under various names – concept plan, incorporated plan or design development plan), will exclude third party objections (from surrounding residents and residents of the site) to all future plan changes – only objections to building specifics (eg. type of finish) will be permitted once the amendments are passed.   The rationale being that residents have already been provided with sufficient information and opportunities to object.

Given the above lack of details and controls and the consequences re community consultation mentioned above, a concerned residents has forwarded the below sample objection letter  and requested readers submit objections to Council by 9th October.

We encourage residents to formally object to the Amendments after considering the issues raised in the letter.  Feel free to cut, paste and personalize the below or download, sign and send the  PDF version.  Please submit by 9/10.

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Strategic Planning Department

Glen Eira City Council

PO Box 42

Caulfield South, VIC, 3162

Dear Councillors,

Re: East Village Development

I wish to lodge a formal objection to the proposed East Village Development Precinct Amendment C155 and request several changes to the amendment.

  • 3000 apartments represent an overdevelopment of the site and should be substantially reduced.
  • Eight storey apartment towers do not fit with the neighbourhood character. No higher than four storeys should be built. This will also take into consideration the over shadowing of Virginia Park and residential houses to the East. This must be mandated not preferred as stated.
  • Size of the apartments should reflect real housing diversity. There is no commitment required of the developer to deliver x number of three bedroom apartments, x number of 2 bedroom apartments or x number of 1 bedroom apartments. History shows that there will be a considerably larger number of 1 bedroom apartments so that they can cash in on more rather than less apartments.
  • That the developer be required to pay more than 5.7% in an open space levy and should be pay 11.4% on all land developed for commercial and residential
  • The area is poorly serviced by public transport and will result in more traffic chaos and until this is addressed the development should not go ahead.
  • Full signalisation of Cobar St prior to any development and construction.
  • An assessment of the proposed car parking provision including suitability of scale location and capacity to service the anticipated car parking demand.
  • Council displays any development plans and notifies the residents.

More information is required as it is not clear how the following will be funded:

  • Public Acquisition on 960 North Rd, East Bentleigh
  • The signalisation of Cobar St/North Rd/ Crosbie Rd intersections
  • Any necessary upgrades to those networks
  • The availability and capacity of the electricity, drainage, sewer water and digital networks

Yours truly

Name:

Address:

Mobile:

Signature:

Date:

 

East Village Exhibition of Planning Scheme Amendment

Below is the Victorian Planning Authority’s (VPA) notification of the Exhibition of Planning Scheme Amendments for the East Village development in Bentleigh East.  We encourage residents to review the documentation presented, attend the Community Information Sessions and to lodge submissions as requested.

Dear community member,

Glen Eira City Council (Council) and the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) are progressing the planning for a sustainable and vibrant new precinct known as ‘East Village’ in Bentleigh East.

The VPA undertook the initial planning work for East Village, and Council is now leading the planning scheme amendment process. The Planning Scheme Amendment documents will be available to you to view from Thursday 5 September to Wednesday 9 October 2019, during which time you are invited to have your say by making a submission to Council.

Details about how to make a submission are available on Council’s website

VPA will attend two drop in sessions hosted by council on:

  • Tuesday 17 September 9am -11am  
  • Thursday 18 September 4pm-6pm
Both sessions will be held at the Packer Park Pavilion, 120 Leila Road, Carnegie.

For more information about the project please visit:

If you have any further enquiries please feel free to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Ammar Habasch // Senior Strategic Planner – Urban Renewal

Victorian Planning Authority

Level 25, 35 Collins Street, Melbourne  VIC  3000

T: 03 96519677  //  E:Ammar.Habasch@vpa.vic.gov.au

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Please feel free to post comments on our Facebook Page.

UPDATE – EAST VILLAGE (VIRGINIA PARK) DRAFT STRUCTURE PLAN MEETING

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

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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.

Action:

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.

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BENTLEIGH ACTIVITY CENTRE – CONCEPT PLAN FORUM

The Centre Road Bentleigh Group have forwarded us the following letter urging residents to attend this Thursday’s Concept Plan Forum for the Bentleigh Activity Centre.  Significant changes are being proposed.  Forum details  and links to Council documentation are provided in the letter.

GERA supports the group and strongly urges residents to attend the Forum to express their views on the proposed changes.

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AN IMPORTANT LETTER TO RESIDENTS FROM RESIDENTS

The City of Glen Eira is currently planning for Bentleigh’s future and has developed a draft plan that is now out for community consultation.  This plan proposes excessive development for Bentleigh and if implemented will have a huge impact on our area and the way that we live.  Now’s your last chance to influence this direction.

What’s Proposed for Bentleigh

The draft Council plan for Bentleigh includes:

  • Developments of up to eight storeys on both the east and west sides of the train line.
  • The sale and development of Council owned land (current car parks) for up to eight storeys.
  • An increase in the footprint that can be developed to three storeys (from two storeys).
  • Three storey developments on Centre Road, west of Rose Street and east of Jasper Road, along much of Centre Road that is currently two storeys.

To view the Council’s proposal for Bentleigh go to Council’s website

In summary, this is a proposal for the further significant over-development of Bentleigh, it is not consistent with ongoing resident feedback and it has not been justified by Council.  As this plan will shape the future of Bentleigh, Council needs to hear loud and clear that it is not acceptable.

Background for Residents

Glen Eira currently has the lowest provision of open space in Melbourne, one of the highest population densities, one of the highest rates of new dwelling developments and more than enough housing supply opportunities for future population needs.  Glen Eira is already well and truly pulling its weight in terms of Victorian population growth and will continue to do so into the future with large development areas such as East Village on East Boundary Road in East Bentleigh and the completion of Caulfield Village.  Based on the current rate of new developments, Glen Eira is well ahead of the state government new dwelling and population projections for 2031.  Of concern, none of these facts have been included into the establishment of the Council’s plan for Bentleigh and there is no justification for the excessive over-development proposed.

What You Can Do

Enough is enough, we need resident involvement now or the damage of what’s being proposed will be irreparable.  This is what you can do to help shape the right future plan for Bentleigh.

  • Attend the Bentleigh community forum on Thursday 10th August from 6.30pm – 8.30pm at Duncan Mackinnon Reserve Pavilion, corner Murrumbeena and North Roads Murrumbeena. (Please attend, your attendance is very important).
  • Respond to the Online Survey and highlight: four storey developments (maximum), no growth of the zone for new developments, no sale of Council owned land for new developments and the increased provision of open space.
  • Contact Ward Councillors

Cr Jamie Hyams  M: 0427 319 018  E: JHyams@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Jim Magee      M: 0427 338 327  E: JMagee@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Nina Taylor     M: 0466 372 809  E: NTaylor@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Remind them that they have previously stated a position of opposing large-scale and excessive development in Bentleigh and that now’s the opportunity to demonstrate it.

Further Queries

If you have any queries, want to be kept informed or would like an electronic copy of this letter you can email centreroadbentleigh@gmail.com

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In addition to the issues raised in the above letter, GERA believes that when reviewing the proposed changes for Bentleigh, residents should also consider the nearby Major and Neighbourhood Activity Centres.  Within the context of a relatively small area, there is significant provision for future development – a significant provision that Council has not considered in the proposed Bentleigh Concept Plan.

 

Racecourse and Recreation Reserve – Opportunity for Change ???

Wednesday, 16th September, 2015, saw the conclusion of the two Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve Trust consultations (presented by Trust Chairman Greg Sword and Landscape Architect, John Patrick) which sought community input into the initial stages of Trust’s preparation of a “Strategic Land Management Plan” (SLMP) for the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve”. 

BACKGROUND of the RACECOURSE and RECREATION RESERVE

The Reserve (which comprises 54 ha of primly located crown land currently valued at $2bn) was created (by a Crown Grant in 1858 and formally enacted in 1875) to provide for three separate yet equal purposes of race course, public park and public recreation ground. Yet, as per the Auditor General’s (9/2014) findings, under the dysfunctional and archaic structure of the Trust, management of the reserve has focused on the racing purpose to the exclusion of the public park and recreation ground purposes.

In short, as per the AG’s report, the resulting inequitable imbalance in the reserves usage, facilities and accessibility is as follows

  • 11 ha (20%) is leased for racing uses for a peppercorn rental of $170,000 pa.
  • 37ha (69%) is used for racing purposes without any clear legal entitlement or payment. The majority of this area is located in the centre of the racecourse proper (a.k.a. the “Flats”) and is that area originally set aside for public usage.
  • 6ha (11%) that is “potentially” available for public park usage. The area is difficult to access and comprises limited facilities – both presenters agreed with this assessment.

 Since inception, the Trust’s management and Racing’s* dominance of the reserve has been a contentious issue, but never more so than in the last 18 years.   In 1997, the Victorian Racing Club, for financial reasons, decided to sell for development their state of the art training facility located on their freehold land in Mordialloc (a.k.a. the former Epsom Racecourse) and to focus training facilities at the Caulfield Racecourse (ie. choosing subsidised Crown Land rather than their own freehold land within Metro Melbourne or in a regional centre).

* While the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) is the current public face of the Reserve, the public face has varied between various Racing entities over the years.   To simplify this posting, GERA uses the generic term of “Racing” to represent these entities.

 In the past 18 years, increased Racing dominance has resulted in a dramatic decline in the area/s available for public usage (via the encroachment of training facilities and commercial activities) and the public’s ability to access the public usage area/s (eg. 4 only access points, restricted daily hours of usage, inner fencing and training track barriers, public exclusion during non-racing related commercial activities) – thus the Auditor General’s description of the remaining 6 ha of public park being “potentially” available.    

Centre’s Public Use Areas – from Glen Eira’s 1998 and 2013 Open Space Strategy

CONSULTATION

 The second (16/9) consultation was not as controversial or “firey” as the first (9/9) consultation. Although, the consultations were promoted as being “to ascertain how the Reserve could be utilised by the public, what facilities could be incorporated into the Reserve for both passive and active recreation and to identify community demands and expectations of the Reserve”, during the context setting presentation of the first (9/9) consultation

  • various exclusions were applied (eg. all leased areas and all stabling and training facilities located within the reserve would remain as a “given”). These exclusions whittled the area of the Reserve open for discussion down to an area akin to the 6 ha referred to in the Auditor General’s report. Additionally, although presenting a map of the reserve, the presenters were unable to identify either the location or size of the public area to be discussed.
  • out of scope rulings were applied to a number of highly contentious issues that had major impacts on public accessibility (eg. no. and location of access points, times of use and removal of inner and perimeter fencing)
  • the limited extent of the consultation advertising was discussed. That advertising being restricted to a
    • notification on the recently revived Trustee website  and
    • mailout to Glen Eira sporting clubs, retirement villages and schools within a 3 km radius of the Reserve.
    • brief comments in the Glen Eira Leader

All in all, not a good start.   Those attending (approx. 35) the first consultation, quickly began seriously questioning the Trust’s ability to develop an “overall vision and rationale for the Masterplan”, when the starting point (for a unique site with huge potential for a wide area) was based on maintaining the status quo – a status quo that was the subject of a scathing Auditor General’s Report in 2014 and an equally critical 2008 Legislative Council Select Committee Report.

Basically, the attendees argued that

  • while acknowledging that this consultation represented a shift in the Trustee management philosophy, that shift was still accompanied by a philosophy that clearly considered the 2 public purposes as subordinate to the Racing purpose rather than as outweighing or being at least equal to the  racing purpose.
  • the Trust needed to take a much broader view that recognised the huge potential of this land and the opportunity it presents to a dramatically increasing population with an ever increasing need for parkland and open space.
    • first establish a future vision for the optimum 3 separate yet equal purposes
    • then establish both the time frame and steps required to move from the current untenable position to achieve the future vision.

 Encouragingly, although still unable to identify the size and location of the public area included in the SLMP, the context setting presentation for the second consultation (16/9) acknowledged a number of issues raised at first consultation (9/9). Hence, our earlier comment that the second consultation was less controversial than the first. These issues included

  • that development of the SLMP, would be a long, reiterative process and would involve the broader community, not just Glen Eira’s sporting clubs, retirement villages and schools located within 3 km of the Racecourse.
  • retention of all stabling and training facilities located on Reserve land was not a “given” and that initially, consideration would be given to “tweeking” the current training track configuration to increase the public park area.  Later consideration would be given to the removal of training and stabling facilities located on reserve land.
  • that public accessibility and fencing (inner and perimeter) issues would be included in the SLMP.

However, the positive nature of the above was subsequently dampened by Greg Sword’s outline of the deficiencies/dysfunctionalities inherent in the Trust’s structure and the severe impact these have on the Trust’s ability to effectively manage the Reserve.

  • There are 15 Trustees comprising
    • 6 Trustees representing the racing industry. These Trustees are senior executives of the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) and in regular contact.
    • 6 Trustees appointed by the State Government, theoretically representing the broader community who may or may not be in regular contact with other trustees. GERA comment – as per the 2008 Select Committee Report these Trustees have a predominantly racing (vs. parkland management) background and know little of the public park purposes.
    • 3 Trustees representing the local community, appointed by the State Government. These trustees are Glen Eira Councillors (Crs. Lipshutz, Hyans and Esakoff) who may not be in regular contact with other trustees.
  • This structure makes it difficult for the Trust to pass any resolution that is not supported by the Melbourne Racing Club Trustees.
  • Therefore, it is unlikely that any SLMP that is “seen” to adversely impact Racing’s use of the Reserve (for racing, training or stabling or non-racing related commercial events) will the approved by the Trust.
  • Revenue received from MRC’s Reserve leases will provide the funding for works included in the Trust’s SLMP.   Even if the currently proposed, highly questionable, annual rental of $1 million, is approved, it will be some time before works will commence.
  • The Trustees have not met since prior to the publication of the Auditor General’s Report and are not scheduled to meet until November.   Trust approval to undertake this current round of consultations was obtained through email contact.
  • The Trust could not comment on Racing’s future plans for the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve (Australian Financial Review, 11/9/2015)  as Racing had not submitted those plans to the Trust.

 While attendees (at both consultations) were left wondering why, one year after the Auditor General’s Report, the State Government has yet to address the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve Trust issues, they nevertheless put forward their views on the public facilities required, in the hope that some improvement may eventuate.

Not in any particular order, these views were

  • Facilities to be provided must
    • have broad appeal, providing for all ages, all abilities, both genders and be family friendly.
    • provide for both active and passive park usage
    • have multiple and flexible use surfaces to provide for various sports
    • provide for both organised and informal sporting activities
  • Must be available for night/evening usage. Currently public usage is not permitted after dusk.
  • Ball Sports should be allowed. For example – football, soccer, cricket, hockey, baseball, tennis.
  • Flying of model areoplanes
  • The racecourse proper and training tracks should not be restricted from other uses, eg. joggers, athletics, school athletics.
  • Use of the centre as for commercial/corporate events or as a carpark is not supported.
  • Removal of inner and perimeter fencing.
  • Provision of farm and community gardens
  • Improved access (increased access points and existing access points improved)
  • Provide above ground pedestrian access through “new” Glen Eira Road parkland
  • Reserve’s public park and recreation area and usage to be actively promoted (rather than racecourse usage).

In addition, two further points were emphasised at both consultations

  • The impact of Glen Eira’s limited open space and sporting facilities has on all residents and in particular, the inability of the Glen Eira’s sporting clubs, located within 3 km of the Reserve, to meet membership demand.  So dire is their current need (not to mention the future need from the Caulfield Village, the Monash University expansion and the potential redevelopment of the MRC Freehold land along Kambrook and Booran Roads) for additional facilities that, initially, they were willing “bend” their match and training schedules to accommodate the 27 race meetings per annum and various commercial activities.
  • Do something now!!   With minimal effort and cost,
    • at least 2-3 sporting grounds can be accommodated within the current public usage area
    • improved public access and park promotion could be provided via the replacement of the solid perimeter fencing with open palisade fencing (with additional gates) along Glen Huntly Park and Queens Avenue.

AGM and COMMUNITY FORUM

.

TREES, BIODIVERSITY  & URBANISATION

 An opportunity to hear & discuss issues with

Dr. Greg Moore*

Burnley College, University of Melbourne.

      Date:           Wednesday, 14th October, 2015

     Time:           7.00 p.m. AGM

                              7.30 p.m. Guest Speaker

     Venue:         St. Johns Uniting Church

567 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick                                

       Admission: Gold Coin Donation

                   ALL WELCOME

 

 * Dr. Greg Moore was Principal of Burnley College, Melbourne University from 1988 to 2007. Greg has a specific interest in all aspects of arboriculture, which is the scientific study of the cultivation and management of trees. He has contributed to the development of Australian Standards in pruning and amenity tree evaluation and has been a major speaker at Australian and International conferences. He has been a regular on Melbourne radio, particularly with ABC 774 and 3AW and has chaired, since 1996, of the National Trust of Victoria’s Register of Significant Trees. He is currently pursuing active research related to trees and revegetation in the urban environment.

PETITION – REQUEST FOR ZONE IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW

In conjunction with GERA, the various residents groups emerging across the municipality are joining together and organising a petition to Council as follows

“Request GE Council to review its current planning scheme (incl a public consultation process as part of that review) & seek amendments to the planning scheme as a result of that review.”

To sign the petition

  • Electronically, Glen Eira Petition – Change.org  or
  • Manually, email geresidents@hotmail.com and a copy will be forwarded to you.   Return completed petitions to:  GERA, P.O. Box 212, Elsternwick 3185

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This petition arises from Council’s August, 2013 Planning Zone Implementation, which  the then Mayor (Jamie Hyams) described as being ”the biggest single planning change in Glen Eira’s history” 

  • yet was undertaken without any community consultation (“extensive” consultation having occurred 3 years prior, i.e. 2010), and
  • was retrospectively approved by all current Glen Eira Councillors on 13/8/2013 (with gazettal, ie. legal enactment, expected on 15/8/2013). Glen Eira’s official Zone Implementation media release is dated 5/8/2013.

Under the Planning and Environment Act, 1987, all Councils are required to review their Planning Scheme every 4 years.   While it may be argued Glen Eira’s zone implementation constituted a review, that review did not involve the community.

Four years on from the last Planning Scheme review that involved community consultation and 12 months on from the zone implementation, there is broad and growing dissatisfaction with Glen Eira’s zone implementation.   GERA believes that the petition’s request for a planning scheme review, which includes community consultation is

GERA, therefore, both supports the petition and urges residents to also support the petition.