Tag Archives: Glen Eira Heritage

STRUCTURE PLANNING FORUMS

UPDATE 17/5/2017

Don’t forget to attend tonight’s Structure Planning Forum for Elsternwick.  Details are

Wednesday, 17th May, 6.30pm–8.30pm at the Caulfield RSL, 4 St. Georges Road, Elsternwick.

UPDATE 8/5/2017

Don’t forget to attend tonight’s Structure Planning Forum for Carnegie.  Details are

Monday 8th May, 6.30pm–8.30pm

Boyd Room of the Carnegie Library,

7 Shepparson Avenue, Carnegie

As we have pointed out many times, this is an opportunity for residents to assess and comment upon the Structure Planning work currently being undertaken by Council.   It’s about how Council is planning for the expected future developments in the centre and Council’s proposals for ensuring that the Carnegie Centre continues as a safe, socially and economically viable Centre that is readily accessible to all.

If you want a say in what can/should be built where and what basic needs (eg. open space, safety, traffic parking, neighbourhood character) Council should plan to provide for a burgeoning population then attend the forum.

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For those not aware, commencing next week, Council is holding  Community Forums* on the preliminary results of the Structure Planning work being undertaken as a result of the 2015 Ministerial Directive for Glen Eira to review it’s planning scheme.

We urge all residents and interested parties to attend the forums – numbers count.  The Structure Planning (first recommended by an Independent Planning Panel in 2003) currently being undertaken sets the requirements/standards for future developments in Glen Eira, ie what can built where (ie. locations, building uses, heights, footprint, setbacks etc.) .   It also incorporates the myriad of related planning issues (eg. traffic, parking, open space, tree protection, heritage, drainage etc.) which fall within Council’s planning responsibilities.

Although the current focus is on the major activity centres and skyrail route, the requirements set for these centres will also have significant impact on the

  • Requirements determined, at some yet to be determined future time, for the smaller activity centres (a.k.a. Neighbourhood Centres) and
  • Flow on impacts (eg traffic & parking) for the surrounding areas (ie. the smaller activity centres and Neighbourhood Residential Zone).

Now is the appropriate time for community involvement – the planning scheme requirements are being set.  Once set, it is too late to object to planning permit applications that are in compliance with the requirements ( eg. those that have been approved for Carnegie and Bentleigh since the current zones were implemented in 2013).

Below is an email which highlights some of the issues identified by the Centre Road Bentleigh Group (the Group can be contacted via email – centreroadbentleigh@gmail.com).   GERA believes that many of the issues raised below are equally applicable to Carnegie, Elsternwick and Murrumbeena and that the residents of these areas may wish to add further concerns at the forums.

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Over the last few years, Bentleigh residents have been actively lobbying Council to put in the right controls and plans for future developments within the area.  As an outcome of this lobbying, some interim height controls have recently been introduced and Council is now also undertaking a Bentleigh shopping centre and surrounds structure planning process. This structure plan will significantly influence future development

 Our thoughts on the preliminary plan are:  

  • There is no meaningful increase in open space and this is an issue with increasing development and also the general lack of open space in Glen Eira (lowest in Melbourne).  
  • It is proposed that the existing car parks are to be consolidated into a multi-storey with the remainder to potentially be converted into more residential developments. This is not acceptable (Stonnington for example are doing one underground car park and developing open space above). 
  • There is limited if any innovation or creativity in the plan.  
  • It is proposed that the library be relocated ($20M plus cost) however this was not identified as a need by residents.  (perhaps Council wants to sell off the current library site for a major development?). 
  • There is no direction included for future development heights. 

In summary, we believe that more work needs to be done to deliver a plan that is consistent in quality with other local government areas.  

 Please attend the community forum to again ensure Council clearly understands the views of residents.  Numbers are important, please also forward this onto friends. 

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

 

*Details of the Forums, together with support documentation, is available on Council’s website

Bentleigh

Wednesday 3 May, 6.30pm–8.30pm at the Bentleigh Senior Citizens Centre, 2 Arthur Street, Bentleigh to further discuss this preliminary plan.

Carnegie

Monday 8th May, 6.30pm–8.30pm at the Boyd Room of the Carnegie Library, 7 Shepparson Avenue, Carnegie

Elsternwick

Wednesday, 17th May, 6.30pm–8.30pm at the Caulfield RSL, 4 St. Georges Road, Elsternwick.

Murrumbeena

The previously advised 24/5 Murrumbeena Structure Planning Community Forum appears to have been cancelled and has been replaced with a Structure Planning Forum for the East Village Development.  Details of this Forum are provided below.

East Village

Wednesday, 24th May, 6.30pm–8.30pm at the Duncan McKinnon Reserve Pavilion, Cnr. North and Murrumbeena Roads, Murrumbeena

 

2016 PLANNING SCHEME REVIEW – WHY YOU SHOULD PARTICIPATE

Council’s 2016 Planning Scheme Review offers residents the first opportunity to formally express their views on Glen Eira’s Planning Scheme since 2010.   GERA urges all residents to attend one of the 3 remaining Planning Review Sessions and/or lodge a written submission with Council (preferably both).  If you don’t take advantage of this current opportunity to comment on the “relevance and applicability of all Glen Eira’s town planning policies and controls”, your next opportunity will probably be in 2020 (ie. as prescribed by the 1987 Planning and Environment Act, reviews are required every 4 years unless granted an exemption).

GERA supports the concept of focusing the demands made by an increasing population towards areas which are best suited to meet those demands (ie. the provision of  housing, transport, employment, retail and commercial services and recreation).  In supporting that concept, we also recognize that local Councils, being the local planning authority, play a key role in identifying appropriate areas capable of accommodating those demands and ensuring, via implementing planning policies and controls, the long term viability and liveability of those areas.

Since the 2003 Housing Diversity/High Density and Minimal Change Area policy was implemented, residents (ourselves included) have consistently criticized Glen Eira’s town planning for allowing development to occur without implementing appropriate planning policies and controls that give consideration to the cumulative (ie. in total) social and environmental impacts that arise from intensive development within targeted areas.

The 2013 Zone Implementation, as documented in the media, resulted in a dramatic increase in that criticism.  As residents’  knowledge of the GE Planning Scheme grows (the result of the objection process), so too does criticism of Council’s planning performance and the absence of appropriate planning policies and controls.  Such criticism, combined with that of developers and VCAT, resulted in the Planning Minister’s decision (December 2015) to require Glen Eira to undertake a planning scheme review in consultation with the community.

The significance/importance of your participation in this Review is highlighted, not only by the Minister’s assessment of the need for the review but also by the all encompassing scope of the review.  Council’s Review Discussion Paper outlines the topics to be reviewed under “Themes”  as follows

  • Municipal Strategic Statement and Local Planning Policies
  • Activity Centres
  • Environmentally Sustainable Development
  • Car Parking and Transport (both private and public)
  • Neighbourhood Character
  • Heritage

Below is a bullet point summary* of the issues raised by residents attending the first  two sessions which readers may wish to consider – no doubt additional issues will be raised in the 3 remaining sessions.   All issues currently raised fall within Council’s ambit of responsibility and all directly impact all residents (regardless of which zone they live in)  – they are also all integral to how you envisage Glen Eira developing.

* Subsequent GERA postings will discuss the most significant issues.  GERA accepts that, although presented under one Theme,  many of the issues are related to more than one theme

DISCUSSION THEMES AND RESIDENTS INPUT

THEME 1 Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) and Local Planning Policies (LPPs)

  • MSS – Despite providing the strategic (overarching) direction for urban/town planning within Glen Eira the current MSS is outdated (i.e. pre 2006) and is based on 1996 Census data.
  • Local Planning Policies reflect the outdated nature of the MSS, while some MMS policies/objectives are yet to be developed eg.   Structure Planning, Parking Precinct Plans.

THEME 2 – Urban Design in Activity Centres

  • Structure Planning and Urban Design Frameworks to be implemented for all high density areas.
  • Review of all high density area boundaries
  • Development Contribution Levy (drainage) to be re-instated and advocating for higher levy rate
  • Overlays required to ensure or provide
    • Application of height controls for all Commercial and Mixed Use zones
    • Provision of diverse dwelling types (eg. apartments and townhouse) and sizes (eg. 1,2,3+ bedrooms) and density parameters
    • Reduced site coverage and basement car park dimensions not to exceed above ground building footprint (ensures increased site permeability and landscaping opportunities)
    • Neighbourhood/Preferred Character Statements
    • Balconies not permitted to exceed property boundaries or overshadow lower balconies.
  • Advocating for minimum apartment sizes and internal amenity standards
  • No waivers on parking or loading bay requirements and the implementation of parking acquisition overlays
  • Private open space provisions (eg. balconies) to be applicable to Commercial and Mixed Use Zones.
  • Enforcement of time restricted parking provisions and a review undertaken on the applicability of those provisions.

THEME 3 Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD)

  • Implement tree protection  (private and public land) – planning scheme provisions are inadequate
  • Energy efficiency ratings and Water Conservation strategies to be applicable to all new construction.
  • Mandatory access to natural light and ventilation for all habitable rooms in multi-unit, multi-storey dwellings.
  • Increased permeable surface requirements in all zones
  • Acquisition of open space
  • Increased open space levy and higher levy rates applicable to Commercial, Mixed Use, Residential Growth and General Residential zones
  • Improved public safety
  • Focus on Sustainable Transport – public transport, pedestrian and cyclist safety.
  • Advocating for an improved public transport system.

THEME 4 Car Parking and Transport

  • Reinstatement of Road Safety Strategy (lapsed in 2012) – focus on pedestrian and cyclist safety and traffic management treatments
  • Reinstatement of Local Area Traffic Management  (LATM)
  • No. of budgeted traffic management treatments to be increased from 3 p.a. to at least 10 p.a.
  • Implementation of Parking Precinct Plans and Parking Acquisition Overlays
  • Application of residential parking permit system and time restricted parking provisions required to be reviewed

THEME 5  Neighbourhood Character

  • Regular assessment of Neighbourhood Character required. Reassessment required to be undertaken in 2016.
  • Neighbourhood Character (NCO) and Design Development Overlays (DDO) to be applied to Neighbourhood Residential Zones
  • NCO and DDO to be applied to “large lots” (> 2000 sqm) in Neighbourhood Residential Zones

THEME 6 Heritage

  • Regular assessment of Heritage required. Glen Eira’s 1996 Heritage Management Plan is overdue for reassessment.
  • MSS and LPPs should include provision for Heritage classification as per Heritage Advisors recommendations both on an ad hoc basis and as part of the regular review process.
  • Significance of recognized heritage areas diminished by allowing unsympathetic redevelopment of sites deemed “non contributory”.
  • Councillors and Council Officers to take into account Independent Heritage Advisors recommendations  and residents expressed views as heritage issues arise.

 CLOSING SESSION

  • Performance measures included in MSS and LPPs to be included in current and all future Planning Scheme Reviews.
  • Planning Scheme Review should take into account recent VCAT judgement justifications which contain criticisms of Glen Eira’s Planning Scheme.

As mentioned previously we urge residents to take advantage of this overdue community consultation opportunity by

  • Attending one of the 3 remaining Planning Review Sessions and the Key Issues Meeting on 15th June, 2016.
  • Making a formal submission to Council – numbers count

Only your participation ensures that your opinions are considered.

MORE HERITAGE LOST ??????

GERA supports the National Trust, RSL and the Glen Eira Historical Society in urging residents to  contact Council/Councillors to request

  • An independent heritage advisors assessment of the historical significance of a rare World War 1 Soldiers Rest Home located at 294 Kooyong Road, Caulfield, within the context of the City of Glen Eira. This Rest Home, built by public subscription and known as the Caulfield Rest Home (later Montgomery House), was formerly operated by the Red Cross and staffed by volunteer nurses.  The building is not currently protected by a Heritage Overlay.
  • Deferring the decision on Planning Permit Application (GE/PP-28748/2015), beyond 17th May, 2016, to allow for
    • Preparation and assessment of an Independent Heritage Advisor’s Report on the historic significance/merits of the Caulfield Rest Home within the context of the City of Glen Eira, and
    • Heritage Victoria to receive submission and assess the historic significance/merits of Montgomery House within the context of Victoria.

The above planning permit seeks to demolish the Caulfield Rest Home (in 2017) to provide an additional 30 beds within a planned new Aged Care/Dementia  Facility, operated by an independent Christian charity (HammondCare) and located adjacent to the Caulfield Hospital.

Those advocating retention of the Caulfield Rest Home are not opposing the continuation of the site’s usage for the provision of aged and/or dementia care.  Rather they are advocating that the development of the new facility should not be at the expense of heritage and that the Caulfield Rest Home could and should be integrated within the proposed development.   Such integration would be in accordance with the heritage and planning objectives included in

  • The Victorian the 1987 Planning and Environment Act and
  • Glen Eira’s Planning Scheme
    • Municipal Strategic Statement, and
    • Heritage Clause 21.10, and
    • Local Policies

While HammondCare is proposing a pictorial record, memorial pavilion and poppy garden instead of incorporating the Rest Home within the proposed new facilities this is seen as a poor substitute when  the “real thing” could be retained rather than lost forever.

Recent media and internet articles referring to the historic significance of the Caulfield Rest Home are:

A summary of the above articles is as follows:

Today T

  • The Caulfield Rest Home is the last intact building from Caulfield Hospital’s era as one of Australia’s biggest World War I repatriation hospitals.  Built in 1916 entirely by funds and materials raised/donated by the local community, it was an outpatient home for World War 1 soldiers, providing support, comfort and friendship for recovering soldiers.  Prior to the advent of purpose built rest homes, convalescing (from major/catastrophic injuries) soldiers were inappropriately housed in the verandahs and dinning rooms of military hospitals with little opportunity to socialize (with families or fellow patients) or to acquire new skills to aid their re-entry into the community.

Skills

  • The Caulfield Rest Home continued to play an important part in Red Cross Services during and between two world wars. From 1958 it operated as a handicraft centre in the grounds of the then Southern Memorial Hospital, until the Red Cross’ lease expired in 1976. In 2000 it was renovated and re-opened in 2001 as Montgomery Nursing Home with 30 beds for dementia and aged care patients. In 2015 the site was leased by HammondCare.
  •  The Caulfield Rest Home is believed to be the only purpose-built rest home remaining in Victoria and one of the only surviving tangible links to a highly significant period of Caulfield’s history.

 For readers wishing to contact Council/Councillors and object to this planning permit application, a proposed objection and Council/Councillor contact details are available on the Trust Advocate website.

Coming less than 12 months after the appalling  loss of Frogmore, GERA urges readers ensure their views are made known to Council.

FROGMORE UPDATE

Many readers will remember GERA’s unsuccessful “ Save Frogmore Campaign” (1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie) and Glen Eira Council’s shameful 9/6/2015 decision to abandon applying heritage protection to Frogmore House before it could be assessed by an Independent Planning Panel (effectively denying all stakeholders access to the appropriate due planning scheme amendment process). The end result being the demolition of Frogmore House occurring in July, 2015.

Unfortunately, it appears that an addendum has recently been added to the shameful Frogmore Saga.   This time it is related to processing the of the planning permit application for a two storey Aged Care Facility which includes a proposal to remove 88 trees from the site.

BRIEF RECAP

The 9/6/2015 decision to abandon heritage decision for Frogmore was made

  • despite
    • a Council commissioned Independent Heritage Expert Assessment (Jan, 2015), which unequivocally recommended Heritage Protection at the Municipal Level.
    • it being inconsistent with the Glen Eira Municipal Strategic Statement, Glen Eira Planning Scheme and the 1987 Planning and Environment Act objectives of planning for Victoria. Inadequate strategic justification was provided to support this inconsistency.
    • a recommendation from the National Trust
    • considerable community support for Heritage Protection to be applied to Frogmore (petition of approx. 1000 signatures, planning conference 300+ letters of support for protection vs. 2 against protection)
    • Council’s
      • Instigation (reportedly by Mayor Magee) of an Interim Protection Order for Frogmore in Jan, 2015
      • 2/2/2015 6 to 3 decision to proceed with Heritage Protection based on the January, 2015 Heritage Advisor’s Report (For Protection Crs. Sounness, Okotel, Lobo, Delahunty, Esakoff and Magee; Against Protection Crs. Pilling, Hyams and Lipshutz)
  • based on
    • reliance on an inappropriate process (the planning permit approval process) to determined Heritage Values vs. the appropriate Planning Scheme Amendment process
    • reliance on an outdated (2002) Municipal Wide Heritage Assessment that recognised Frogmore as significant but excluded it from Heritage Protection in part because in was not located in a heritage protection area.   This flawed 2002 application of  the “safety in numbers” concept to heritage determination overrode the January 2015 assessment (which in addition to many other factors), recommended protection due to it’s individual location (rarity) and took into account social and demographic changes that had occurred since 2002. “It’s a victim of it’s own rarity”
    • that the potential purchaser (Jewish Care) had acted in good faith and undertaken significant expenditure in identifying and negotiating the site for re-development as an Aged Care Facility. FYI – caveat emptor is not listed as either a planning or heritage consideration
    • an unsubstantiated determination of Net Community Benefit of 120 beds. With 120 beds equating Jewish Care’s assessment of site potential if Frogmore wasn’t retained.  Clearly, this net community benefit calculation ascribes a zero value to heritage.
    • the decision of Heritage Victoria not to award State Level Protection to Frogmore which was a decision based on an assessment at the broader State Level rather than smaller Municipal Level. Council’s use of the Heritage Victoria decision as a justification, ignores the fact that Heritage Protection, within Australia, provides for heritage recognition and protection at the Municipal Level. It also ignores the fact that Council’s commissioned 01/ 2015, Heritage Advisors Assessment was undertaken at the Municipal Level and recommends protection at that level

 “Frogmore is significant to the locality of Carnegie and Murrumbeena and City of Glen Eira and should be conserved as one of the cultural assets of the city   … Frogmore House should be included in the schedule to heritage over lay clause 43.01 by the Glen Eira Planning Scheme”.

  • a casting vote – in the absence of the Mayor (Magee) and declarations of conflicts of interest (arising since February, 2015) from the Deputy Mayor (Delahunty) and Cr. Esakoff, the immediate past Mayor Cr. Pilling took and chair and exercised his casting vote. (For Protection Crs. Sounness, Okotel, Lobo; Against Protection Crs. Pilling (2 votes), Hyams and Lipshutz)

CURRENT ISSUE

9/6/2015              Decision to abandon heritage protection

17/6/2015           Planning Permit Application for a 2 storey Aged Care Facility at 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie, lodged with Council for Council review.

21/7/2015            Frogmore House Demolished

13/9/2015            1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie site aerial photo ex Nearmap

wahgoo spetember 2015

15/9/2015           Advertising period for Planning Permit Application commenced, ie. plans made available for residents review and possible objections.

Included in the permit documentation provided for residents review is a proposal for the removal of 88 trees – we’d appreciate readers assistance in finding them in the above 13/9/2015 aerial photograph.

To aid you below is a aerial picture of the site circa January, 2015.

Frogmore H&L

And a picture taken during the July 2015 demolition works

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29/9/2015           Advertising period completed. Objections received to be considered by Council in near future.

FROGMORE – GLEN EIRA’s SHAME

Words fail, the pictures can do the talking.

GONE FOREVER

Southwards View 016 T2

Northwards Views

The truck is where Frogmore Stood

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WAS FOR 135 YEARS

Frogmore in summer w T

 October, 2014

 

 

FROGMORE – Department of Planning Appeal

Demolition on Frogmore House itself has started – on the southern side of the house the verandah has been removed and trees are being sawn down.   On the northern side the 1960’s-1990’s extensions (of no heritage merit) are rapidly being demolished.

At the end of last week GERA spoke with an Advisor in the Department of Planning – it seems despite the our assertions (which are supported by presented documentation and the National Trust*) that Council’s 9/6/2015 decision was fundamentally flawed**,  the Department of Planning is reluctant to get involved in a decision that has already been made by another level of government.

Many of the Save Frogmore supporters are wondering why

  • ministerial approval is required for either a Municipal Planning Scheme and Planning Scheme amendments, and
  • a provision for a Ministerial Direction was included in the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Please keep calling/emailing the Minister for Planning’s office so that our next posting is not entitled “Vale Frogmore”.  Your calls/emails are having an impact.

 Email:                    richard.wynne@parliament.vic.gov.au

 Telephone:         (03) 8392 6175

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Footnotes

National Trust Letter* (click to enlarge)NT Letter P1 TNT Letter P2 Fundamental Flaws**

  • Disregards accredited Independent Heritage Advice received in January, 2015
  • lacks adequate strategic justification, particularly with regards the determination of net community benefit
  • is inconsistent with the Glen Eira Planning Scheme (Heritage and Aged Care) and the 1987 Planning and Environment Act objectives of planning for Victoria
  • denies all stakeholders access to the appropriate due planning scheme amendment process,

 

 

 

 

 

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Fundamental Flaws*

  • Disregards accredited Independent Heritage Advice received in January, 2015
  • lacks adequate strategic justification, particularly with regards the determination of net community benefit
  • is inconsistent with the Glen Eira Planning Scheme (Heritage and Aged Care) and the 1987 Planning and Environment Act objectives of planning for Victoria
  • denies all stakeholders access to the appropriate due planning scheme amendment process,

 

 

FROGMORE – D-Day Countdown

Update – 1/7/2015 – Buildings included in yesterday’s first photo now rubble.

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It appears the Victorian Department of Planning is “caught up in red tape” and even though aware that demolition is imminent, has yet to review Glen Eira Council’s highly questionable decision to abandon heritage protection for Frogmore House.

 Frogmore Demolition Works – 30/6/2015

 Demolition works are currently concentrated on the 1960’s – 1990’s Aged Care Extensions which were superficially connected to Frogmore and were not to be included in the Heritage Overlay. (Frogmore’s iconic tower is visible in the background)

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 Surrounding residents’ report that Frogmore House currently remains externally intact, however, internally doors, stairs and various other fittings have been removed.  Their “D-day” estimate, based on progress to date, is that Frogmore may well be “gone” by the end of the week (at the latest early next week).

 Apparently, the slow pace of the Department of Planning is attributable to a need for a specific rationale for a State Government Department to get involved in a decision that has already been made by another level of government.

Of course GERA believes that Glen Eira’s decision to abandon the heritage protection doesn’t stand up to planning scrutiny. The arguments presented on this site have also been presented to the Minister (14/6), together with relevant documentation (ie. January, 2015 Council commissioned Heritage Advisor’s Report and Recommendation, Council’s 3/2/2015 rationale to protect and 9/6/2015 rationale not to protect) and approximately 350 signed form letters from the community. We are also aware of that a large number of our readers (both within the Glen Eira community and the broader community) have also contacted the Department of Planning in support of heritage protection for Frogmore.

Given the recently announced State Heritage Review, residents are now wondering why the Department is not making the review of Frogmore a priority.   After all in January, 2015 Frogmore was unequivocally recommended for Heritage Protection at the Local Level (historic significance, architectural merit, rarity and associations), yet in making it’s 9/6/2015 abandon decision Council ignored that expert report and reverted to Council’s 2003 dubious decision not to apply heritage protection as Frogmore was not located within an identified heritage area.  Frogmore hasn’t moved but heritage standards and social attitudes have.

We know it’s a repetitive ask but clearly the above photo’s show that this really is your last chance to save Frogmore.   Please contact the Planning Minister to lobby for urgent action.

 Contact details

Email:                    richard.wynne@parliament.vic.gov.au

Telephone:         (03) 8392 6175

Mail:                      Level 20, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Twitter:                http://twitter.com/rwynnemp

 

To assist you, please feel free to cut and paste the following guideline

Hon. Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning

Request to review Glen Eira City Council Planning Scheme Amendments 136 (interim Protection) and C137 (Local Heritage Overlay) for 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie (a.k.a. Frogmore)

I request that you urgently act to re-instate interim protection for Frogmore while Department of Planning reviews the strategic justifications presented by Glen Eira City Council in support of it’s 9/6/2015 resolution to abandon heritage protection for 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie (a.k.a. Frogmore).

Glen Eira Council has not addressed key planning issues and disregarded accredited heritage advice. The end result being a resolution to withdraw/abandon planning scheme amendments C136 (interim protection) and C137 (heritage protection) that

  • denies all stakeholders access to the appropriate due planning scheme amendment process,
  • lacks adequate strategic justification, and
  • is inconsistent with the Glen Eira Planning Scheme and the 1987 Planning and Environment Act objectives of planning for Victoria

FROGMORE’S LAST GASP

Frogmore in summer w T

Frogmore – October, 2014

Less than 10 days after Council’s seriously flawed 9/6/2015 resolution to abandon local heritage protection for Frogmore its days are clearly numbered.

  • Vegetation has been cleared, fences erected and portable toilets installed.
  • Planning Permit (GE/PP-28101/2015) for “Redevelopment of existing site for a new residential aged care facility” has been lodged.

As per our previous posting, GERA has been lobbying, Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning, to act to re-instate interim protection for Frogmore, to enable his Department’s review of the strategic justifications presented by Council in support of it’s 9/6/2015 abandon heritage protection resolution.

Clearly, time is of the essence and we again urge the community to email or call the Minister to request him to act.

PLEASE EMAIL OR CALL NOW – otherwise, the next time you hear of Frogmore it will be in a demolition announcement.

Contact details

Email:                    richard.wynne@parliament.vic.gov.au

Telephone:         (03) 8392 6175

Mail:                      Level 20, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Twitter:              http://twitter.com/rwynnemp

 To assist you, please feel free to use the following guideline

Hon. Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning

Request to review Glen Eira City Council Planning Scheme Amendments 136 (interim Protection) and C137 (Local Heritage Overlay) for 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie (a.k.a. Frogmore)

I request that you urgently act to re-instate interim protection for Frogmore while Department of Planning reviews the strategic justifications presented by Glen Eira City Council in support of it’s 9/6/2015 resolution to abandon heritage protection for 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie (a.k.a. Frogmore).

Glen Eira Council has not addressed key planning issues and disregarded accredited heritage advice. The end result being a resolution to withdraw/abandon planning scheme amendments C136 and C137 that

  • denies all stakeholders access to the appropriate due planning scheme amendment process,
  • lacks adequate strategic justification, and
  • inconsistent with the Glen Eira Planning Scheme and the 1987 Planning and Environment Act objectives of planning for Victoria

NO MORE FROGMORE

RIP Frogmore T

We regret to inform readers that at last Tuesday’s (9/6/2015) Council Meeting, Councillor’s resolved to withdraw/abandon heritage protection for Frogmore via the planning scheme amendment process (ie. heritage overlay).

Thus, Frogmore’s future will now be inappropriately determined by a planning permit approval process which does not consider heritage unless that heritage has been previously recognised via a heritage overlay.

The Age – 11/6/2015

National Trust 10/6/2015

Historic Home to face the wrecking ball – 11/6/2015 – Magic1278 (linked added 16/6/2015).

Glen Eira Leader – articled added 16/6/2015.

Leader on Frogmore Decision T

GERA believes that the resolution to halt the amendment process

  • does not give appropriate consideration to the heritage retention values shown by the significant community support for the preservation of Frogmore.
  • does not recognise that the Planning Scheme Amendment process is the appropriate  heritage recognition process
  • has disregarded current expert heritage advice without sound reasons
  • has not provided adequate strategic justification for withdrawing/abandoning the amendments

AMENDMENT C136  and C137 BACKGROUND

These amendments were initiated by residents (ie. a petition comprising approximately 1,000 signatures) in December, 2014, and resulted in a Council decision to commission an Independent Local Heritage Assessment of Frogmore.  Council defined the Assessment’s terms of reference.

On 3/2/2015, based on the findings and recommendation of that Independent Local Heritage Assessment, Council initiated amendments C136 (Interim Protection) and C137 (Heritage Overlay, ie. permanent protection).

 “Frogmore is significant to the locality of Carnegie and Murrumbeena and City of Glen Eira and should be conserved as one of the cultural assets of the city.  …  Frogmore House should be included in the schedule to heritage over lay clause 43.01 by the Glen Eira Planning Scheme”.

 The above 2015 Frogmore Independent Heritage Assessment (a.k.a. Graeme Butler Report) recommendation was based on a detailed analysis of

  • Frogmore’s heritage merits (historic, architecture, rarity and associations) in its own right, and
  • in comparison with Glen Eira’s identified historic building stock

and measured the analysis results against the assessment criteria

  • applicable to Glen Eira’s 1996-2003 Municipal Heritage Survey and
  • Heritage Victoria’s current heritage criteria, assessed within the context of the Glen Eira municipality (5 of 8 criteria satisfied, only 1 is required to be met)

 The National Trust supports the findings and recommendation of the 2015 Frogmore Independent Local Heritage Assessment.

 On 9/6/2015, although nothing has occurred that would alter the 2015 Frogmore Local Heritage Assessment findings or recommendation, the resolution not to proceed to a hearing before an Independent Planning Panel was made, based on a casting vote.  In the absence of 3  Councillors which included the Mayor and Deputy Mayor (apologies from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Delahunty and Cr. Esakoff declaring conflicts of interest which had arisen since their participation in the 3/2/2015 resolution to commence the protection process), the immediate past Mayor (Cr. Pilling) took the chair and the casting vote.   The voting was 4 to 3.

Voting for withdrawal/abandon – Crs. Hyams, Lipshutz and Pilling (2 votes)

Voting to continue the amendment process – Crs. Sounness, Okotel and Lobo.

 DISREGARDING ACCREDITED EXPERT ADVICE

  • The 2015 Frogmore Independent Heritage Advisor’s Local Assessment should supersede the 1996-2003 Glen Eira Municipal Heritage Survey, which excluded Frogmore from a local heritage overlay.   However, support for the withdrawal/abandoning of the Amendments C136 and C137, is reliant upon the 1996-2003 Heritage Survey.  A survey which contradicts the findings and recommendation of the 2015 Independent Heritage assessment.
  • The need to consider Frogmore in the context of the municipality (9/6/2015 Officer’s Report) does not justify abandoning the planning scheme amendments. Nor does it recognise that the detailed 2015 Frogmore Heritage Assessment was undertaken at the Local Level.
  • Asserting that the 2015 Frogmore Local Assessment recommended protection “because” of associations (refer Officers Report – 9/6/2015) “downplays” the 2015 Local Heritage Assessment’s recommendation that is based on a detailed assessment of Frogmore’s historic significance, architectural merit, rarity and associations.
  • Inappropriately referencing Heritage Victoria’s March, 2015 Assessment (which did not recommend State Level Protection), “blurs the line” between State and Local Assessments. When a State Assessment recommends State Level Protection, local level protection automatically follows. Conversely, the absence of State Level protection does not, and should not, impact recognition of significance at the Local Level.
  • The 1996-2003 decision not to include Frogmore in a heritage overlay was based on
    • Frogmore not being located in an “identified heritage area” – this is not a current heritage assessment criteria and arguably a stand-alone location enhances, rather than diminishes, heritage value.
    • Addition of extensions (1960’s – 1990’s) surrounding the building – Amendment C137 does not apply to these extensions which are described as being “superficial” in the 2015 Frogmore Local Assessment
    • Obscured street visibility (due to extensions) – not a heritage assessment criteria and able to be addressed during re-development.
    • Non original modifications – the 2015 Frogmore Local Assessment did not find these modifications significant.
  • Does not adequately consider the National Trust’s recommendation to preserve Frogmore via the applying a local heritage overlay.

STRATEGIC JUSTIFICATION

  • Given the 2015 Frogmore Independent Heritage Advisor’s Local Assessment findings and recommendation, Glen Eira Council’s decision not to proceed with local heritage protection for Frogmore is inconsistent with the

– purpose and objectives of the Glen Eira’s Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS – Clause 21.10) and

– Glen Eira’s Planning Scheme (GEPS – Clause 41.01 – Purpose) and

– objectives of planning for Victoria, as identified by the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

The supporters of these amendments (C136 and C137) agree with the objectives and purposes of these documents and have consistently argued that good planning should result in an outcome that would retain Frogmore for current and future residents without preventing redevelopment (Aged Care or other permitted use), albeit a “scaled back” development. The protection of heritage values is a valid planning consideration in planning decisions.

  • The site is a large site (8,000 sqm, of which approximately 1,000 sqm accommodates Frogmore House and its significant vegetation identified in the 2015 Frogmore Local Heritage Assessment) that presents a unique opportunity for a good planning outcome that caters for multiple community usages, ie. preservation of heritage and redevelopment as an Aged Care Facility that is consistent with and encouraged by the above documents.

Abandoning Amendment C137 will not put in place orderly planning controls that conserve and enhance buildings identified as significant while also providing for sympathetic redevelopment that balances the present and future interests and needs of Glen Eira’s residents.

  • The suggestion that planning issues (particularly those related to heritage issues on large lots) are more appropriately addressed during the planning permit approval process (Officer’s Reports 3/2/2015 and 9/6/2015) is inconsistent with the above documents and will result in ad hoc, piecemeal decisions. The planning permit process only considers planning controls that are in place – no heritage controls = no Frogmore.

Abandoning Amendment C137 will not provide an appropriate forum to consider Frogmore’s heritage.

  • It is extremely difficult to see “The Minister for Planning has, to date, not responded to Council’s request of 4 February 2015 to place interim heritage control over the land” as a justification to withdraw/abandon the amendments.

Additional comments

  • No plans for the proposed redevelopment have been lodged with Council and, contrary to Officer’s Reports (3/2/2015 & 9/6/2015), the site has yet to be acquired by the potential developer. The sales agreement is conditional upon obtaining planning approval.
  • Net Community Benefit (NCB) – refer 9/6/2015 Officer’s Report (Section 6 Public Notice – Objectors), is frequently mentioned yet rarely documented or quantified. Recent discussions determine its value as being 120 beds.
    • No detailed professional analysis substantiating this determination (that NCB = 120 beds) has been presented.  The potential developer’s optimal proposed development comprises a 120 bed facility and the loss of Frogmore. Despite the 2015 Frogmore Local Heritage Assessment, this NCB determination clearly assigns a zero value to heritage.
    • Neither the Officer’s Report (9/6/2015) or Councillor discussion refer to the proposed developer’s planning conference comment that while their analysis indicated that a 60 bed facility was viable and would enable Frogmore to be retained, the developer was not interested in a lesser development and would prefer to look for an alternative site
  • That the potential developer had acted in good faith, undertaken due diligence and incurred significant costs in identifying the property as suitable and plan preparation (Officer’s Report’s 3/2/2015 & 9/6/2015 and Councillor discussion). While this is a regrettable situation, it is however, not a strategic justification for abandoning the heritage protection process.
  • That by abandoning the heritage overlay process, the potential developer avoids lengthy delays in site redevelopment. This is not a strategic justificiation for abandoning the heritage protection process.

It sets a dangerous precedent if unsubstantiated Net Community Benefit, “good faith”, costs incurred by the developer and the avoidance of developmental delays are deemed to provide sufficient justification for abandoning the planning scheme amendments. The protection of heritage values is a valid planning consideration in planning decisions.

In conclusion,

  • we re-iterate our earlier comments that Glen Eira Council has not addressed key planning issues and disregarded accredited heritage advice. The end result being a decision to withdraw/abandon planning scheme amendments C136 and C137 that is without adequate strategic justification and denies all stakeholders access to the appropriate due planning scheme amendment process, and

– reviews the 2015 Local Heritage Assessment and the withdraw/abandon justifications

– decides an appropriate course of action ie. either deny Council’s application to withdraw or abandon Amendments C136 & C137 or use Ministerial Direction to ensure that an appropriate heritage recognition process is undertaken.

SAVE FROGMORE – HELP!!!!! (Part 4)

On behalf of the Save Frogmore campaigners, GERA is asking readers to assist in lobbying Councillors, prior to next Tuesday’s (9/6) meeting, to reject a recommendation to abandon Planning Scheme Amendment C137 which applies a Heritage Overlay (HO154) on Frogmore House (1 Wahgoo Street, Carnegie).

The recommendation to abandon Heritage Protection for Frogmore is found in the Officer’s Report  included as Item 9.6  in the Meeting Agenda and reads as follows:

 “Recommendation

                 That Council

  1. Abandons Planning Scheme Amendment C137 and advises the Minister for Planning, and
  2. Writes to the Minister for Planning withdrawing the request for interim heritage controls over the land (Amendment 136)”

The information presented to support abandoning the Heritage Overlay is highly questionable (and will be questioned in our next posting).  A vote accept the äbandonment will see Frogmore disappear forever in the “figurative blink of an eye“.   On the other hand, a vote to reject the recommendation to abandon the amendment will

  • acknowledge the key issue of heritage and it’s value to the community by
    • re-affirming the findings of the council commissioned Independent Heritage Advisor’s Assessment, which deemed Frogmore as meeting the threshold for inclusion in the local heritage overlay under Clause 21.10 of the Local Planning Policy Framework – a framework which Council has a responsibility to uphold.
    • allowing the planning approval process, as recommended by the Independent Heritage Advisor Assessment, and voted for by Council on 3/2/2015, to run its due course (and save Frogmore for at least as long as the planning approval process takes).
  • be accordance with
    • Council’s heritage policies and strategies of
      • Protecting places identified as having architectural, cultural or historical significance.
      • Ensuring sympathetic redevelopment and renovation of areas and places identified as having architectural, cultural or historic significance in the municipality.
    • the objectives of planning for Victoria (as identified in the Planning and Environment Act 1987) of
      • Conserving and enhancing those buildings, areas or other places which are of scientific, aesthetic, architectural or historical interest, or otherwise of special cultural value; and
      • Balancing the present and future interests of all Victorians.

Details of significance of Frogmore are available in GERA’s earlier postings

Save Frogmore, Save Frogmore – Part 2Save Frogmore – Part 3 – The Planning Conference

As previously mentioned our next posting will review and question the Officers Report and it’s recommendation, however, at this stage that is a secondary concern.  Right now our primary concern is “getting the word out” and encouraging readers to contact each Councillor, either by phone (leave a voice message if necessary) or email (to each Councillor individually – if the email is addressed to multiple Councillors only first Councillor will respond), prior to next Tuesday’s Council Meeting.   Please do not rely on others to do the lobbying – they are relying on you.

Councillor Contact detailsCouncillor Contact Details0001 – click to enlarge