Tag Archives: structure planning

Caulfield South, Bentleigh & Carnegie – need your help

GERA has received the below, self-explanatory email from the SAVE GLEN EIRA residents group. GERA works closely with SGE and supports their request for residents to show their support for these areas currently experiencing a “development siege”.

What happens in these locations will inevitably flow on to all other suburbs of the municipality if residents don’t act now.

Drafted responses to Council (together with Council contact details) are included in the below – so asking for a show of support is not a big ask.


Dear All, 

Whilst we’re in a prolonged lock down, much is happening around Glen Eira. There are many decisions that Council will be voting on in the next few weeks. Whilst certain suburbs are impacted greatly, residents from across Glen Eira have the opportunity to give their support. Our councillors’ preparedness  to listen to residents is highly correlated with the number of letters received.

 We would appreciate your input.

 Caulfield South. Action needed this week

 Caulfield South is a Neighbourhood Activity Centre which, in the Glen Eira City Plan (2020) has designated height limits of 5 storeys for buildings in commercial zones. This document is not a planning document, and VCAT will view highly the fact that there are no height limits for proposed buildings in commercial zones of Neighbourhood Centres

 There are 5 hearings scheduled at VCAT:  

Glen Eira Council has not provided external legal representation for any of these hearings. The residents have been left to fight the developers’ proposals on their own.  

If these proposals proceed, the impact on this Neighbour Centre will be dramatic and disastrous. Caulfield South is not a Major Activity Centre. 

 Attached is a proforma letter written by CS-RAID (Caulfield South Residents Against Inappropriate Development), requesting Glen Eira Councillors to review their stance on these hearings and provide legal assistance for the residents.

 Draft Amendment C184: Carnegie & Bentleigh. Action needed this week 

This amendment proposes changes to the Glen Eira Planning Scheme for Carnegie & Bentleigh. 

There is massive change for the residents in these suburbs. And without proper consultation and the difficulty in accessing meaning in the bundle of documents connected with this amendment: the rezoning of areas, the introduction of new zones, the discretionary height limits, the lack of new open space and the loss of public land: it is not surprising that many are left confused and frightened. 

The Amendment C184 brings considerable change for the residents. The residents do not feel as though they have been able to put their views to Council, nor to have an input into how their neighbourhood will develop.

Imagine a resident currently living in NRZ1 (2 storeys) who now finds that they will be living in GRZ5 (3 storeys) when the Amendment C184 is passed.

 Attached is a proforma letter that you may wish to send to Councillors and the CEO in support of the residents of Carnegie and Bentleigh.  

Closing date of submission is this Friday August 27 2020. Submission is online:  www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/AmendmentC184 ; or direct to Glen Eira Council attention City Futures, https://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au

This is the time for Glen Eira residents to help each other. Please find some time to send off a letter or two to Council. 




The Amendment C184 letter included above is a overall letter – a more detailed response specific to Bentleigh and Carnegie is available on the SGE’s website.


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Structure Planning – what it is and its importance

A structure plan is a highly regarded and long established planning tool that sets out a vision for the future development of a municipality or locality over the next 10-20 years. Structure plans incorporate the planning and management  framework required to guide development and land-use changes (ie. rezoning) that will achieve sustainable environmental, social and economic objectives (visions).  Structure planning also takes into account the views of the community and various stakeholders, as well as the diversity, historical fabric and special character of a place.

Based on a detailed analysis of past and future growth projections, structure plans are particularly relevant for areas targeted for growth (i.e. Glen Eira’s Housing Diversity/High Density areas) as structure planning requires the identification of, and subsequent planning for, the ramifications/impacts, both within the targeted area and “non-targeted” surrounding minimal change areas, arising from that growth.  Such ramifications/impacts include (but are not limited to)

  • retail, commercial and industrial activities/usages
  • housing demand (no. of dwellings, dwelling sizes (1,2 or 3 bedrooms) and types (apartments, townhouses)
  • open space network
  • heritage and neighbourhood character
  • public transport
  • traffic (vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian) and parking requirements
  • public realm (streetscapes, encroachment of balconies)
  • building design and height guidelines (built form)
  • provision of social services (libraries, infant welfare)
  • land configuration and ownership, and
  • municipal and service infrastructure (eg. drainage).

The need for the inclusion of the above ramifications/impacts results in Structure Plans often being described as “umbrellas” – the detailed analysis substantiates projected growth levels within targeted areas and hence the subsequent planning requirements for each ramification/impact.

It is widely accepted that there is “no one size fits all” structure plan applicable to a municipality – each housing diversity area (be it an Activity, Neighbourhood or Local centre) has distinct characteristics.  Consequently, structure planning should be prepared for each housing diversity area.

As is to be expected, structure planning is not static – it requires regular updating of analytical data and hence review of both the “umbrella” and subsequent plans to ensure that planning is updated in accordance with the rate of development (ie. the cumulative impact of development is recognised).  In addition, Overlays can be applied to specified “sub-areas” of a designated Housing Diversity/High Density area, if that “sub-area” merits higher level planning controls than are applicable to the broader Housing Diversity/Higher Density area.  Overlays may relate to heritage, neighbourhood character, built form, open space acquisition or parking provisions.

Without municipal and/or specific area structure plans, Professor Michael Buxton*,  in his address to the GERA Annual General Meeting, sees the following issues arising

  • planning will not be strategically driven and will be without clarity and rules
    1. building heights will become incremental (10 storeys was approved why not now try for 14)
    2. ad hoc subdivision developments permitted in minimal change areas and encroachment of high density dwellings in minimal change areas (as they are around the corner from a “diversity” area).
  • no thinking of the future or the broader picture and no awareness of the cumulative or flow-on impacts (traffic, parking, public transport etc) as each development is viewed in isolation
  • unforseen social issues due to crowding and high demand on open space and a community exhausted from constantly lodging futile objections to planning permit applications
  • heritage will not be protected

Needless to say residents need only walk around their activity centres to test the veracity of Professor Buxton’s predictions – unlike other Metropolitan Councils, Glen Eira has consistently refused to adopt structure planning (costs and resources).   In fact Council returned the $40,000.00 DPCD grant received to develop a structure plan for the Glen Huntly Road Housing Diversity/High Density area.   The Independent Planning Panel Report re Glen Eira’s 2003 Housing Diversity (High Density)/Minimal Change Area implementation (Planning Scheme Amendment C25) was emphatic in it’s recommendation that Glen Eira include Structure Planning and the introduction of overlays in the Planning Scheme..

GERA strongly advocates that Council adopts structure planning and overlays, and encourages community participation/consultation when developing structure plans/overlays.  In doing so Council should avail itself of the resources the DPCD freely offers (grants, expert advice and suggested structure plan outlines).


* Dr. Michael Buxton  (Professor of Environment and Planning at RMIT University) has contributed extensively to government policy and maintains strong industry and professional connections. He is former chairperson Premier’s Green Wedge Working Party which advised the Victorian government on the introduction of a legislated urban growth boundary and revised green wedge zones for Melbourne’s green belt; former member of the Melbourne 2030 Implementation Reference Group; and has been a member of many government committees.