At the 9/6/2020 Ordinary Glen Eira Council Meeting the Draft Glen Huntly Structure Plan (DGHSP), prepared by Council in collaboration with the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA – also undertaking the Caulfield Station Precinct Structure Plan) was presented to Council.  

Council discussions confirmed that Glen Huntly is now designated as a Major Activity Centre and a resolution was passed  to “endorse the Structure Plan for public consultation purposes”.  Council’s decision to present the Draft Glen Huntly Structure Plan “as written” for consultation was a split decision

 

  • For:  Crs. Athanasopoulos, Davey, Delahunty, Magee and Cade = 5
  • Against: Crs. Esakoff, Hyams and Sztrajt  = 3
  • Apology:  Cr. Silver

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

While Councillor’s generally agreed that
  • Council’s previous neglect of the centre meant the centre, although retaining its character and charm, was in need of re-invigoration.  Revitalisation being strongly supported by both residents and traders in previous consultations.
  • Although now designated a major activity centre (MAC) and well served by public transport, it was GE’s smallest MAC and was surrounded by densely populated low level residential areas.

Councillors views differed significantly, on two major issues

  • Proposed Building Heights – were excessive and would result in “obscene” over-development of the centre
Note:  The above height limits are not mandatory – they are discretionary and, as such, are only a guideline of Council’s preferred maximum height.

  • Overall building heights of 6 – 10 stories would dominate and adversely impact the centre’s unique shopping strip. Likewise 15m high building/street interfaces.  Revitalization should not automatically mean excessive building heights.
  • Proposed building heights do not consider sun orientation, resulting in significant overshadowing impacts on surrounding low level residential areas and public facilities.
  • Smaller setbacks for upper floors compared with those included in GE’s other major centres (Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick)
  • The expansion of the Activity Centre’s core shopping strip (from Booran Road to Heatherbrae and Emma Streets) is without justification.
  • Proposed redevelopment of Council’s carpark (car parking below residential accommodation) was questioned.

  • Some additional Save Glen Eira comments, not mentioned by Councillors are
    • Glen Huntly’s proximity (approx. 1km) to the South Caulfield Neighbourhood Activity Centre (which is currently experiencing a development siege) has not been considered by the DGHSP
    • Glen Huntly Major Activity Centre Boundaries are yet to be defined.
    • Potential rezoning (p. 13) to Commercial, Mixed Use and Residential areas needs to be clarified and the changes identified in the DGHSP.
    • Issues of Heritage, Neighbourhood Character and Tree Protection are not addressed.
    • Use of set backs (rather than a specified height) to restrict building heights is ineffective as it does not take into account large or consolidated sites
    • No recognition of the flood zone existing east of Grange Road
    • No mention was made of the expected, long term lifestyle changes arising from COVID-19 in the DGHSP.
    • The car parking objective of exploring “redevelopment opportunities of surface car parks while ensuring no net loss of public parking” (p.9).  should be reworded to read “while ensuring public parking provisions are significantly increased on the proposed site and providing additional public parking provisions on sites accessed via main roads”
  •  Community Engagement – This discussion centred around
  •  If Council should delay presenting the Draft Glen Huntly Structure Plan to residents as written (ie without amended height limits) or to present the draft plan after height limits had been amended downwards (preferably to 5 stories)?

As Ron Torres (Director of Planning) advised that changes to the height limits could be  made “fairly swiftly”,  SGE believes that Council should have amended the height limits downwards prior to DGHSP being presented to residents – a small price to pay to avoid confusion and resident angst.

  • How to ensure maximum input from all residents, businesses and service providers to the DGHSP?

Cr. opinions differed and the decision was deferred to Officers.

COUNCIL’S COMMUNITY CONSULTATION OUTLINE

 

  • Community Consultation Timeline – 12 June to 24 July, 2020.
  • As per Council Website, Council Officers have yet to determine how best to conduct the community consultation process.

“There are a number of ways to be involved. You can:

  • share your feedback online in the survey below
  • ask a question of the team via the Q&A tool below
  • read a summary below and share your thoughts on that topic
  • get in touch with us by phone or email and discuss
  • talk to a team member via video call, or in-person – phone us to make a time and arrangement that suits you

 We’re working to provide in-person drop in opportunities that are appropriate and safe. When details are available, they will be listed on this page.”

Save Glen Eira strongly urges all residents of the Glen Huntly MAC expanded activity centre boundaries, the centre’s core areas and the Market/Customer Areas to lodge objections to this DGHSP. 

The magnitude of the proposed changes to the current Glen Huntly Activity Centre will impact you all.

 Now, when building height limits, setbacks and what’s allowed to built where are being drafted is the time to lodge objections.  Lodging objections to planning permit applications received once the draft has been approved is too late – the horse has already bolted.

IF RESIDENTS STAND TOGETHER, COUNCIL MUST LISTEN

 

FOOTNOTE – To Access

Council elections will be held in October, 2020.

Glen Eira needs Councillors who hold transparency and accountability as part of their responsibility to residents. Councillors who are prepared to openly question and challenge the Administration and its officers and ensure that residents’ views are factored into Council’s decisions.   (Under the Local Government Act Councillors are responsible for setting the “rules” and monitoring the compliance of all Council officers with those “rules”).

 If you are considering standing, please feel free to contact us to further discuss any of the above issues or any area of special interest to you.