The last Planning Scheme Review was completed in August 2010. Half of the ‘recommendations’ have never been mentioned since, much less implemented. What has been the focus for the past 5 years is to pass amendment after amendment that has rezoned land primarily into Commercial 1 or Mixed Use. This of course allows a developer to build one or two shops and hundreds of dwellings on top!

We have gone through all of the amendments put forward by Council since the beginning of 2011. There are 43 amendments of which the vast majority involved clearing the way for high density development – in particular, the Caulfield Village and Virginia Park fiascos, and facilitating the Monash Campus development. There have been only two amendments that looked at Neighbourhood Character Overlays and a tinkering with a few heritage properties – including the attempt to remove Heritage from the Esakoff, Seaview property.

Whilst other councils have been busy shoring up the ‘safeguards’ for their population none of this applies to Glen Eira. Stonnington is a case in point. They have introduced 63 amendments. Of these:

  • 23 related to heritage listings of new areas, individual properties, and interim controls becoming permanent controls. Only one amendment sought to remove heritage listing from 2 properties.
  • Other amendments involve: ‘water sensitive urban design’; awning and footpath policy; neighbourhood character overlays; car parking rates for 2 activity centres; design and development overlays; urban design frameworks; public acquisition overlays, open space levy where 3 suburbs now receive 8% and council is now asking for a 4th suburb to be added at 8%.
  • But the most important point to note is that rezoning to suit residential development appears in only 3 amendments!!!!!

Compare this record with what is happening in Glen Eira. Below is the complete list, plus what has thus far eventuated because of the rezoning. Gazetted dates for each amendment are in parenthesis.

C60 – rezoning of land to a Priority Development zone – ie the stepping stone for Caulfield Village (2/7/2011)

C64 – new Child Care Centres policy – now suitable for minimal change! (5/5/2011)

C75 – rezones Virginia Park from industrial/business to business zone and as with Caulfield Village a version of an ‘incorporated plan’ (2/6/2011)

C76 – rezones 235-237 Murrumbeena Road from Residential to business (5/5/2011) (application now in for 3 dwellings)

C77 – rezones 1030-1082 Dandenong Road from Business 4 to Business 2 zone (6/1/2011) (Permit granted for 12 storeys and 173 dwellings as part of this PLUS other permits for 23 dwellings )

C78 – rezones 791-793 Warrigal Road from Residential to Business (23/5/2013)

C80 – rezones parts of Grange and Glen Huntly Road section from GRZ to Commercial 2 and from Industrial to Commercial 1 (12/12/2013) (Permit for 6 storeys and 117 dwellings)

C83 – attempt to remove heritage overlay from Seaview Street (13/10/2011)

C84 – removed the Development Contributions Overlay from the scheme (8/9/2011)

C85 – rezoning of various places from business to residential (17/2/2011)

C87 – Neighbourhood character overlays (31/3/2013)

C88 – rezoning 331-335 North Road and 120 Patterson Road from residential to business (1/9/2011)

C91 – rezoning of part of Oakleigh Road Carnegie from residential to public park zone (ie Packer Park properties – NOTE: the only properties bought by council in the past decade)

C92 – removes the monash medical centre precinct structure plan (17/11/2011)

C93 – removes the Commercial Centres Policy (28/3/2013)

C94 – Minister for Planning amendment to make “changes to the Schedule to Clause 52.06 to include car parking rates for a dwelling” for the Caulfield Village development (In their haste they ‘forgot’ to include this fundamental clause in the Schedule!!!!) (22/12/2011).

C95 – rezones land in Hawthorn Road Caulfield South (348- 54) and Olive Street from Commercial 2 to Commercial 1 ( 12/9/2013)

C97 – to include Seaview in heritage overlay (25/1/2012)

C98 – rezones part of Tovan Akas from industrial 3 to Residential Growth Zone (12/9/2013)

C99 – student housing parking rates (27/2/2014)

C100 (part 1) – rezones part of Neerim Road Carnegie from industrial to Mixed Use zone (23/5/2013) (permit for 5 storey and unnamed number of units)

C100 – rezones Neerim Road and part of Emily Street from industrial 3 to Mixed Use zone.(26/2/2013)

C100 (part 2) – rezones 394-412 Neerim Road and part of Emily from Industrial 3 to Mixed Use (registered 5/2/2015)

C102 – new non residential uses in residential zones (awaiting approval)

C106 – rezones part of Monash precinct from Commercial 1 to Public Use Zone (ie educational purposes and paves the way for Monash major development of 22 storeys). (16/7/2014)

C107 – include Moodie and other street(s) in Neighbourhood Character Overlay (waiting for approval)

C109 – removes the Minister as planning authority for the Monash Village development (29/8/2013)

C110 – introduces new residential zones (23/8/2013)

C111 – introduces changes to the Caulfield Village priority development Schedule – ie allows encroachment of setbacks and height (16/1/2014)

C112 – includes ‘transitional provisions’ into the new zones (3/10/2013)

C113 – heritage overlay to several properties in Caulfield as a result of Panel report (5/3/2015)

C114 – corrects an ‘administrative error’ regarding schedules to General Residential Zone 2 (19/12/2013)

C116 – corrects parking overlay ‘anomalies’ for amendment C99 (10/4/2014)

C117 – tried to apply a special dispensation to allow an illegal office in Kooyong Road to continue – councillors voted to abandon this amendment (last council meeting)

C119 – Corrects height controls for the Caulfield Village Incorporated Plan (10/4/2014)

C120 – open space levy (12/3/2015)

C 121 – Rezones 641 – 685 North Road from Commerical 2 to a Mixed Use Zone (set for directions hearing)

C123 – revises Child Care amendment – Panel set

C124 – Rezones 16 -20 Clairmont Avenue Bentleigh East from Industrial 3 to Mixed Use Zone. Council still to vote following recept of Planning Panel report.

C125 – rezones 1051 Glen Huntly Road from Public Use 1 to Public Use 6

C128 – Rezones 11 Princes Avenue, Caulfield East from Residential Growth Zone to Public use Zone 2 and removes the public acquisition overlay from the bounds of Monash Caulfield Campus. (18/12/2014)

C130 – Environmental overlay to 101-113 Grange Road and 2-4 Watsons Grove Glen Huntly and 118 Grange Road (16/4/2015)

C135 – public acquisition overlay to 53 Magnolia Road, Gardenvale (being exhibited) (removed in 2008 after ten or so years of existence, and now re-applied!)

C137 – heritage overlay to 1 Wahgoo Road, Carnegie (being exhibited)

We acknowledge that land which has ‘served its purpose’ should be rezoned. In Glen Eira however the rezoning has consistently advantaged developers rather than residents. One might query why so many of these changes resulted in the status of ‘commercial’ rather than the more limiting ‘mixed use’ zoning and why so few of these amendments have addressed what residents see as vital to limit the damage wrought by over development. The Design & Development Overlays available to councils are the perfect case in point. Glen Eira has 5 – 2 of which facilitate further development and 3 concern themselves exclusively with the height of fences! That is the agenda in a nutshell!

27th March 2015          Ratio Consultants

Minister advises Moreland City Council of New Residential Zones approval

Amendment C153 to the Moreland Planning Scheme implementing the new residential zones was verbally approved to Moreland City Council by Minister for Planning Richard Wynne on 13 March.

The Minister’s decision has been made despite the recommendations of the Residential Zones Standing Advisory Committee, which were released on 20 June 2014.

The Standing Advisory Committee Report recommended that Amendment C153 to the Moreland Planning Scheme should not be approved and that Council should prepare a Housing Strategy to properly inform and justify the application of the new zones. According to the Committee, the strategic planning frameworks contained within the Planning Scheme, and the strategic work undertaken by Council in relation to the proposed Amendment C153, together did not provide the justification required for approval. Accordingly, it was recommended that residential land within Moreland be rezoned to General Residential Zone.

The decision to adopt and submit Amendment c153 to the Minister for Planning was made at the Council meeting on 10 December 2014. The version of Amendment c153 adopted by Council at the meeting contained revisions to the Schedules to the Zones and minor changes to the Zone maps.

The areas where the zones are to be implemented and the key features of the Schedules to the new Residential Zones are summarized as follows:

  • The Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ1) contains mandatory height controls that limit development to 8 metres and apply a density control of 1 dwelling per 250 square metres for developments of 3 or more dwellings on a lot. The NRZ1 has been applied to Residential land north of Moreland Road, west of Melville Road, Heritage Overlay Precincts and land more than 800 metres from an Activity Centre or Rail Station.
  • The Neighbourhood Residential Zone 2 (NRZ2) contains mandatory height controls that limit development to 8 metres and apply a density control of 1 dwelling per 200 square metres for developments of three or more dwellings on a lot. The NRZ2 has been applied to residential land south of Moreland Road, east of Melville Road, areas within Heritage Overlay precincts and beyond General Residential Zone transition areas.
  • The General Residential Zone 1 (GRZ1) contains a mandatory height control of 8 metres and variations to Clause 54 and 55 relating to landscaping and Private Open Space requirements. The GRZ1 will be applied to residential land north of Moreland Road within approximately 800 metres of Activity Centres and a Rail Station, Residential land south of Moreland Road and along the Melville Road tram corridor.
  • The Residential Growth Zone 1 (RGZ1) and Residential Growth Zone 2 (RGZ2) contain mandatory height controls of 13.5 metres and 10.5 metres respectively. These do not apply if the height of development on abutting land is greater than 13.5 metres or if the land is within an endorsed Structure Plan that nominates a greater height for development on the site. Both of these zones have been applied to land within activity centres.

We advise that at the time of printing, the zones are yet to be gazetted.

Should you have any queries in relation to the amendment please contact our planning team on 9429 3111 or at

Minister rejects inappropriate growth zones for Bayside

10 April 2015

Bayside City Council welcomed the Minister for Planning’s decision on 9 April 2015 not to proceed with Draft Amendment C125 that would see Residential Growth Zones applied to areas of Highett, Cheltenham, Hampton East & Brighton East.

Bayside Mayor, Cr Felicity Frederico said that the abandonment of the Draft Amendment was the outcome residents and Council were seeking.

“The long awaited decision to abandon these proposals for inappropriate Residential Growth Zone is a great outcome for our community,” Cr Frederico said.

“The proposal to apply Residential Growth Zone in areas around train stations along the Frankston line was only undertaken at the direction of the office for the former Minister for Planning.

“In the lead up to last year’s state election the former Government indicated that they would no longer require the application of these high-growth zones in Bayside and Council is pleased that the new Minister has made a clear resounding decision to reject the proposal.

The abandonment of Amendment C125 means that the General Residential Zone will be retained in these areas of Highett, Cheltenham and Hampton East in line with similar locations in Brighton, Hampton and Sandringham.

“Under the Bayside Housing Strategy areas close to public transport hubs are identified as being the most appropriate areas for growth and development,” Cr Frederico said.

“Maintaining General Residential Zone in these areas also provides surety for residents, particularly in Highett, that the existing development overlays which have been in place for many years will remain along with the General Residential Zone.

“The Minister’s decision to support the abandonment of inappropriate growth controls in these areas is a win for Council and the community who lobbied hard to ensure that development in these areas is more in line with community expectations.”


We’ve also uploaded the Planning Panel Report HERE. Readers should note the strong emphases on STRUCTURE PLANNING (endorsed by the Panel). Once again we ask: where are you councillors?

Council is currently holding a ‘consultation’ on establishing a new open space area running between Eskdale Road and Fitzgibbon Crescent in North Caulfield. We have no qualms about increasing the open space areas in the municipality. What we do question is the logic, planning, and whether or not this site is not only appropriate, but even sensible, and whether ratepayers will be getting ‘value for money’ if this goes ahead.

The claim is that this ‘unnamed road’ is in a Gap area identified by the recent Open Space Strategy (OSS). Yes, it is. However, it is less than 500 metres from Caulfield Park (see arrow below). This map, taken from the OSS, clearly shows how bereft North Caulfield is of open space. So why select this particular street when other areas in this ‘gap’ zone are crying out for more open space?

ossNext, is the issue of size. The entire street is roughly 85 metres long. The plans DO NOT intend that the entire street be blocked off, just half – since there are driveways that can’t be blocked. This means that hundreds of thousands of dollars will be spent on creating a ‘park’ that will still be part street and not fulfill the ‘multiple purposes’ that was the recommendation of the OSS.


In response to a public question Council admits to already having spent just under $7,000 for some pretty drawings. When asked what is the anticipated cost in implementing these plans, council responded with – “That is yet to be determined following the outcome of the public consultation process”. Surely when plans are drawn up, there must be some notion of what the expenditure is likely to be? Given Council’s track record, we suggest that the creation of this ‘park’ will not be less than half a million.

We repeat – yes, create open space, but not this hare-brained addition. Not when it is a stone’s throw from Caulfield Park; not when it will be nothing more than a pocket handkerchief in size, and definitely not, when it will cost around half a million dollars, when other areas of North Caulfield are crying out for open space.

ps: we draw readers’ attention to the following.

The OSS contains 6 ‘gap areas’ in North Caulfield. See map below.

Pages from Open_Space_StrategyThe proposed street closure is in gap area CN6. The ‘conclusion’ and hence the ‘recommendation’ that is contained within the OSS (page 170) for this area states: Improve access to the future Crown Allotment 2031 or other future open space associated with Caulfield Racecourse.

On page 172 of the strategy, there are the ‘’open space links’ recommendations for North Caulfield. In relation to this gap area we find: “Investigate the potential to improve pedestrian accessibility in the street network in gap area CN6 and across Booran Road to future open space associated with Caulfield Racecourse.” The priority grading is MEDIUM. There is not one word in the “Individual open space recommendations for Caulfield North” regarding this area!

Thus, we ask:

  • Why has Council chosen this first off, when there are 5 other gap areas identified that are much further away from any open space?
  • Why, when an action is designated as ‘medium’ has this been initiated BEFORE ANY OTHER ATTEMPT TO FILL EXISTING GAPS?



“When will Council be undertaking a comprehensive review of its planning scheme (as opposed to the Council Plan)? Will council be holding full public consultation on such a review?”

The Mayor read Council’s response. He said:

“Council will undertake a review of its planning scheme once the State Government has completed its comprehensive review of both the State and local planning policy frameworks. The State Government review will help to guide Council’s future planning scheme review.

Other Councils are also awaiting the completion of the State Government review before undertaking their respective planning scheme reviews.

Council will undertake public consultation of the next planning scheme review in accordance with the requirements of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.”

From the above response it is clear that it will be at least another year or so before residents see any attempt to address the anomalies and inadequacies of the current planning scheme. Whilst public consultation is mentioned it is also worth pointing out that the Planning and Environment Act 1987 simply states that councils are obliged to undertake ‘regular reviews’ of their respective schemes. Consultation is not mandatory or even mentioned in the Act. If consultation does eventuate, then the extent, form, and nature of that ‘consultation’ is totally in the hands of Council. Then of course, council is only obliged to ‘consider’ what residents state.

The claim that ‘other council are also awaiting the completion’ by the State Government is open to debate. Bayside is at this very moment reviewing its scheme. They are not ‘waiting’. Below we feature some of these ‘other councils’ who from the time of the introduction of the new zones (July 2013) have either started, or completed their reviews. The list is impressive.

ttp:// (2014)

What also needs to be pointed out is how the following councils either are in the process, or have reviewed their Housing strategies in recent times. This is in stark contrast to Glen Eira’s 1996 and 2002 efforts! (2014) (2014) (2013-14) (November 2014) (2011) (2014) (2015) (2014)




The following Request for a Report was passed unanimously on Wednesday night. Whilst a definite step forward, much will depend on the eventual report and the determination of councillors to follow through on changes to the planning scheme. We wait with bated breath!

Crs Sounness/Delahunty

That a report be prepared on the effectiveness of existing planning scheme tools addressing neighbourhood character, and consider the merits of a fresh publicly advertised scheme amendment, local policy and/or design guidelines to establish the preferred emerging neighbourhood character.

The MOTION was put and CARRIED unanimously.

Here’s the “discussion” –

SOUNNESS: Started by saying that there has been ‘some discussion’ about ‘where development is taking place’ and that ‘some parts’ of the planning scheme talk about ‘neighbourhood character’. Said that when applications come in he often hears the comments that this is ‘evidence of emerging neighbourhood character’ and that it should ‘be respected’. However, Sounness ‘isn’t so sure of what that emerging character is’. Thought that ‘council and the community’ should have ‘more involvement with that conversation’. Said he would ‘love to see’ a conversation about ‘height, density, form’. Acknowledged that there had been a lot of work done previously on neighbourhood character and that this was ‘best practice’.

DELAHUNTY: said that once councillors ‘get some more information’ then that ‘would be great’.

PILLING: stated that he was a ‘bit dubious about the results’ that ‘would come back’. Said the zones ‘were all about’ the height and that in trying ‘to be more prescriptive’ he wasn’t ‘sure that there are such tools’. Nevertheless, ‘more information is always good’. Said that ‘there’s a reason’ why Glen Eira hasn’t gone down the path of structure plans but he is ‘happy to support’ the call for more information.

PS: From ‘The Age’

High-rise buildings banned on strip shopping centres in Melbourne’s leafy east

Date: April 9, 2015 – 5:45PM

Clay Lucas

High-rise development has been all but banned along strip shopping centres in some of Melbourne’s wealthiest suburbs, after new laws were approved by the Andrews government.

Boroondara Council covers suburbs including Camberwell, Surrey Hills, Balwyn, Kew and Hawthorn.

On Thursday, the state government gazetted laws the council had requested that effectively remove the prospect of new buildings higher than three levels in most of its shopping strips.

The changes to the council’s planning scheme mean that, in all but a dozen locations across Boroondara’s 6000 hectares, development is capped at just over three levels.
The new rules include mandatory height limits of 11 metres in areas that are on tram and train lines, such as Camberwell and Surrey Hills.

Boroondara Mayor Coral Ross said that, in all, there were 31 neighbourhood shopping centres that now had new building heights capped.

She said the change would allow for medium-rise development, and would mean residents and developers had certainty about what was allowed.

“The primary focus,” she said, for the planning rule changes, “was to balance the need to provide growth opportunities while at the same time maintaining the neighbourhood shopping centre scale”.

An independent government planning panel formed in 2013 considered the proposal to prevent high-rise development put forward by Boroondara.

It found last year that, while rules on heights should be applied in neighbourhood shopping centres, there should be the possibility of buildings going higher and that mandatory height limits should not be used.

The limits to height in these suburbs stands in contrast to many other suburbs of Melbourne where high-rise towers are proposed or being developed.

In the most recent case in suburban Melbourne, Banyule Council will next Monday decide whether to approve a 26-level tower proposed for Heidelberg.

Planner Colleen Peterson has been vocal over the past two years on the push by Melbourne’s inner eastern councils, including Boroondara, to stop higher-density housing.

New zones introduced by the Napthine government prevented high-rise in many residential areas of Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs.

Ms Peterson said that the latest changes for Boroondara meant anything above three levels would now largely be stopped at many of Boroondara’s busy shopping strips as well.

Ms Peterson said 80 per cent of Boroondara had already been “locked away from development” after changes to residential zones last year.

“Now, what limited chance there was for in-fill housing is being locked away even more tightly,” Ms Peterson said. “There are a lot of centres in Boroondara, particularly on tram and bus routes, that are suitable for higher forms of development – four or five storeys,” she said.

“We are not talking about 27-storey towers,” she said, “and the opportunity to increase density along public transport corridors has been undermined.”