The secrecy, lack of information dissemination, and complete stuff ups continue unabated in Glen Eira City Council. We have learnt that there is now a new, gazetted amendment (c112) for the schedules to the new residential zones. Of course, there is nothing on council’s website and the department’s website gives no information as of Friday 11th October. However, the amendment was gazetted on October 3rd and came into operation on that day.

We do know that once again it is the Minister who is the ‘responsible authority’ and that the amendment is only ‘transitional’ – whatever that might mean! Yet it raises questions galore:

  • Why should there be another amendment just 9 days after the gazetting of Amendment c110? What stuff ups have there been – both on the part of council and the department and Minister? But, being generous, perhaps these new schedules represent a modicum of ‘improvement’? Is so, then why wasn’t this thought of before the zones were rushed through with such indecent haste?
  • When was council thinking of telling the public anything? or given recent history, was this a forlorn hope to begin with?
  • What does this whole continuing saga tell us about planning in Glen Eira? When will adhoc, piecemeal strategic planning be weeded out? When will professional competence be a top priority?
  • Since this is now labelled amendment c112, there are many more surprises in store for residents given the gap between c101 and c112.

Here is the gazetted announcement. Make of it what you will!

Planning and Environment Act 1987

GLEN EIRA PLANNING SCHEME

Notice of Approval of Amendment

Amendment C112

The Minister for Planning has approved Amendment C112 to the Glen Eira Planning Scheme.

The Amendment comes into operation on the date this notice is published in the Government Gazette.

The Amendment introduces transitional provisions to Schedules 1, 2 and 3 to the General Residential Zone and Schedule 1 to the Residential Growth Zone.

A copy of the Amendment can be inspected, free of charge, at the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure website at http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/planning/publicinspection and free of charge, during office hours, at the offices of the City of Glen Eira, Corner Glen Eira Road and Hawthorn Road, Caulfield.

JOHN PHILLIPSDirectorPlanning and Building SystemsDepartment of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure

PS: The mystery is solved! After much hunting and detective work we’ve located the text of the illusive Amendment. It does not ‘improve’ one single thing except to state that if a developer applies for an extension to his permit then the current schedules do not apply. Given council’s penchant for granting time extensions willy nilly, and of course not keeping any meaningful records of such extensions, then all continues to favour the applicant. Landbanking can still continue unabated it would seem. This latest Amendment in no way exonerates anyone from the accusation of sloppy and shoddy work. One would think that when something as important as the residential zones are concerned every single word would have been gone over with a fine tooth comb and gaps filled in. It should not take another Amendment 9 days later to correct what wasn’t there in the first place.

Here’s the wording: Schedule 2 to clause 32.08 to the General Residential Zone does not apply to an application
to construct a dwelling or residential building made before the approval date of the planning scheme amendment that introduced this schedule into the planning scheme. The requirements of clause 54 as they apply to clause 54.03-2 or of clause 55 as they to clause 55.03-2 as in force immediately before the said approved date continue to apply.
Despite the provisions of Schedule 2 to Clause 32.08, these do not apply to an application under section 69 of the Act to extend a permit to construct or extend a development.

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