We are becoming increasingly concerned over what, to all intents and purposes, appears to be the social divide that is occurring within the municipality. Whilst Bentleigh, Carnegie, and other areas are allowed to go to the dogs, certain areas appear to have the ‘protected species’ assigned to them – many being in Camden Ward!

The latest agenda features 2 applications that would seem to endorse this view. One is for a 5 storey building of 3 shops and 57 dwelllings in Neerim Road, Carnegie. It is zoned Mixed Use (ie no height limits) and located in the Murrumbeena Neighbourhood Centre. Officers recommended a permit and the waiving of 4 visitor car parking spots.

The second application is Hawthorn Road, North Caulfield. It is zoned Commercial (again no height limits) and is seeking a permit for 6 storeys, shops and 40 dwellings. Both applications are surrounded by other Commercial zones and the General Residential Zone. Yet, officers decided to reject this second application outright and to pass the Neerim Road one.

It should also be borne in mind that council’s approach is often to chop off one floor and a handful of apartments and hence grant approval. This hasn’t been done for the Hawthorn Road application. So whilst the application seems to meet all the planning scheme requirements in terms of zoning, height, and even ‘mass’ it doesn’t get the nod. Instead we find some remarkable statements that are applied to one site, which didn’t enter council’s consciousness on applications in other areas. For example: council now appears worried about setting a precedent! They are also concerned about drainage, when countless applications are passed in Carnegie resulting in basement car park flooding – and this is when this report contains an engineering recommendation that the developer pay for extra drainage. No such additions have appeared in the countless officer reports for these other areas!

Thus we have to ask:

  • Are parts of Glen Eira being allowed to become part of the ‘great unwashed’?
  • Is Camden Ward being accorded ‘privileges’ that other areas aren’t? If so, why?

Finally, we’ve uploaded the two zoning maps for these applications and ask residents to ponder the ‘differences’ which results in one application being granted a permit and the other one a rejection by planners. We also wish to state that we are NOT endorsing either application. We make no comment on the quality of the proposed plans. We are simply concentrating on the officer comments and the resulting recommendations.

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