Some background on this suburb is necessary. Glen Huntly is the second smallest suburb in the municipality coming in at 0.89 square km. Only Gardenvale is smaller at 0.25 sq km.

The planning history of Glen Huntly and how council has handled this area is abysmal. According to the State Government this is designated as a Major Activity Centre. Council regards it as a ‘neighbourhood centre’. Thus, when applications have gone into VCAT, the judgements have always been that State legislation over-rides council views and thus the developer has been granted his permits for far more intense development. What makes this situation even worse is that the State Government granted Council $45,000 to undertake the necessary work to produce a structure plan. Council returned that money and refused to implement any structure planning or anything else that could mitigate the ongoing development in Glen Huntly. So Glen Huntly is now stuck in the ‘never-never land’ of being technically a Major Activity Centre, with no Urban Design Frameworks, no parking precinct plans and no real vision as to the future of this suburb and its shopping strip. Retailers have time and again lobbied for improvements – to little avail. But development continues unimpeded – thanks to the zones.

What is even more questionable is the way the zones have been applied. The breakdown is:

31% of this suburb is zoned as GRZ1 and GRZ2 – ie available for 3 storey development

5.39% of the suburb is zoned Commercial 1 – no height limits

0.72% is zoned – Mixed Use Development (MUZ) – no height limits

Add in the Road Zone Category which also welcomes 3 storeys along major roads and close to half of Glen Huntly is ripe for the picking and far greater development. Glen Huntly does admittedly already have large numbers of units. These are products of the 50’s and onwards and will be demolished and new ones built of far greater density and even height.

Yes, there is plenty of public transport, and an incredibly busy rail crossing. But without proper planning that actually addresses the social, environmental and economic aspects of growth, Glen Huntly will continue along the path of unsustainable development.

One perfect example of this in just one small area, is shown below. These are applications that have been decided since the zones and most have been granted permits. Those ‘refused’ by council will undoubtedly end up at VCAT.

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PS: here is an example of the point we made above – http://www.conquestea.com.au/news/2014/5/8-glen-huntly-block-sold-on-48pc-yield

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