Activity centres have 5 main purposes as shown in the following screen dump from the State Government’s Practice Notes. Whilst this dates from 2015, not much has changed in the recent Plan Melbourne ‘Refresh’.  Activity centres are there to facilitate further development – especially those centres which have train stations in their midst.

Council’s structure planning has embraced this notion completely and taken it to extremes. Land originally termed ‘study areas’ have now morphed into activity centre borders with a doubling and more in size. This is the case for Bentleigh, Elsternwick and Carnegie. We see no reason to believe that this won’t happen to our Neighbourhood Centres given council’s recent actions. It is also clear from the published documentation that 3 current Local Centres are now being expanded into Neighbourhood Centres and some Neighbourhood Centres like Bentleigh East and South Caulfield are also to bear the brunt of major development.

The result is that over 80% of Glen Eira will now become areas designated as ‘activity centres’ if our suspicions prove correct. This is unheard of in any other municipality. Further, there is absolutely no justification for this expansion of development potential given current rates of development. You don’t double or triple the size of an activity centre without some major rezoning in mind. Residents should also bear in mind that council has been far from transparent throughout this entire process. Information has been published in dribs and drabs and most of it bereft of detail. And still no word about our current neighbourhood centres.

The following images are great cause for concern. Please note that in some of these images the areas shaded red represent the entire suburb. The lines drawn represent the current activity centre boundaries and the proposed new borders. Readers will see that for some suburbs they are practically ALL activity centres. Plus that many of these literally run into each other – ie Carnegie and Murrumbeena; Bentleigh and East Bentleigh. Thus we have huge swathes of land that are now ripe for the picking – in fact, 80% if all of this goes through!

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PS: WE FORGOT TO INCLUDE GLEN HUNTLY – DESIGNATED AS A MAJOR ACTIVITY CENTRE NOW INSTEAD OF A ‘NEIGHBOURHOOD CENTRE’

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