What is a structure plan?

    A structure plan is a plan for place. It sets a long-term vision for how an area will develop , and includes guidance on things like building types and heights, aspirations for open space, new or improved transport connections, heritage, infrastructure, and parking. 

    Structure plans are important ways to direct growth, and provide certainty for community members and developers about what change is expected in an area. 

    To ensure that the land use and development outcomes outlined in the Plan are delivered and enforceable, the objectives need to be translated into the Glen Eira Planning Scheme. You can read more about the Scheme, in a following FAQ.

    Why do we need structure plans?

    Structure plans are important ways that Council can direct, manage and plan for the outcomes of, population growth. This growth is occurring right across Greater Melbourne, in every local government area, directed by State Government Policy.

    Plan Melbourne is the Victorian Government strategy that sets out how Melbourne will grow and change until 2050. It says there will be 1.5 million more residents, needing 584,705 additional homes between 2017 and 2031. For Glen Eira this means around 40,000 new residents, 18,000 additional homes, 22,000 more jobs, and potentially up to 29,000 extra cars (between 2016-2036). 

    Our forecast population for 2020 is currently 157,311, and is expected to grow to 180,626 by 2036: https://forecast.id.com.au/glen-eira

    For Council,  State Government directions mean we have a role in managing growth, whilst at the same time, responding to community aspirations for liveable, vibrant local places that retain and reflect history and identity. 

    Structure plans are an important way to bring these roles together. Plans help to ensure that homes are built close to amenities, transport and  jobs, and that we look ahead to the necessary infrastructure and open space to support local needs.

    Through the process of developing a structure plan, we can identify what people like about where they live, and ensure these views and ideas are translated into the future shape of local places.

    What is the Bentleigh Structure Plan?

    The Bentleigh Structure Plan is a long-term plan that has been developed for the Bentleigh Activity Centre. It includes a vision and objectives for the area, and guidance for land use, buildings, public spaces, parking and movement, and strategic sites. You can read the Bentleigh Structure Plan here: https://www.haveyoursaygleneira.com.au/23540/widgets/158236/documents/100507 

    How was the Bentleigh Structure Plan developed?

    The Bentleigh Structure Plan was developed over a series of stages. The first stage involved asking local residents what they like and don’t like about their local shopping strip and their aspirations for the future of Bentleigh activity area, beginning conversations about open space, transport and development. 

    Following stages then tested, refined and expanded key ideas and concepts developed from this feedback, and referencing key background studies, resulting in a draft, then final Structure Plan, first adopted by Council in February 2018.  You can read more about this process here: https://www.haveyoursaygleneira.com.au/23540/widgets/158236/documents/73716

    An Addendum to the Bentleigh Structure Plan was adopted by Council in February 2020. The addendum is an update to the Structure Plan to reflect decisions taken since adoption of the Plan in December 2018. It forms part of the Structure Plan.

    What is the Planning Scheme?

    The Planning Scheme is the 'rule book' or the guide for planning applications within Glen Eira. It sets out when a planning permit is required in order to utilise, develop or subdivide a parcel of land - and it sets out what can and can't be taken into consideration. 

    The Scheme guides decision making on planning permit applications and governs issues such as design and development, land use and heritage.

    Read more about the Planning Scheme by visiting Council's website here: https://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/services/planning-and-building/planning-scheme-and-amendments/glen-eira-planning-scheme 

    What is involved in amending the Planning Scheme?

    A number of steps are involved in making amendments to the Planning Scheme.

    1. The Minister for Planning must firstly authorise preparation of the amendment before exhibition can occur. Following this, notice (exhibition) of the amendment will commence, inviting public submissions. 

    2. If there are no submissions Council can ‘adopt’ the amendment and forward it to the Minister for approval. It only becomes law if it is formally approved and gazetted. 

    3. If there are submissions opposed to the amendment, the Council has three options – abandon the amendment, change the amendment in accordance with the submitters’ request, or request the Minister to appoint an Independent Panel to hear the submissions. 

    4. If a Panel is appointed, submissions are heard and the panel reports its findings to Council in the form of a recommendation. The Panel may make a recommendation to: - adopt the amendment - abandon the amendment - modify the amendment 

    5. Council then considers the panel report and makes its own decision. Council is not bound by the panel’s findings. Again, Council’s options are to either abandon or adopt the amendment (with or without modifications). 

    6. If Council adopts the amendment, it is then referred to the Minister for Planning for approval. The process required to amend the Glen Eira Planning Scheme is lengthy and provides opportunities for input from interested parties.