Published on 13 October 2021

Glen Eira Multideck Car Parks

In 2019, Glen Eira City Council received part Federal funding to develop two multideck commuter car parks located in Elsternwick and Bentleigh as part of the Urban Congestion Fund.

This triggered initial community engagement about the commuter car parks with the local community. This engagement was limited to information provision. It is understood the information and approach resulted in some negative feedback.

Since the initial engagement, Council has negotiated and secured 100 per cent federal government funding ($20 million dollars) and the location of both car parks has changed. There has also been considerable ongoing national media attention about the distribution of the Urban Congestion Fund. In addition, Councillors expressed an interest in engaging with the community on other congestion reducing initiatives which Council could apply for funding under the Urban Congestion Fund.

As a result, Council decided to re-engage the community, with the aim of better understanding the community’s views around accepting the funding, the new site locations of the proposed carparks and priorities for any possible new initiatives should further funding become available or advocacy opportunities arise.

Following this engagement with the community which took place throughout October and November 2021, Council resolved to undertake feasibility and further site assessment for the proposed multideck commuter carparks development in Bentleigh and Elsternwick.

There was strong participation from the community during the community engagement.

313 people completed the ‘Have Your Say’ survey on Council’s website, 160 people completed the Community Voice Panel Survey and 36 people attended the Online Community Workshop. Council also received a substantial amount of written correspondence from residents expressing their feedback and views on the proposed carparks.

Community support for the proposed multideck commuter carparks showed an overall majority, with over 65% in favour of accepting the funding and progressing to the next phase of the project.

Download the Council Report — Item 8.2 Multideck Carparks Community Engagement and Consultation [PDF 3.6Mb]
Download the Ordinary Council Meeting Minutes, 14 December 2021 [PDF 219Kb]

The decision made by Council to progress with the project was based on the feedback data from the community engagement and consultation process.

The feasibility phase commenced in January 2022. At this stage, it is anticipated that the community will be engaged and consulted once again on the outcomes of feasibility in early 2022. A hold point will also be reached where Council will consider the community feedback, and a final decision will be made on the project.

The multideck commuter carparks would be fully funded by the federal government under the Urban Congestion Fund. The fund provides a rare opportunity to deliver sustainable, purposeful community infrastructure at no expense to Council. This would be the largest grant ever received by Council for capital infrastructure.

Further information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions, the Probity Report [PDF 268Kb ] and the Glen Eira Park and Ride Report [PDF 1.7Mb].

Proposed site locations

1–5 Bent Street, Bentleigh

  • Directly borders the Bentleigh Station is close to the Bentleigh activity centre.
  • The proposed site offers the opportunity of a potential open space plaza.
  • All current car parking spaces at the site would be retained.
  • An estimated total of 300–350 car parking spaces will be achieved at this site
  • The proposed site would feature sustainable and environmental benefits.
Proposed site 1–5 Bent Street, Bentleigh
Proposed site 1–5 Bent Street, Bentleigh

26 Stanley Street, Elsternwick

  • Close proximity to the train station and Elsternwick activity centre.
  • Small scale site results in a minimised impact to the surrounding residential and sensitive interfaces.
  • All current car parking spaces at the site would be retained.
  • An estimated total of 160–200 car parking spaces will be achieved at this site.
  • The proposed site would feature sustainable and environmental benefits.
26 Stanley Street, Elsternwick
26 Stanley Street, Elsternwick

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you to the residents who joined us on Tuesday 16 November 2021 for a discussion on the proposed multideck commuter car parks at our online community workshop. We greatly appreciate the feedback that was provided. 

There were many questions and comments raised both verbally and through the chat function. We have collated these questions and provided responses where possible below.

Why car parks? Can the funding be used for something else?

A $660 million Commuter Car Park Fund has been established within the Urban Congestion Fund to invest in commuter car park upgrades that encourage greater use of public transport by increasing car park spaces next to train stations. Glen Eira City Council has been offered $20 million by the federal government to deliver projects under the Urban Congestion Fund. To receive the funding, Council must use it for its original purpose which is to design and construct car parking in Elsternwick and Bentleigh near train stations.

What will happen if Council does not accept the funding?

The money will be returned to the federal government and Council will not proceed with the car park projects.

Why did Council commission an independent probity report?

Because the distribution of funds under the Urban Congestion Fund was the subject of an Auditor-General’s report which highlighted a number of concerns about the granting process, Council commissioned an independent probity report to review any probity risks associated with utilising the grant money for the delivery of the two car park projects. The probity report concluded that with proper risk mitigations in place, Council should proceed with conducting community engagement to inform the decision-making about progressing (or not progressing) the car park projects.

Why did Council commission an independent report on the effectiveness for urban “congestion busting” measures?

Council commissioned an independent report by Veitch Lister Consulting to better understand the effectiveness of urban “congestion busting” measures such as commuter car parks, buses and protected bike paths in cities like Glen Eira. We will use the evidence to assist in our decision-making about progressing (or not progressing) the car park projects. The report findings will also be helpful to community members as they consider their feedback during the community engagement phase.

Why were these sites chosen?

The proposed Elsternwick site is being chosen due to its proximity to the train station and activity centre, and for the minimal impact it will have on the surrounding residential area and sensitive interfaces.

The proposed Bentleigh site is being chosen as it directly borders the train station and is close to the activity centre. This location will have less direct impact to local businesses and residents during the construction phase. The site also offers the opportunity of a potential open space plaza, that would connect to the car park and provide more green space within the Glen Eira community.

How many spaces will be available at the car parks?

Elsternwick is proposed to have a total of 160-200 car parking spaces at the site. All existing 78 car parking spaces will be retained. Bentleigh is proposed to have a total of 300-350 car parking spaces at the site. All existing 142 car parking spaces will be retained. All existing car parking spaces at both sites will be retained to ensure continued parking availability for accessibility to the local activity centres.

How many storeys will the car parks be?

The height of the car parks are not yet determined as the project has not reached the design stage. However, Council can confirm the car parks will be no more than three storeys in height.

Have any concept designs been completed?

Following completion of community engagement and review of the responses and feedback, Council will make a decision regarding the next steps for the project in December 2021. If the project progresses beyond December, the subsequent stage would include site due diligence, concept design and further feasibility studies. All aspects of technical design will be included in this stage.

How long will the car park projects take?

If the proposed projects proceed, concept, scoping and feasibility development will begin in January 2022, with construction likely to commence in January 2023 and conclude in March 2024.

How will this project benefit the community?

There are a number of benefits associated with commuter car parking which apply not only to the local community but also the broader community. They include but are not limited to:

  • Encourage public transport patronage growth
  • Reduce broader congestion
  • Provide easy access to public transport for people with mobility limitations
  • Reduce parking requirements in locations closer towards the CBD
  • Reduce the rate of car trips towards the CBD
  • Encourage late night and weekend visits to the commercial and retail centres around stations
  • Use of car parks as community spaces in off-peak periods
  • Minimise the parking overspill onto local streets

Will the commuter car parking be available for the general community on evenings and weekends?

Yes! This will also encourage late night and weekend visits to the commercial and retail centres around stations, further benefiting business owners in the community.

What sustainability measures will Council consider when designing the car parks?

Council will seek to implement as many sustainable initiatives and environmental benefits within the designs as possible. Examples include electric vehicle charging stations, recycled concrete, vertical gardens, rooftop gardens and photovoltaic arrays.

Why I have to register on the site to complete the survey?

By registering before you complete the survey, we can ensure that the responses we receive are representative of the broader community's views. Unregistered participation can often skew the engagement results because it allows individuals to enter multiple responses.

Please be assured that when you register on Have Your Say Glen Eira, you personal details will be kept private and we won't use your information to spam you or for anything other than communicating with you about this project.

You can find out more about our privacy policy and how we protect your data by visiting our Privacy page.

What impact will the car parks have on congestion towards the CBD?

In section 3.1 of the VLC Report, it states that “the increase in capacity park and ride at Bentleigh and Elsternwick can be expected to reduce the rate of car trips towards the CBD by about one third of all new users of the car parks, or in other words, every three new car parks will mean one less longer distance car trip towards the CBD.”

The impact on congestion will be investigated further if Council proceeds to the next project phase.

What impact will the car parks have on congestion in the immediate area (Bentleigh and Elsternwick)?

In section 4.2 of the VLC Report, it states that the “diversion of drivers to park and ride will have a small effect on congestion between the station and the CBD and surrounds as the likely destination, although potentially there will be a small increase in local traffic around the park and ride facilities.” The report goes on to conclude that “we can expect approximately one-third of park and ride users to divert to public transport rather than driving to their destination. This can be expected to generate congestion reduction benefits.” In section 5.4 of the report, it concludes that the slight increase in congestion may be more likely in Elsternwick.

The impact on congestion will be investigated further if Council proceeds to the next project phase.

What will happen to the Rotary Club Bentleigh market?

If the project progresses to construction, the Bentleigh Market will be temporarily relocated to another location within the Bentleigh activity centre. The market will return to the original location and resume trading once construction is complete. Council will work with the Rotary Club to find the most adequate alternative location for the market to be held while construction takes place. Once the project is complete, the Bentleigh Market will have a new facility that would be weather protected, provide additional stall spaces for vendors and parking for visitors, and be utilised on a grander scale, including over multiple levels, benefiting both traders and the community.

What were the options raised by Council to the Federal Government originally? Were they related to the Integrated Transport Strategy?

In the structure plans for Bentleigh and Elsternwick there are two existing Council car parks identified for future multideck carparks. Council’s Structure Planning processes, informed by community consultation, identified a need for additional car parking in both Elsternwick and Bentleigh activity centres. While these processes did not explore commuter carparking specifically, the proposed car parks would also service the broader needs of the activity centre outside of commuter hours. The intent of consolidating some at grade car parks into a multideck facility would mean the vacated land could be made available for open space and other facilities to benefit the local community. The original sites were on Bleazby Street in Bentleigh and Stanley Street (East) in Elsternwick. The Federal Government were proposing to partially-fund projects on these sites.

Glen Eira’s Integrated Transport Strategy identifies that parking will continue to play an important role and complement our transport system. It is expected that the commuter carparks may play a role in encouraging more public transport trips, which may also assist in achieving our target of 50:50 mode share of car and non-car trips by 2031.

Have any residential impact studies been conducted for each site?

Residential impact studies are yet to be completed. Council conducted a first round of community engagement to gauge the community’s views on the funding and location of the new sites. If the project progresses, impact studies will be done during the feasibility stage of the project.

What will the cost be to use the parking?

Parking will be free of charge.

Has Council considered different locations? For example; the car park building on the Vic track owned site on the other side of the railway line in Nicholson Street.

To receive the funding, Council must build the carparks in the key areas identified by the Federal Government; Bentleigh and Elsternwick.

The previously identified locations on Bleazby Street in Bentleigh and Stanley Street (East) in Elsternwick were ruled out by Council as they were much larger sites and would have required a Council contribution to fund the multideck carparks. The new sites on Bent Street in Bentleigh and Stanley Street (West) in Elsternwick are better positioned in terms of proximity to the train stations and are smaller sites which means they can be fully funded by the Federal Government with no Council contribution required.

Have you considered placing a car park over railway opening?

This concept has not been explored, however it would likely be very cost prohibitive.

Nevertheless, at this stage no concept designs have been developed. If the project progresses beyond December 2021, all reasonable designs will be explored.

Does the funding have any conditions in relation to carparking time allocations?

There are not specific parking conditions associated with the funding regarding car parking time allocations, as commuters can work a variety of hours therefore making it difficult to set standard hours of use. The carparks will be open for traders, visitors and residents in non-peak times such as after hours and on weekends.

Why has the locations of the car park changed from the initial consultation?

There are a number of reasons why the proposed carpark sites in Elsternwick and Bentleigh have changed.

In 2020, Council undertook a phase of engagement to inform the community of the carpark proposals at Stanley Street (East) in Elsternwick and Bleazby Street in Bentleigh. Overall, the feedback from this consultation process raised several concerns with local residents and traders.

Following the community feedback, Council continued discussions with Commonwealth representatives to propose alternative possibilities of how the Commonwealth funding could be utilised.

Council was able to negotiate an increased funding commitment to a combined $20.6M, which would fully fund the construction of two commuter carparks at the new sites in Bentleigh and Elsternwick, allowing for smaller scale development and better access to train stations and other public transport options.

Is this a revenue raising exercise by Council?

No, parking will be free of charge.

Has Council considered how this project integrates with the Integrated Transport Strategy?

Glen Eira’s Integrated Transport Strategy identifies that parking will continue to play an important role and complement our public transport system. It is expected that the commuter carparks may play a role in encouraging more public transport trips, which may assist in achieving our target of 50:50 mode share of car and non-car trips by 2031.

How does this project integrate with the relevant structure plans for each site?

The car parks directly respond to the future needs of the respective Activity Centres as outlined in Council’s Structure Plans.

Council’s Structure Planning processes, informed by community consultation, identified a need for additional car parking in both Elsternwick and Bentleigh activity centres. While these processes did not explore commuter carparking specifically, the proposed car parks would also service the broader needs of the activity centre outside of commuter hours. The intent of consolidating some at grade car parks into a multideck facility could mean the vacated land would be made available for open space and other facilities to benefit the local community.

Has thought been given to a distributed car park plan?

At this stage, we have not yet developed this level of detail. Council is still in the process of deciding whether to accept the funding from the Federal Government’s Urban Congestion Fund. Should Council decide to progress with this project a detailed feasibility study and concept designs will be developed. Council will be proactively seeking to consult with the Glen Eira community during this next phase of the project.

Will Council consider moving the car parks underground?

Council explored the option of underground parking with the Federal Government, along with other Councils with similar funding arrangements. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of undergrounding the car parks, the Government were not supportive of this option as it was believed not to represent value for money and is not an investment they will support.

What is happening to the original site for Elsternwick?

The structure plan for Elsternwick is undergoing a refresh and will be presented to Council in late 2022.

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