Residential strategies and policies

The following strategies have led to the formulation of local residential policies.  These strategy documents provide background material that may be helpful when preparing or assessing a planning application.

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Residential strategies

The Housing and Residential Development Strategy was adopted by Council on 18 August 2003.  The strategy identifies the areas where housing diversity should be encouraged (housing diversity areas) and areas where the existing low intensity, low-rise character should be protected and enhanced (minimal change areas).

Part A Housing and Residential Development Strategy(PDF, 2MB)
Part B Suburb profile(PDF, 9MB)

The Urban Village Structure Plan relates to Glen Eira’s three main activity centres: Elsternwick, Carnegie and Bentleigh. Each structure plan has been prepared into a local policy, now known as Clause 22.07 Urban Village Policy under the Glen Eira Planning Scheme (detailed below).

Urban Village Plan 1999

Residential development policies

Minimal Change Area Policy

The Minimal Change Area Policy encourages single and two dwelling developments and seeks to protect the low density, vegetated character of our suburban streets.  This policy applies to all residential development requiring a planning permit on land in a Neighbourhood Residential Zone (covering approximately 80 per cent of the municipality).

Housing Diversity Area Policy

The Housing Diversity Area Policy identifies areas where housing diversity is encouraged, including multi-unit development.  The character of housing diversity areas will continue to evolve over time as new single houses, two dwelling developments and multi-unit developments are constructed.  However, being in a housing diversity area does not guarantee approval of a development and all developments in these areas should be of the highest design quality. 

Housing diversity areas include:

  • Urban villages at Elsternwick, Carnegie and Bentleigh.
  • Phoenix Precinct (around the Caulfield Station, Caulfield Racecourse and Monash University).
  • Neighbourhood centres (10 smaller centres throughout the City which include the commercial areas and a residential area around them).
  • Local centres (the commercial areas of these centres).
  • Along tram lines (properties directly abutting tramlines).
  • Along selected main roads (properties directly abutting Dandenong Road and Hotham Street).

Urban Villages Policy

The Urban Villages Policy applies to our three activity centres: Elsternwick, Carnegie and Bentleigh.  Urban villages are major centres with a mix of workplaces, housing, shops and accessible public transport.  Development in these areas generally encourages business and community activity as well as increased housing diversity and density.

Phoenix Precinct Policy

The Phoenix Precinct is a regionally significant (major) activity centre. It includes the Caulfield Railway Station, Derby Road/Caulfield Plaza shopping centre, Monash University, East Caulfield Reserve, Caulfield Racecourse and associated land and nearby residential areas. The policy seeks to create a high quality, vibrant urban environment with a strong sense of place and community, high standards in architecture and urban design, safety and permeability and a strong pedestrian and public transport focus.


Between 1999 and 2003, Glen Eira City Council undertook planning scheme amendments to introduce heritage controls to 18 heritage areas and 130 significant properties. Approximately five per cent of the City’s properties are now affected by heritage controls.

Neighbourhood Character

Council commenced the Glen Eira Neighbourhood Character Review in 2005. The Glen Eira Character Review 2006 (2014 Update) is the strategic document which underpins Council’s implementation of Neighbourhood Character and Design and Development Overlays over 17 precincts deemed to be of highly significant character. The Neighbourhood Character Overlays aim to protect these areas of significant neighbourhood character.

View the Glen Eira Neighbourhood Character Review Final report 2014(PDF, 9MB)