The Chronology of FoCP opposition to Council's plan
This page has been prepared in order to archive all the events that took place in 2007 and 2008 to try and achieve a reasonable compromise outcome for the new sports pavilion. We invite you to read it as the facts speak for themselves.
Note that this page will be updated progressively as other documents are included
1999 Last consultation on Caulfield Park
Consultation with the community resulted in the development of a Master Plan for Caulfield Park
2001 Plan adopted and ratified by Glen Eira Council
2002 to 2006
A period of benign neglect and then see http://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/Files/Caulfield_Pavilion_Sequence.pdf
December 2006 - Planning by stealth
In the middle of December, when everyone was focused on Christmas, Council put up innocuous signs to communicate that a sports pavilion was to be replaced.
Residents were not adequately advised and only when plans were sighted was the full impact of the intended pavilion realised.
This pavilion and community centre is sited so that it intrudes into the playing area and, through the development of car parks to service an unneeded and inappropriately located 'community centre' on top, effectively slices the park in two.
Several local residents objected in writing.
Council plans alert people to the enormity of the impact and intrusion that will be caused by this over-bulk building right in the middle of Caulfield Park.
Council argues that this was a false and misleading picture. You be the judge next time you are in the park!
In early February the Council held a public meeting at which it told those who attended that Council could do as it pleased, and that the only issues that were of concern were to do with flooding, parking and roads. These had already signed off the relevant authorities.
In consequence a number of alarmed residents got together to discuss what could be done to stop this madness. From this group came Friends of Caulfield Park (FoCP). FoCP immediatly developed and sent an alternative conceptual plan (above) to all Councilors which provided an equivalent sports pavilon, but no Community Centre and hence no extra parking.
Submission to Glen Eira Council – 17th February 2007
Subject: Proposed Pavilion and Community Activity Centre in Caulfield Park
On the 27th February Council will be asked to approve a Planning Application from its Recreation Department for a major Sports Pavilion and Community Centre in Caulfield Park. This proposed development is quite different from, and considerably larger than, the upgraded sports pavilion concept that was discussed with the community during the Caulfield Park Master Planning Process in 1999.
Many people in the community are vigorously opposed to this proposed development.
They want to know why the agreed concept for an upgraded sports pavilion has been so radically changed, and extended to include a community centre, and why this change has not been discussed with the community?
They believe that this plan will affect the fundamental values of the Park and will not serve the needs of the 100’s of people who use the Park on a daily basis for a range of informal recreation activities
We believe that Council should now set this Planning Application aside and reconsider the whole basis of the proposed development.We attach an alternative concept, which we believe is more in line with the original plan serves the needs of the sporting clubs for modern facilities and has far less impact on the Park.
We believe there should be a proper investigation of a plan along these lines including a proper consultative process.
We believe that Council has no right to spend millions of dollars of Ratepayers money on a scheme we, the ratepayers, did not approve, and do not want, on land which belongs to the Crown and which the Council manages on their behalf in the interests of the Community.
David Wilde and Michael Cramphorn
On behalf of the Friends of Caulfield Park
On 27 February 2007 Council Resolved:
1. That Council in its capacity as the Responsible authority issue a Notice of
Decision to grant a permit for Application No. GE/PP-19075/2006 allowing the
land to be developed and used for the purposes of:
1.1 buildings and works associated with a sports pavilion and car park;
1.2 car parking associated with the said sports pavilion;
1.3 alterations to the existing crossover and a new road opening to
Balaclava Road. (“the project”)
2. That Council convene a public meeting during March 2007 to present information and listen to community views on the project.
3. That pending the completion of the public meeting all works including the tender process be suspended.
4. That following the conclusion of the public meeting this matter be placed on the Council agenda for the next Council meeting.
The MOTION was put and CARRIED unanimously.
Friends of Caulfield Park appeal to VCAT
FoCP write to Councillors regarding non-response
Open Letter to Glen Eira Councillors
7th March 2007
Re: The Proposed Sports Pavilion and Community Rooms in Caulfield Park.
We are writing to you publicly because we have now written twice to all of you individually about your intentions in Caulfield Park and not one of you has responded to what we wrote about in either letter.
1. The first letter was sent to you well before your decision to vote to approve the planning application for the park. We learned that certain Councillors wished to see a more reasonable alternative to what had been proposed. We worked in haste to provide an alternative concept which went back to the concept that was approved in the Master Plan in 1999. We sent this to each of you well before the Council meeting, but there has been no acknowledgement or response.2. The second letter was immediately after you had passed this planning motion. This is what we wrote:
Re: Public Consultation on the Scope and Location of the New Sports Pavilion in Caulfield Park
We were very pleased to see that you voted last night to undertake public consultation prior to determining the location and scope of the future Sports Pavilion.Obviously, given the manifest public discontent with the lack of consultation and the way in which the process was about to be implemented (as recognised by Councillor Ashmor in Council last night), you will want to adopt a proper consultative process. Frankly it was a relief to hear Councillor Esakoff enunciate that this Council is committed to full consultation with the community. It has not always been thus.Perhaps you are already familiar with the Victorian Local Governance Association’s Consultation and Resource website? The website aims to provide local governments with the information, tools and support to consult effectively. Effective consultation is a fundamental component of a new drive in Victoria to further engage communities in local decision-making processes. You can find it at: http://www.vlgaconsultation.org.au/
A key element obtainable from the website is the Red Book. This contains specific guidelines for public consultation prepared and endorsed by the Victorian Local Governance Association.
We note that fourteen local councils have adopted the Red Book, and have then developed their own consultation strategies. We expect that you will be doing the same shortly.
The reference for the ‘red book’ is: http://www.vlga.org.au/resources/items/2006/09/100896-upload-00001.pdf
We particularly draw your attention to section 3: Methods of Consultation.
More immediately, we are concerned that the proposal enunciated at last night’s Council meeting to hold one public meeting to ‘explain the present proposal for the sports pavilion’ does not amount to consultation. The Red Book goes into considerable detail about this. At the very least consultation includes several stages.
1. Presentation of ideas via public meetings and displays.
2. Feedback from the community.
3. A revised proposal that integrates community ideas and feelings.
4. Re-presentation of the revised proposal and (hopefully) acceptance by the community.
We believe that the public meeting proposed by Councillor Lipschutz is part of stage 1. The material presented at that meeting should revisit the master plan concept approved in 1999 and consider how to implement the new pavilion within the framework of that agreed plan.
Further stages of consultation would then follow as outlined above.
We look forward to hearing your response to this letter and learning the details of your consultation program.
David Wilde and Michael Cramphorn
Despite all this, I read with alarm in the 7th March Caulfield Leader:
``Part of the resolution was to convene a public meeting and listen to the community views on the project as an addition to the master plan process,'' Cr Esakoff said.
``The aim would be to try to inform people who otherwise may have been misinformed.''
Cr Esakoff said she did not want to ``pre-empt'' a final outcome, but if there were any changes to the present proposal, they would come from the public meeting.
We are pleased that you want to listen to our views,
But surely the aim of the public meeting should not be to ‘inform people who may be misinformed’ ?
Surely this is not really the purpose of the meeting? Surely you want to hear what we say?
Surely you want to propose an alternative which respects the communities’ views?
And are we misinformed? We are inclined to think not – but if we are, is it because you have not told us everything about your intentions?
Also, surely you are not going to base your response on one public meeting?
Please refer to ‘the red book’ and see how consultation should be done - or get some professional advice.
Clearly the statements on Glen Eira’s website about commitment to public consultation are nothing more than rhetoric.
No reply was received to this letter either. FoCP held a public meeting on 15th March.
Report on Community Meeting re the Caulfield Park Sports Pavilion / Community CentreHeld at St Aloysius School North Caulfield on 15th March 2007
Well over a hundred people registered their attendance at the meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Glen Eira Councils proposal for a Sports Pavilion / Community Centre in Caulfield Park. The meeting was organized by the Friends of Caulfield Park, a group who have set themselves up to examine inappropriate development in the park. Chairman of the meeting, Spike Cramphorn, said that he was thrilled at the turnout from people representing a range of areas in the City of Glen Eira.
Nobody at the meeting indicated support for the Council’s proposal. A motion was passed that the Council’s current proposal was too big, too expensive, had too much impact on the green space and was not sympathetic to its surroundings. A smaller pavilion, catering for sporting needs, should be investigated, and put back to the community for discussion and response.
David Wilde and Colin Rawson addressed the meeting and explained the Council’s proposal based on documentation obtained from the Council. Many people present praised the organisers of the meeting for the time and effort that they had put in, and wondered why it was left to a voluntary group to get input on a subject as important as this. The lack of consultation by the Council in the development of this scheme was a matter of grave concern to participants.
Those present said “Why do we need this building?” People emphasised the value of the green spaces in Caulfield Park and the open vistas which make the park different from any other parks in the municipality. People were looking for ways to change the Council’s mind. Some people said that the master plan was so out of date that a fresh look was needed.
The Council has not yet provided a date to the community for its promised public meeting. The Friends of Caulfield Park expect, in line with Council’s expressed commitment to community consultation, that adequate and timely notice about this meeting will be given and urge the community to be alert for this meeting and to be there to make their views known.
In the ten days following this meeting an urgent survey was carried out by attendees at the meeting. The whole area within 500 metres of the park is canvassed and the results presented to Council.
The results were 95% against this plan by Council but Cr. Lipshutz says this is not representative of community views.
Council held its meeting on 26th March. Although it was held far away from Caulfield Park, about 200 people attended. No attempt was made to provide information. Councillors and the CEO secreted themselves at the back of the stage and were not even introduced. Paul Burke was master of ceremonies and told the audience that they could ask questions from the floor but that they would have to be short. Dozens of people asked questions or explained their extreme concerns about the proposal
At the end of the meeting Cr. Lipshutz stated that he “had learned nothing new ! That’s his problem!
Immediately after this meeting the following summary was prepared and circulated to members of FoCP.
Dear Friends of Caulfield Park,
Report on meeting at Packer Pavilion
7.00 pm on 26th March 2007
Attended by all Glen Eira Councillors and CEO, A. Newton. Chaired by P. Burke.
About 170 members of the community attended including the representatives of both citizen action groups in Glen Eira and the representative of Save our Suburbs.
After housekeeping, the floor was thrown open to questions and points of view.
Over the next couple of hours, dozens of people including the community groups above, expressed points of view critical of the proposed Sports Pavilion / Community Centre in its present form.
Although billed as a meeting to explain the proposed Community Centre and Sports Pavilion, no presentation was made. Instead charts were pasted around the room. (It was impractical to view them during the meeting).
The audience was invited to view the Packer pavilion as an example of what is proposed for Caulfield Park. The great majority of those present were alarmed at the thought that this might happen in Caulfield Park.
Speakers referred to the untruths and misinformation supplied by Council in its publications, its answers to questions, and other material relating to the park.
Both citizen action groups in Glen Eira spoke out against the proposal, as did the representative of Save our Suburbs.
Reference was made to the fact that Councillors had been irritated by the flood of emails, letters, and more recently, questions on notice. It was explained that this was due to the tedious and inefficient process of obtaining information from the Council. It was pointed out to Council that the only way to obtain information was via questions on notice.
It was repeatedly pointed out that there had been no community consultation over this proposal, even though it was a major departure from the 1999 Master Plan (ratified in 2001).
Some, including some Councillors, believe that the Master Plan, now almost ten years old, is out of date. It was suggested that Council should re-contact the community to find out what should be done to manage Caulfield Park in a period of climate change.
Attention was drawn to the fact that although the Briefing notes (finally supplied a month after the first request for them was made at the Planning Meeting 12th February) stated in several places that the proposed pavilion should follow the Master Plan, that this was irreconcilable with the actual instructions to the consultant.
The appointed consultant was directed to refer to stakeholders: GC, Electricity, Gas, Water, Sports clubs (through the council) but not the community who are apparently not seen as stakeholders by the Council.
Hidden in the Briefing Notes - two functions rooms, not one.
The briefing notes state:
“The building and its immediate surrounds are to be fully compatible with Council’s adopted master plan document. Works are to be integrated with future planned works (see Master Plan) The only exception to this is the orientation of the building which is to be oriented NS compared to existing MPO which indicates the building to run EW
“All works are to be fully compatible with Council’s adopted master plan document
“The building is to be consistent with the adopted master plan for the entire park as well as being sympathetic to the existing character of the park and surrounding neighborhood.
So clearly, by Council’s own briefing document, the Master Plan should have been rigidly adhered to in every respect, except the orientation.
But the briefing document then goes on to state:
“The building is to be oriented NS. It is intended that any hire facilities maximize viewing options over the park and in particular the sports grounds.
“Intended that the set up of the building will be such that the functional aspects of the ground floor and first floor are independent.
“The ground floor is essentially set up for sporting activities and maintenance operations, with an option to convert the change rooms to a social room for community hire. All shower and toilet areas other than designated male and female toilets are to be unisex.
“The first floor is to be used as a multi-use community room with kitchen facilities and a meeting room which is independent of the community room. Each of these facilities will be open to public hire.
It was pointed out that Council had not told the public that the change rooms were a second community function room disguised as change rooms. This meant that two functions could be run at the same time. The noise generated in this way would be potentially enormous. Yet no account is taken of nearby residents’ amenity.
It was suggested to the meeting that it seems clear that while it will provide change room facilities, a prime purpose of this building is to make money by hiring it out. The large size of the changing rooms in the ‘sports’ part of the pavilion is due to the need for them to be large enough to be a function room, with large store rooms to house the benches etc., removed form the change rooms when the area is in use a function room with the intervening walls were taken out for functions. When used this way it is as large, or larger, than the proposed facility upstairs. This explains the very large kitchen with a servery into the change rooms and the enormous store for the ‘kiosk’.
It explains why the proposed sports pavilion is to be situated so far from the other ovals it is supposed to service. It explains why it has to be 2-storeys sitting up on high, overlooking the whole park.
It was pointed out that the car parking was for unwanted community facilities. Remove the functions centres, provide a sports pavilion as specified in the master plan, and the need for all the extra parking in the park falls away. This keeps green open space as green open space.
Survey of the Community.
M Cramphorn reported the top line results of a survey undertaken by members of the public in the area around Caulfield Park in the last ten days. Residents were asked to support or reject the following motion:
While accepting the need for a new sports pavilion in Caulfield Park, we oppose the Council’s current proposal.
It is too big (4 to 5 times larger than the current hexagonal building), has too many rooms and requires too much car parking and road space in what is much needed green space.
We request that a smaller, more sympathetic sports pavilion and associated infrastructure is planned and submitted back to the community for comments prior to any decision to proceed.
The list of over 30 streets canvassed was read out.
Over 90% of those who registered a point of view agreed that the park is too big.
Less 10% wanted the existing proposal to go ahead.
Cramphorn, (who is a Fellow of the Australian Market and Social Research Society), pointed out to Council that the result was the equivalent of a complete census, in that everyone who was available had been interviewed.
This means that there is overwhelming opposition to the Council’s Current proposal amongst the whole community within half a kilometre of the park. No doubt it extends further, but they were not canvassed in the survey due to limited resources.
Members of clubs using the eastern side of the park stated that the present proposal had no relevance to them as it was too far from their activities. They wanted to know whether Council would build the sports pavilion that had been promised in the 1999 Caulfield Park Master Plan.
An alternative point of view was presented by three speakers who argued for the building of a sports pavilion. It was curious that they did so, as none of the speakers against the proposed pavilion had argued for no pavilion at all.
It was also interesting to note that although the Maccabi and Ajax clubs had explicitly asked their members to attend in large numbers, that almost none of them did so. Given the fact that they have stated that they are desperate for a new pavilion, it was surprising to see so little interest at the meeting.
Outcome of meeting
Although a vote was not taken it was clear that the overwhelming consensus of those present was that if a sports pavilion is to be built that it should be a smaller pavilion, closer to the tennis courts, and integrated into the environment. This would be in line with the original Master Plan, the statement in the brief to the consultant, and the Survey reported above.
Council will consider their next steps on the evening of Tuesday 27th March.
If you could not attend the Packer Park meeting because of timing or distance, please let them Councillors know how you feel. Although they are irritated to receive so much information we are sure that they will understand that this is the only way to reach them.
We are planning our next steps and hope to have an exciting announcement in the next couple of weeks.
Thanks for all your support
Spike Cramphorn and David Wilde.
PS Some Councillors have indicated that they are junking what they consider to be rote letters, so make your letter or email individual, and ask them to reply personally to your questions (not through the council officers).
Friends of Caulfield Park meet with Crs. Lipshutz and Whiteside and are given reassurance: they will look at alternatives and will consider moving the pavilion back from the playing fields.
ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING – MINUTES 11 APRIL 2007
Motion by Crs Lipshutz/Whiteside
A. The Council proposes to erect a new Pavilion in Caulfield park;
B. The Council has held a Public Information Meeting to explain the design and listen to community feedback.
C. Objections have been made to the design of the pavilion being:
(i) The bulk of the proposed Pavilion is too large;
(ii) The proposed Pavilion is too high;
(iii) The design of proposed pavilion is not sympathetic to the environment of the park;
D. Objections have been made to the physical siting of the pavilion with recommendation that it be sited further South West and closer to the Tennis Club
It is resolved:
1. To suspend all further work in relation to the existing design;
2. To instruct the Architects to prepare 2 further concept designs in accordance with the existing Brief for Project F06.098 prepared in December 2005 but having regard to:
2.1 the matters set out in the Recitals;
2.2 Council’s objectives to:
• build 4 Changing rooms with associated showers and toilets to meet the needs of men and women;
• be fully compliant with all statutory requirements
• incorporate a separate umpires’ room;
• incorporate a First Aid room;
• incorporate a kiosk (for the culinary benefit of players/spectators and the financial benefit of the clubs)
• incorporate a public toilet;
• incorporate storage for sporting equipment;
• include a room for community use;
• provide sufficient car spaces to service the facilities
set out above but without any constraint as to size in respect of items G1 and G2
in the Brief and without any requirement that the Pavilion be more than at one level
3. On receipt of further concepts satisfactory to Council to exhibit same for public viewing and comment prior to any final decision by Council as to design.
On the basis of the Division the Chairperson declared the MOTION carried.
FoCP develops a fourth alternative concept which proposes a single storey pavilion set back and with more space for sportsmen than in the original proposal. The four concepts are distributed widely in the ward and the lower cost alternative proposed by FoCP is favoured by about 95% of the over 400 people who send in (at their cost a reply to FoCP. These responses are provided to Council. Council explicitly ignores them in their decision making. FoCP employs an architect to develop detailed plans for this fourth alternative. These are submitted at the same time as the above plebiscite. Council ignores it.
Council introduces its two alternatives and invites the public to choose between the already rejected proposal and two far worse alternatives.
Council introduced two alternatives plus the original.
Cr. Lipshutz makes various statements from within Council attacking FoCP. FoCP responds pointing out the false nature of his statement and demanding a retraction and an apology. This is not forthcoming.
The Following report by Adam Kamien appeared in the Australian Jewish News on September 17th 2007Maccabi backs Caulfield Park redevelopment plan
MACCABI Victoria has backed a Glen Eira City Council plan for the redevelopment of the pavilion at Caulfield Park.
After bowing to pressure from local residents earlier this year and putting the redevelopment on hold, the council has resubmitted the original plan with two new options for consideration by the public.
According to council spokesman Paul Burke, the response has been “healthy”.
North Caulfield Maccabi Junior Soccer Club president Roy Wittert said the option originally put forward by the council is the best plan for his club, which uses the park for matches and training.
“Out of all the options that were presented, we still feel that option A, as it was in the first place, is the most appropriate,” Wittert said.
The council’s preferred option is to build a two-storey facility with separate rooms for umpires and referees, public toilets and a dedicated first-aid room. Five sporting clubs, including Maccabi Victoria, will most directly benefit from the redevelopment.
The AJN understands the other two options constitute modifications of the size and height of the building and number of parking spots proposed in option A.
But the clubs and the council look set to clash with the Friends of Caulfield Park group over the plans. After leading a successful push to stop the original plans from going ahead, the group continues to oppose any of the three options.
But Wittert dismissed the group’s grievances.
“They have four major areas of concern: one was that it destroys the aesthetic of the park two, that it destroys the functionality of the park three, that the function area is not required and four, that there’s too much parking – all of which we find to be ludicrous.”
The bank adjoining the main oval that VCAT had sought to protect by reducing the parking is destroyed to create ‘lawn’. FoCP go back to VCAT who determine that the original judgement was ambiguous.