Highlight then right click on the above link then go to the 1 hour 22 minute mark of the video to hear the Councillor’s rationale in support of their unanimous decision to reject the officers recommendations.

Council Meeting 26/9/17

The petitioning of the councillors and objections by the beneficiaries/stakeholders all played a major role in the abandonment. A great deal of credit must go to the councillors especially Anna Chen who raised the motion of abandonment and Mike Zafiropolous, the seconder, who stressed the importance of written assurances, given by a previous CEO specifically to the beneficiaries of the Glen Towers estate, advising that council would not support the removal of  covenants outside the Doncaster Hill precinct.  Advice On Restrictive Covenants   Geoff Gough, Dot Haynes and Andrew Conlon also spoke to the alternative motion. The aforementioned stressing that it was entirely a matter for the applicant and the beneficiaries.

All agreed that the appropriate course of action for removal of a restrictive covenant should be through the Supreme Court.

council_minutes_26_september_2017_-_part_1_item_1_to_item_10.2 (2)

Mary Drost of Backlash

Adele and Kelvin Koo, who had set up a mailing list, had written to ask that special thanks be extended to Nick, Warren and especially Gerhard with his incredible wealth of knowledge. Gerhard had offered to help after learning of the Glen Tower’s beneficiaries plight through an item on and had made contact through the agency of Mary Drost, leader of Planning Backlash, who was able to provide contact numbers of the Doncaster Hill Residents Group.

The proposal to start the process of covenant removal was put before councillors back in March this year not long after the four newly elected councillors had taken their places.                                         Minutes of Council Meeting – 28 March 2017

Council were not required to notify the beneficiaries that the planning scheme amendment proposal to remove the restrictive covenant had been lodged and by the time the beneficiaries got wind of it, nearly three months later, the application had progressed to the exhibition stage.

Glen Towers Street Network

Resident Protest







C50 Panel Report , that had almost doubled the density in the residential zones by removing minimum land areas and introducing discretionary height options, was so concerned about the area South of Doncaster Road ( item 7.1.4 page 28) that it wanted the area rezoned to a lower scale density, due mainly to the areas topography and access arrangements.  The very narrow Short Street, (a sort of snorkel to and from Doncaster Road) is a very poor access/entry point hampered by the presence of the median strip on Doncaster Road.

Stonington Council now has a policy in place in relation to restrictive covenants. They have resolved not to entertain any planning scheme amendments to remove or vary covenants. This policy is now set in stone and sends a clear message to developers not to apply for planning scheme amendments. The link to the Stonnington covenant policy below explains very well the reasoning behind the policy.

Stonnington covenant policy paper


  1. Wayne says:

    The advice on restrictive covenants letter that said council would not support the removal of restrictive covenants outside the borders of the Doncaster Hill precinct was clearly binding on council because there was no proviso or sunset clause inserted.

    On page 722 of the council minutes “it is considered that the intent of the letter was to convey that Council would not initiate any process to remove a covenant from land outside the Doncaster Hill
    precinct” which is not what the letter said.

    • carnival 11 says:

      In the council minutes they say it is considered but by whom they don’t say, the responsible officer and staff maybe…..certainly not Councillors.

      3.84 On balance it is considered that, having applied the assessment criteria in relation to the request for amendment and consideration of the submissions, that the benefit resulting from the covenant’s removal will exceed any potential detrimental effects, which could be adequately identified, assessed and managed by the planning regulatory system applicable to the site.

      3.85 Accordingly, it is proposed that no changes be made to the exhibited amendment in response to the submissions and that therefore all the submissions be referred to an independent panel appointed by the Minister for Planning.

      The responsible officer quoted passages from Boroondara and Mornington Peninsular Councils documents to support their decision but not from Stonnington council covenant policy which would have strengthened the objectors submissions.

  2. Jeff says:

    Due to a Council fire in 2009, it is likely that the Advice on Restrictive Covenants letter, along with a number of other important documents and files, were destroyed. The damage was so bad that council employees had to move to temporary offices at the (recently demolished) Clark-Hopkins building at 684 Doncaster Road. It was at least six months before staff could return to the council building. This might help explain why council officers had commenced the processing of the planning scheme amendment application in March this year. It is clear they would not have supported this application had the letter been produced then.

  3. A Tang says:

    Not a beneficiary of the covenant but fully supportive of Councillor’s decision. Excellent presentation by Anna Chen in moving her alternative motion. Councillors, who spoke in support of the motion, made some very good points that did not appear in the Council agenda. Manningham executives should be congratulated for allowing the meeting to be recorded on video.

  4. Dorothy Chu says:

    Well done Anna, Mike and fellow Councillors. Our Council executives seem to have had this “all or nothing or nothing at all” attitude towards a multi storey apartment development strategy. A compromise plan for the Glen Towers Estate might have been acceptable such as a dual occupancy plan similar to what has been occurring throughout Doncaster over the last 40 years.
    Meanwhile Council have been issuing permits for the demolition and rebuilding of single dwellings in recent years and should have warned the owners that a high rise apartment building could be built next door because it was council’s intention to support the removal of covenants.

  5. Arthur Street says:

    I could not believe the quality of the submissions that came rolling in after the amendment proposal was put on exhibition. .
    Good on you Councillors and congratulations to the beneficiaries. Let’s hope the officers will now back off lest we all become nervous wrecks.

  6. Deacon says:

    There are far more important issues for council officers to pursue rather than wasting the community’s resources meddling with the Glen Towers restrictive covenants. The lack of parking areas, traffic congestion and the illegal cladding on apartment buildings are just some of the problems the officers should be attending to.

  7. Denzil Don says:

    I support the removal of covenants despite the assurances from the CEO. Officers had expected, that by prescribing a high density overlay across the area, support from council would not be needed because beneficiaries would all want to make a killing by selling out to an apartment developer and the covenants would automatically be removed by the owners themselves. It has not happened because the land in the area will be just as valuable over time because of the position and the one dwelling covenant. The sole applicant wanting to remove the covenant by means of a planning scheme amendment was a stupid ploy and destined to fail and now the only option left is to go to the supreme court.

    • M B says:

      You can’t win! If council had NOT zoned the area for high density development there would still be objections from some residents. It looks as though it has reached the the stage where the amenity and position factors are starting to kick in where the cost of a single block of land for development would not be all that far ahead of what a beneficiary would need to pay to duplicate their current situation.

  8. Keeble & Martin says:

    You have to walk on the roads if you live on the Glen Towers Estate because there are no footpaths. We walk up a short path path to Clay Drive from the end of Arthur Street because it is safer, especially for our children, because it has a footpath and is nowhere near as steep.

  9. Gilmour says:

    It is about time the planning officers from Manningham council backed off and had a cold shower. They rezoned the Glen Towers estate as high density knowing full well that the area was bound by single dwelling restrictive covenants and now they want to remove them against the will of the beneficiaries. In order to do this they have tried every trick in the book including the unethical method of “cherry picking” from documents that when read in full would have stuffed up their argument. Even the previous panel report, which they had engaged, had been misrepresented by the employment of this tactic.

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