Elsternwick’s oldest remaining cottage – built in 1895 – has come under threat as a result of the proposed 14-storey high-rise on Horne Street, Clifford Hayes MLC has discovered.
Ross Street ratepayer Richard Keown, 70, is among those whose properties would be overshadowed and deprived of sunlight by the towering monstrosity earmarked for his backyard.
Mr Keown has lived at the Burnbrae Cottage for 35 years, but now he fears his quality of life could be affected to the point that he has to surrender his pride and joy and sell-up.
It is equally as problematic for neighbour, Nathan Jones.
Mr Jones recently invested about $20,000 on solar panels, which will be eclipsed if the high-rise is approved. His panels will be shadowed for more than 50 per cent of daylight hours. Despite helping the State Government meet its renewable energy target by installing the panels on his home in Ross Street, he has received no support or assurances.
Member for the Southern Metropolitan Region Clifford Hayes says enough is enough. He has pointed his finger at the Minister for Planning, who has only provided discretionary height limits, not mandatory height limits, for locals in the Glen Eira municipality.
Quotes attributable to Clifford Hayes MLC:
 “In an unwarranted slap in the face for local residents, the Planning Minister has only given discretionary 10-storey height limits, rather than mandatory limits, giving the green light for high-rise property developers to push through the limits in VCAT – where they usually win.”  “There is great community concern as this development will overwhelm the heritage character of Elsternwick Village and rob long-time residents of their valued residential amenities and way of life.”  “I sympathise for people like Richard and Nathan, and will support this community in their battle to be free from overlooking, overshadowing and the loss of their rights.”
Quotes attributable to Richard Keown, of Burnbrae Cottage:
 “If this goes through, this will serve as a precedent, and that is what everybody is worried about.”  “Burnbrae Cottage is a homage to my grandparents, it was their property and the last cottage in Elsternwick, and I don’t want to have to leave because of this.”  “This is forcing me to rethink my life, and that makes me very sad.”
Quotes attributable to Nathan Jones, who recently installed solar panels:
 “We did a renovation because we wanted to be more sustainable, and it was about $20,000, and now half of it is going to go to waste.”  “The overshadowing of this development is extreme; such a lack of sunlight has proven links to depression.  “We will lose over 50 per cent of our electricity generation capacity, which translates to doubling the payback period of our investment plus additional electricity charges exceeding $1000 per year.