|Population||2,462 (2016 census; Just the Pennydale Population)|
|Location||19 km (12 mi) from Melbourne|
|LGA(s)||City of Bayside|
|State electorate(s)||Sandringham, Mordialloc|
|Federal Division(s)||Hotham, Goldstein, Isaacs|
Pennydale is the original name of a neighbourhood in the suburb of Cheltenham in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Traditionally, Pennydale is that part of Cheltenham lying between Bay Road (to the north), Jack Road (to the west), Park Road (to the south) and the Frankston railway line, and is entirely within the current local government area of the City of Bayside. Pennydale is approximately 19 km south-east of Melbourne's central business district.
To the north-east of Pennydale on the opposite side of the railway line and within Cheltenham is a large shopping centre called Westfield Southland which was initially completed in 1968. It has been expanded in a number of stages over the years, including a retail bridge across Nepean Highway containing shops in it.
The Pennydale Residents Action Group
The Pennydale Residents Action Group was formed in March 2017 in response to broad concerns about Bayside Council’s proposed Structure Plan. Concerns included the use of the term ‘Southland Structure Plan’ by Council. Residents felt strongly that the reference to Southland created an inappropriate expectation. It treated a quiet residential area, with narrow dead-end streets unsuited to medium and high density development, as a potential commercial hub.
The Pennydale Residents Action Group is supported by a broad base of volunteers and an online social media group which has more than 540 members. Community discussion via social media resolved to reclaim the name Pennydale, which applied to this locality for the entire second half of the Twentieth Century. The intention was to draw attention to our distinctive neighbourhood character and to seek to retain it into the future. By changing our suburb name to Pennydale, we give our unique section of Bayside a unique identity that the residents can all stand behind and feel proud about.
The Pennydale Petition
After discussions with relevant Council managers it was decided to formally seek residents’ approval to formally change the suburb name from Cheltenham to Pennydale. To ensure the wording of the petition prayer and the petition process utilised conformed with requirements of Council and Place Names Victoria, relevant Council staff were consulted throughout the process.
The Pennydale Residents Action Group along with a large number of volunteers including petition drop in locations, corflute display locations, newsletter and flyer delivery people and others distributed the petition to every household in the Pennydale Area. The petition ran from May 29 to June 16 2017. The outcome of the Petition was that more than 61% of residents agreed to the name change with less than 4% either against the name change or not wishing to take part at all.
With an overwhelming support of the community, the Pennydale Residents Action Group put together the lodging document and lodged it with Mick Cummins, Director Corporate Services, Bayside Council, on 20 June 2017. At the Council Meeting of 27 June 2017 the petition was formally accepted and tabled by Council. The name of the proposed Structure Plan was also unanimously amended from ‘Southland Structure Plan’ to ‘Southland / Pennydale Structure Plan’. On July 25 2017 council officers presented to the Council meeting that the initial work done to check to see if it was feasible to change the name of this section of Bayside to Pennydale had been done including checks with the Office of Geographic Names. Council voted unanimously to move forward with this project and pointed out that the process to go through the name change could take up to 1 year.
On November 9th 2017 Council began sending out a voting form to all residents and property owners asking for their vote to change the name to Pennydale or to leave it as Cheltenham. The voting form asked all voters to mark the form in the YES box or the NO box and then asked for comments as to why they made that decision. The voting period was set for 2 months and was to close on January 8th 2018. There was an immediate backlash to the form sent out by Bayside Council however as Council had decided without consultation to remove all those residences on the Western side of Jack Road from Pennydale. A number of residents complained to Council about this and after some time Council agreed to allow for a SEPARATE PETITION to be done only for those residents on the Western side of Jack road. This was to take place even though the original Pennydale Petition included those residents in it. Once a separate petition was signed by the appropriate number of people as determined by Council and arranged by one of the Jack road West residents, Council agreed to allow those people to vote also and on January 10th 2018 those residents on the West side of Jack Road were hand delivered their voting forms which closed on February 12th 2018.
After tabulating the returns from the residents, Council presented its report to the March 22nd 2018 Council meeting. The outcome was that for the major part of Pennydale 85% of those responded voted to change the name. For the West side of Jack Road residents 67% of those responded voted to change the name. This equated to an 84% of all residents agreeing on the name change to Pennydale. Overall, 51% of the residents completed the survey and took part in the vote. This is considered to be a remarkable outcome considering that it was a voluntary vote. The total yes vote was 523 and the total no vote was 101.
Taking into consideration all of the numbers as well as all of the comments both positive and negative, the Councillors voted unanimously to accept the result and allow for the name change to proceed and agreed to send the request into the Office of Geographic Names for actioning the following day, March 23rd 2018.
As at April 8th 2018, it is in the hands of the OGN awaiting action.
The Southland / Pennydale Structure Plan
Early in 2017 Bayside Council decided to create a Structure Plan for the Pennydale area. The Residents when they heard about it were concerned that the name - the Southland Structure Plan - would not only be confusing for the residents but a turn off for participation due to the name and the belief it had nothing to do with them - persuaded Council to change the name of the Structure Plan process to the Southland / Pennydale Structure plan to better reflect its purpose. Council hired a company called "Deliberately Engaging" to recruit 40 people from the general community to form a Community Advisory Group called the "Cheltenham / Pennydale Advisory Group" to meet over the second part of the year to have input into the outcome of the Structure plan. 20 people were recruited directly from email requests from residents and the other 20 were recruited from the community directly to ensure a mix of sexes, ages, socio-economic status etc so that a well rounded group of people would have an input. The group first met on August 9th 2017 and then 6 other times including an additional meeting requested by the members to look at the Draft Structure plan before it went to the public. At the time of this update, there was one further meeting to take place however issues regarding what has occurred in the meetings and the output of the draft structure plan have meant that a request was put forward for one further meeting which has yet to be discussed or approved.
As part of the process of the Advisory Group, the "first draft" of a basic plan was released to the members on October 11th who were horrified at what was being presented. Asked not to say anything until the community consultation meetings on October 21st and 25th, the advisory group members said nothing but urged as many members as possible to attend the meetings. The first meeting on October 21st 2017 saw 3 options put to the residents with Option 1 being no change, Option 2 being 4 storey walled city effect and Option 3 being a 7 storey walled city effect. The reaction was so negative that Councillors and council officers discussed the matter and have Option 3 REMOVED from the discussion altogether for the October 25th session.
On March 5th 2018 Council released there Draft Structure plan to the community for consultation and advised that this process closed at 5pm Sunday April 8th 2018. They ran 3 drop in sessions at the Olympic Avenue Kinder asking residents to come and look at the plan and ask questions. Every resident affected by the Structure plan was mailed a brochure telling them how to make their views heard with the only methods being either completing the survey online or by filling in a printed copy of the survey handed out at one of the information sessions or directly from the council.
On April 30th, the final meeting of the Community Advisory Group was held at Council with the planning officers. The majority of the meeting was used to discuss the outcomes of the survey and what they meant. Amongst other responses, with a whopping 82% of respondents, the e residents wanted the boundary of the Southland Major Activity Centre to stay where it is along the Frankston railway line. Other responses included 82% of respondents did NOT want Apartment buildings along Bay road, Park road or Tulip Grove areas. 80% wanted council to improve the Siede Court Laneway to Bay road. 68% did NOT want a new crossing on Bay road under the rail bridge. 68% said no to re-investigating opening 60 Tulip Grove entrance from Southland railway station. 80% want a shared user path along the railway line. 77% want a bike path along the south side of Park Road. 69% said NO to a bike path along Bay road. 68% said NO to a bike path along Jack road. 82% said make sure all development have the required number of car parking. 68% said NO to a laneway behind houses and developments along Bay road. 85% said they wanted VicRoads to fix the lane issue on Bay Road. 61% said NO to traffic lights on the corner of Jack Road and Park Road. 63% said they wanted traffic lights on the corner of Jack road and Bay road. 87% said they wanted to maintain the leafy character of streets through planting and landscaping.
3 options were put forward by the Council officers being 1) Abandon the structure plan altogether (Councils best option), 2)keep the structure plan with the boundary of the Southland Major Activity Centre covering all of Pennydale and making MINOR changes, listing this option as not acceptable by the residents (who do not want the boundary covering Pennydale), and 3) keeping the structure plan with the boundary of the Southland Major Activity Centre to stay along the railway line but still making MINOR changes, also listing this option as unacceptable to the residents (who want a large number of the items in the draft structure plan removed altogether). The Community Advisory Group added a 4th option being to continue with the Structure Plan but leaving the boundary along the railway line and making MAJOR changes to the draft plan. Council officers were not happy with this option.
The rest of the night was used to put together a document using the results of the survey to be given to the Council staff and Councillors as part of the package to be used to make the decision about whether to proceed with the structure plan or not.
As at May 1st, the entire issue was in Council hands with a decision to be made prior to Council meeting in August 2018.
In June 2018, council officers announced they were releasing a final draft of the Structure plan to go to Council for a vote at the June Council meeting. A close look at the final draft showed that a huge majority of items, concerns and issues the Pennydale residents bought up during the lengthy consultation process had NOT been listened to and had NOT made their way into changes to the final draft document. One of the MAIN issues that HAD been listened to was the BOUNDARY of the Southland Cheltenham Major Activity Centre. Taking into account the outcome of the Panel hearing into Bayside amendment C150 where the Panel Member advised that Pennydale was NOT a part of the Southland Cheltenham MAC, Bayside Council AGREED to leave the border of the MAC along the Frankston Railway line and kept Pennydale OUTSIDE of the MAC., This was a huge relief to the residents who had fought hard for this for over a year. The other main issue pertaining to the boundary of the Structure plan was also fixed by the MAC boundary being set, and that was the NAME of the Structure Plan. No longer would it be known as the Southland / Pennydale Structure Plan, it would now be known solely as the Pennydale Structure Plan.
Since there were still some major issues regarding the content of the final draft structure plan, the Pennydale Residents Action Group (Inc) arranged for a huge number of residents to attend the June Council meeting wearing Yellow Save Pennydale badges, yellow ribbons and yellow clothing. They asked the Councillors to DEFER the voting on the final draft plan as it still needed work and asked for a further 2-3 months to allow members of PRAG to work with Council officers to get the Structure Plan right. The Councillors agreed and set the wheels in motion for more work to be done and the final version to be voted upon at the August Council meeting.
From June until August, members of the PRAG met with members of the Bayside Council team responsible for the Structure plan several times and corresponded by email multiple times. The PRAG were very happy to find that the Council officers were just as eager to work out the issues and the team worked very well together to try to make the final version as good as it could be. The PRAG representatives made their positions known based upon what the residents had asked for or requested in the consultation process and for the most part, the Council officers agreed to the PRAG requests. There were a number of items that Council simply could not change or did not want to be changed and these items were discussed at length and some give and take was achieved on both sides of the conversation. By the end of the process, whilst there were still items the PRAG representatives did not agree too, everyone felt that the majority of residents would accept the work and changes done. On August 31st with some small items still to be worked out, Council released the final version of the draft to the Residents for one final consultation period of 2 weeks to firstly make sure the residents were happy with the changes resulting from the discussions and secondly to have time to make any last minute changes required prior to the Council meeting of September 18.
In honor of Edwin Thomas Penny's work as a Moorabbin Shire Councillor (1903–08), a local post office branch opened in 1956 and was named after him to avoid confusion with other local post office branches such as Cheltenham and Highett. The post office lasted for more than 40 years before it was officially closed in 1999. Pennydale has been applied to the bayside part of Cheltenham since the 1950s and in some cases is still in use.
The site of the Pennydale Post office is now part of the Bay Road East Shopping Centre, a small shopping strip with restaurants, milk bars as well as offices and apartments.
Olympic Avenue Kindergarten is located in Pennydale, adjacent to Pennydale Park.
Pennydale lies between Highett railway station and Cheltenham railway station on the Frankston line. On November 26 2017 the Southland railway station opened just to the South of Bay Road inside the Westfield Southland Shopping Centre carpark fronting the shopping centre. A Station opening was built as part of the construction of the station that can in the future open onto 60 Tulip Grove however as part of the consultation by PTV regarding the station construction 89% of the residents advised they did NOT want this entrance to open up. At a subsequent meeting held between a number of residents, Murray Thompson the Member for Sandringham and representatives of PTV and the Ministers Office, ALL agreed that this entrance was to remain CLOSED unless at some stage in the future the numbers of passengers wishing to use that entrances warranted having it opened. Bayside council also confirmed that it too did NOT want the station entrance to open, adding that this was its CURRENT position.
Bus routes service both railway stations and Southland shopping centre.
Bus route 822- Sandringham to Chadstone, via Southland Shopping Centre: (includes the following route in Cheltenham, with streets within Pennydale in bold: Bay Road, Jack Road, Park Road, Charman Road, Nepean Highway, Southland)
Bus routes /828- Hampton to Berwick, via Southland Shopping Centre: (includes Bay Road in Pennydale, between Graham Road and the Frankston Railway Line)
There are two parks located in Pennydale. They are:
- Pennydale Park
- Tulip Grove Park
- Cheltenham, Victoria
- Cheltenham railway station
- City of Bayside
- Southland railway station
- Westfield Southland