The pace of suburban development on the growth frontiers of Australian cities raises urgent urban planning and resourcing issues regarding the physical and social infrastructure that are required to support this growth. These pressures are contributing to the popularity of capital-led master-planning approaches among governments and homebuyers because of its potential to deliver urban planning and infrastructure resources to new suburbs. Master-planning approaches have largely been used to create prestige estates attracting upper-middle-class residents; however, they are increasingly being adapted for wider markets. This paper explores how these contexts are important for understanding ongoing and emerging tensions among residents living in two socio-economically and culturally diverse suburbs on the peri-urban fringe of Melbourne, Australia. The findings question the potential of capital-led master-planning approaches to deliver sound urban and social planning outcomes for socially complex suburban settings.