Thursday, April 28, 2011

BCCT Celebrating The Wedding

Bill Woods and Bill Sippell manning the Trust's display in the Module, Beecroft Shopping Village, which included a grand display of flags.  There was a lot of interest and we signed up new members!

Hornsby Shire Housing Strategy to be reviewed?

HORNSBY State Liberal MP Matt Kean said "a number of issues" needed to be resolved in Hornsby Council's housing strategy before it could be approved by the new State Government.  Last week The Advocate reported that the council wanted the Coalition Government to defer the shire's housing strategy until a new proposal could be developed. The number of new homes needed in Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai municipalities by 2036 under the latest Sydney Metropolitan PIan was 29,000.

Hornsby Housing Strategy is the council's plan to meet the population target set by the previous Labor government in the metropolitan plan. Mr Kean, who was elected at last month's State Election, said he would request a meeting with Planning Minister Brad Hazzard about Hornsby's housing strategy.

"There are a number of issues that need to be addressed before the Director General can sign off on it, such as bushfire-prone areas and proposed density for suburbs north of Hornsby.  "I will work with council to make sure we get the right outcome." 

The strategy includes five, eight and 10-storey residential and mixed-use developments in Hornsby, Pennant Hills, Beecroft, Asquith, Berowra, Mt Colah, Waitara, Normanhurst and Thornleigh.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

M2 Community Update Meetings

The Hills M2 Upgrade team will host 3 community information sessions in early May.
  • Tuesday 3 May – Central Zone – Epping Heights Public School 128 Kent Street, Epping from 5pm to 7.30pm
  • Thursday 5 May – Western Zone – Winston Hills Primary School Hillcrest Avenue, Winston Hills from 5pm to 7.30pm
  •  Saturday 7 May – Eastern Zone – North Ryde Community Centre 201 Coxs Rd, North Ryde from 10am to 12.30pm
These community information sessions will provide residents and motorway users with an opportunity to speak with members of the team about current and upcoming work. Come along and ask any questions you might have.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Neighbourhood Watch Meeting

Next meeting of Neighbourhood Watch is tonight Wednesday 27 April at 7:30, in the committee room at the southern end of the Roselea Community Centre underneath the stage.  Items for discussion include the M2 widening project as it affects our suburb, car parking, car theft, and graffiti.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Off Leash Dog Parks - Ryde Council's Trial

On 19 April Ryde Council deferred a decision on continuing with off leash areas until 8 June.  That date is to be confirmed, and this blog will try to keep interested parties informed.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Walk Across Chilworth Reserve

Sunday's BCCT walk was very well attended. 
Here the group is hearing about the BCCT work on bush remediation.  Volunteers are needed to progress the bush remediation work, if you want more details you can put a comment on this blog post with contact details and the Trust will be in touch with you.

The invitation to bring your dogs was favourably received and it was clear that the dogs loved it!
The intention to inspect the M2 construction site almost had to be abandoned because, unlike the original path, the new path provided by Transurban requires crossing Devlin Creek without a bridge, and the river was unpassable earlier in the day after the rain the day before.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Walking Across Chilworth Reserve

Just a reminder that the BCCT-sponsored Walk in the Park is being held this Sunday starting at 2pm, and will include an inspection of the new construction camp under the M2.  All welcome, not just BCCT members - although membership forms will be available during the walk if you want to join, just $10 or $20 for family membership.
Join us at the park end of Wellham Street, which is off Beecroft Road near the Vintage Cellars bottle shop.
Please note that the path through the construction camp was open at 6pm on Friday night, so presumably will in future be left open each weekend from end of work on Friday.  There are still a lot of locals who feel they should be allowed to go through in the evenings during the week.

M2 Access to Chilworth Reserve

The BCCT has sent the following to Transurban:

The Beecroft-Cheltenham Civic Trust maintains a web-log to garner resident opinion on key and emerging local issues in (relatively) real-time.

Three comments have been made by residents regarding access across Chilworth Reserve during current M2 expansion work:

  1. “I agree that the access path must be maintained during the works. Accepting that the path location may change as the work progresses there is no excuse to completely block access across the creek. This must be managed to accommodate both the right of way and safety concerns. If this means moving the fence corridor regularly or employing a safety crossing flag person then so be it. Pedestrian gates should not be found locked shut.”

  1. “I have checked the access path repeatedly and it has been closed and locked each evening and I have only found it open on Sundays.  I think the Trust should apply pressure on the M2 to remedy this and restore reasonable access to what is, I believe, a public right of way.  At the presentation after the Trust AGM, the M2 people stipulated access would only be restricted during construction, and when I enquired after the meeting they advised this was 7:30am to 5pm.”

  1. I have gone down to the site 4 times after hours and found the gate locked each time.’

Please advise on the matter so that we can also email our 400+ Trust members and friends, and avoid being ‘a suburb divided’.



Beecroft-Cheltenham Civic Trust

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DA/1470/2009/A - 39 Hannah Street, Beecroft

Following is a letter sent by the Trust to Hornsby Shire Council.

Councillor Nick Berman
Mayor of Hornsby Shire
Council Chambers

Dear Mayor Nick,

DA/1470/2009/A - 39 Hannah St Beecroft

The Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust thanks Council for the opportunity to make comments on the subject development, and objects to the application for the following reasons.

Section 79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 requires that that the consent authority, when determining a development application or a variation under Section 96(2) of the Act, consider a number of matters.

In this particular matter, the owner is seeking to increase the value of the land, the subject of a development approval, by removing a perceived encumbrance in the form of Tree 18. The effect of a development application on the value of land the subject of the application is not a head of consideration under Section 79C; therefore Council has no option but to refuse the Section 96 application.

Background information:

  • The Council’s Bushland & Biodiversity Team object to the removal of Tree 18, a Eucalyptus saligna (Sydney Blue Gum)
  • The Council’s Tree Management Team object to the removal of Tree 18, a Eucalyptus saligna (Sydney Blue Gum)
The Applicant's Consultant Arborist, Mark Hartley, described the tree as being in good condition and rated its Retention Value – High and recommended that the tree be preserved.

  • The Applicant's Ecological Consultant, Dr Stephen Ambrose, acknowledges that Tree 18 is the largest tree on the site and its removal is likely to have a significant visual impact on the site.
  • This Trust, in its previous objection with regard to removal of numerous trees from the site, described the Sydney Blue Gum Tree 18 as being in good condition, structure and form typical of the species and the most significant tree on the site.
The Trust submits that even on its merits the application is not worthy of approval.
Mr Garry Mahony should be commended on his thoroughly professional handling of this matter in his telephone reply to the applicant The removal of Tree 18 is not required for construction of services for the subdivision and the subdivision is designed to retain Tree 18.  The proposed removal of the tree would therefore not be supported.’

The approved subdivision plan indicates that the dwelling can be constructed on the site and at the same time Tree 18 can be preserved.

In conclusion, the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust strongly objects to the removal of this significant native tree which forms part of the Blue Gum High Forest and  is listed as a critically endangered ecological community under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).  It is also listed as an endangered ecological community in NSW under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
Yours sincerely,  

Colin Johnston

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

People Power beats Maccas DA

The controversial proposal to have a McDonnalds restaurant on Pennant Hills Road at Pennant Hills was unanimously rejected by Hornsby Council last week!
The Pennant Hills Civic Trust was just one body resisting the proposal, mostly on a traffic hazard basis, you can read their arguments on their website  It is pleasing to see that public protest can achieve results.

Lions Club Trivia Night May 27

The Lions Club of Beecroft-Cheltenham will be holding a Trivia Night on Friday May 27 evening. The BCCT has been invited to book a table of 8 or 10, or you can go as individuals or private groups if you prefer. It will be a great fun night raising funds for the local community. For instance after several years of fundraising we are about to open an Accessible Toilet and Parents room in the Village Arcade.
Date May 27, Time 7:00 for 7:30, Venue Cheltenham Recreation Club, Cost $20 per head. Supper will be provided and there will be lots of great prizes.
If you want to join the BCCT table, contact the secretary, Colin Johnstone, or leave a comment with contact details on this post.

Biodiversity Offset Strategy for the Hills M2 Upgrade Project

In response to an enquiry by the Trust, we received the following from Julia Stackpool, M2 Media Contact (0400 059 982) of Hills M2:

The Biodiversity Offset Strategy for the Hills M2 Upgrade Project is currently being reviewed by the RTA in preparation for submission to Department of Planning.

Once the Strategy is approved, the Project Team will prepare its Biodiversity Offset Package which must be submitted  within 12 months to the Department of Planning for approval (MCoA 2.15).

As soon as the Strategy has been approved, I will be in touch again to provide you and members of the Trust with a copy.

Talking about trees, below are before and after photos of where the truck path from the westbound carriageway is going.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hornsby Shire Housing Strategy

This is from Councilor Michael Hutchence, Deputy Mayor of Hornsby Shire Council.

Please find below the motion I moved as a mayoral minute in the mayor’s absence and managed to get full support for:  THAT:

1.    The Minister for Planning and Infrastructure be urged not to delegate his authority to make the Housing Strategy LEP to unelected bureaucrats, but instead to personally consider the implications of the Housing Strategy on the residents of Hornsby Shire. 
2.    The Minister for Planning and Infrastructure be urged to defer the Hornsby Housing Strategy in its current form to allow  Council to work more closely with the  State g Government in  developing a proposal for Hornsby  Shire that is palatable to the majority of residents rather than the current  Housing Strategy,  which  was opposed by approximately 90%  of residents .
3.    The Minister for Planning  and Infrastructure be advised that  Council wishes to meet its challenges for increased densities by way of focusing in on its major centres  such as  Epping, Pennant Hills and Hornsby in the longer term, subject to adequate infrastructure provision for those centres and by identifying shortcomings in current housing choice in the  Shire and exploring possibilities of medium densities in certain areas. 
4.  The Mayor write to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure seeking a meeting with interested Councillors and senior Council officers to discuss options for a revised Housing Strategy. 
 . Council identify budget implications and funding sources for progressing a  Housing Strategy and master plan for  the precincts nominated as part of a revised Housing Strategy.

Michael Hutchence
Deputy Mayor
Hornsby Shire Council

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

North West Rail Link project team appointed

The NSW government has appointed a project team to speed up delivery of Sydney's delayed North West Rail Line, with geotechnical work to begin this year and construction in the next four years.
Frustrated commuters should soon see work started on the line first floated in 1998 for completion in 2010, the state government says.
The line was delayed, scrapped and then re-announced in February last year by the former Labor government, with no construction scheduled until 2017.

Monday, April 4, 2011

M2 Widening At Chilworth Reserve

Clearing of trees and erection of fences for the construction camp under the M2 viaducts in Chilworth Recreation Reserve is progressing.
An access path at the western end will allow pedestrians to walk through, but will only be open outside of construction times.  It was open last weekend, although it was chained shut when I tried to go through midweek at 6pm.
The BCCT walk starting at 2pm on 17 April will inspect this area and go through the access path.  All are invited.  See an earlier post (March 23) in this blog for more details.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Off Leash Dog Parks - Ryde Council's Trial

On 27 April 2011, Ryde Council's six month trial of Off Leash Dog Parks is due to complete.  The Ryde Council will discuss the trial at the meeting before this date.  If you have a view, communicate with them, or come to the meeting to express your views in person.