Tuesday, August 30, 2011

HSC Tree Preservation Order

From 6 September 2011, the rules for tree preservation in Hornsby Shire will change.
Council’s current Tree Preservation Order is enforceable until 6 September 2011.
The Trust has protested to the Shire that the option selected by Council is not the one believed to have been favoured by the majority of respondents to the earlier submission.
Details of the new rules are at:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Advertising on the M2 Murray Farm Bridge

NSW Infrastructure proposes to install advertisements on the Murray Farm / Kirkham Road over the M2.  Their application, "DA 031-07-2011 Advertising Signage and Replacement of Existing Bus Shelters along The Hills M2 Motorway" refers.  Details are at:


The signage is proposed to have a back-lit fluorescent light box.  The printed advertising graphics will be applied on the front face of the light box.  Fluorescent tubes are proposed to be fitted at the rear of the light box. 

To directly answer your question my understanding is that these signs will have built in lighting at the back of the screen display. 
Submissions on this proposal close on 9 September!

Obstructed Nature Strip and Dangerous Tree

Some time ago the Trust, in response to complaints from locals, brought the state of the nature strip outside a property to the Shire's attention.  We also asked about a tree with very dangerous looking sharp spikes.  Council identified the tree as an introduced Class 3 pest, a Honey Locust tree, whose spikes can puncture car tyres.
We are pleased to advise that last Friday council staff removed the offending tree and tended the nature strip.

Golden Kangaroos Reprieved for the moment

We understand that Council decided to delay a decision on 179 Beecroft Rd until November.  This will permit the matter to be discussed at an open meeting the Trust is proposing to hold in the Cheltenham Recreation Club on Monday 31 October.  We are expecting a good turn out from the Council, and urge all concerned Beecroft and Cheltenham residents to attend.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Golden Kangaroos Being Evicted!

The Golden Kangaroo Band has advised us that Hornsby Council is considering a recommendation to sell their band-hall at 179 Beecroft Road to developers! Most worrying is that the band were given less than one week's notice to respond to the proposal, which is slated for debate by Hornsby Council on 24th August 2011.
So the band needs your immediate help. Please send an email or a letter, or make a phone call, to Hornsby Council supporting the band and protesting strongly about the lack of community discussion on this topic.
Read more about this, and about the band, at http://www.goldenkangaroos.org.au/.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How the NWRL will benefit Beecroft and Cheltenham

The BCCT Committee supports the proposed plan for the North West Rail Link because it will have great benefits for our suburbs. We are pleased the State Government is determined to build this much needed infrastructure.
The proposed tunnel from Epping to Cherrybrook avoids a huge and ugly dive point off the Main Northern Line which would have been difficult to construct with ongoing rail traffic. It would have been 6 tracks wide at the junction and required quadruplication of the entire track as well as rebuilding our stations.  The Village Green would have been resumed as a construction depot and residents would have been greatly inconvenienced for a long period of time.
In general, the key advantages of the direct tunnel from Epping to Cherrybrook (green alignment) as stated in the North West Rail Link, Options Review Report are:
􀂃 It would have the lowest life cycle cost, including a capital cost indicatively between $20
to 60 million less than other options, and reduced ongoing operation and maintenance
􀂃 It is shorter than the other four alignments by between 230 and 650 metres.
􀂃 It would have the least construction impacts including the shortest construction period,
smallest volume of spoil generation (up to 36,000 cubic metres less spoil) and the least
spoil haulage truck movements.
􀂃 It would provide the best ride quality because it is straighter than the other alignments
and has no reverse curves.
The green alignment would also have the following additional advantages:
􀂃 It would have the shortest journey time by between 5 and 24 seconds.
􀂃 It would require the least maintenance.
􀂃 It would consume the least energy and generate the least greenhouse gas emissions
during construction and operation.
􀂃 It would not impact the approved corridor for the Epping to Parramatta Rail Link."

As far as Beecroft and Cheltenham are concerned, this tunnel option will have the least impact on residents.  By providing much needed effective and efficient public transport for people living in The Hills district, road traffic and parking in our suburbs will be reduced. It is a great win for 2119.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

History of the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust

Australia’s First Civic Trust: a community focused on preserving its environment & heritage.

On a fine spring day in 1963, residents of one of Beecroft's many attractive tree-lined streets noted a number of long timber poles lying on the road verge, and a number of very deep holes dug ready to receive the poles. Several engineering-wise residents of the street realised that the poles were for high tension electricity mains, the erection of which would mean cutting down, or at the least, ruination of a number of fine gum trees lining the street.

Overnight the affected residents were alerted and the Sydney County Council, the electricity supply authority concerned, was inundated with requests to divert its supply line to save the trees. Local Members of Parliament became involved, the press sent its reporters and photographers, and feeling ran so high that Departmental engineers held a street meeting with the residents on the site.

The result - a simple solution. It was found that with very minor variations to cable lay-out, and the pruning of only a few branches, the line could still go through as intended, sparing the trees and the character of the street - and the expense of tree felling was saved. More importantly, it led to the formation of the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust (BCCT) in 1964.

This, Australia's first Civic Trust, has done much since its foundation, to put the case to both State and Local Government as well as to Statutory Authorities for the survival of what remains of our passive and defenceless natural beauty and for the citizen who wishes to continue to enjoy this natural beauty and other desirable civic amenities.

The Trust was formally incorporated under the New South Wales Incorporation Act of 1984 on 5 December 1988    
Extract from BCCT constitution

As a practicing Horticulturist, Landscape Architect and Consultant Arborist it has been a privilege to be elected by the Beecroft Cheltenham community to serve for the past 5 years as a voluntary member of the BCCT Committee.

The elected 10 members of the BCCT Committee provide expertise in Law, Architecture, Planning, Science, Real Estate and Property, Engineering, Education Business Management, Landscape Architecture, Horticulture, Arboriculture and Surveying.

My specific role within the committee is to deal with Development and Housing matters with a specific focus on the horticultural, landscape, arboricultural and natural environment concerns.

The sub-committee receives throughout each month from Hornsby Shire Council copies of Development Applications lodged within the 2119 post code areas, and is invited to view the application and appended plans / reports and make comments on the application in a written submission to Council by a notification end date within 14-21 days.

To address the above it involves site inspections and assessment of:

·         All proposed development sites, report writing and correspondence in some cases related to objections or non compliance with statuary planing codes applicable to the proposed development
·         Impact on remnant stands of Critically Endangered Ecological Community plantings of Blue Gum High Forest and Sydney Turpentine Iron Bark Forest.
·         Significant planting of native vegetation introduced to the locality
·         Heritage and significant plantings that are of a Cultural valve to the community
·         Street and Habitat trees
·         Riparian corridors and waterways

Council Planning Meetings are attended monthly where necessary to address the Councillors and the Executive Officers with regard to lending support to applications or to expand objections to poor and over development, loss of trees, impact on heritage sites, waterways and environmental  matters before the Council.

The sub-committee of the Trust assists when requested by Council with Development Application before the Land and Environment Court of NSW to provide expert witness evidence in the areas of Horticulture, Arboriculture and Landscape Design.

The tasks performed by the Trust are constant and demanding but in the end very rewarding, knowing that we are leaving future generations with a community built on a strong stewardship towards preserving a small yet important fragment our of natural environment and heritage.

Stuart Pittendrigh MAIH, FAILA, M.Arb. Australia
Consultant Horticulturist, Registered Landscape Architect & Registered Consultant Arborist