Monday, October 31, 2011

Open Meeting a Great Success

About 200 residents of Beecroft and Cheltenham attended the Open Meeting on Monday 31 October, along with the Mayor, C ward Councillors, and senior planning officers from Hornsby Shire Council.

The meeting started with presentations on Transport, Heritage, Tree Preservation and Development Control by BCCT Committee members.

The meeting was then given an excellent presentation by James Farrington on the justification of, and intentions for, the five storey development of the Beecroft Shopping Village.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shoddy Telecom Work on the Streets of Beecroft

The Trust has written a strong letter of protest to Hornsby Shire Council about appalling damage done to the pavement in Cardinal Avenue by a telco company.
We await a response, but expect to be told that the Telco contracted the work to some back street company and therefore cannot be held responsible for this destruction.  This apparently new cover appears to have been installed as part of the work.
The greatest concern is that almost certainly some of these beautiful trees will have had their root systems destroyed by this vandalism and will soon die.  There must be a way to stop this!  The Trust is exploring the options.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Neighbourhood Watch Meeting

Next meeting of the PH1 Neighbourhood Watch is at 7:30pm on Wednesday October 28th, in the committee room at the southern end of the Roselea Community Centre underneath the stage.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

M2 Project Noise Concerns in Beecroft

The Trust has received a copy of a letter sent by residents to the Director of the M2 Widening Project, expressing grave concern about the noise issue north of the M2 Viaduct over Chilworth Reserve, around Austral Avenue, Fiona Rd, and Chilworth Close.

The letter requests "in the strongest possible terms" that sound barriers be fitted to a section of road west of Murray Farm Road on the northern side of these viaducts.  Apparently the original M2 designers decided noise barriers weren't required for a 200 metre stretch of the M2 there because the noise dampening effect of the Chilworth Reserve bushland would dampen the noise before it affected residents in properties to the north of the park. 

It is worth commenting that this decision did not show very much respect for the recreational users of the reserve!  Those walking in this area are exposed to very high traffic noise which will get much worse with the extra traffic now anticipated after widening.

That original decision clearly needs to be reviewed now that the road is being widened specifically to provide for increased traffic with increased noise levels.  The Trust supports the letter writers' views and seeks opinions from other affected parties.

The Trust will raise this issue at the forthcoming Open Meeting, 7:30 Monday 31 October in the Cheltenham Recreation Club, The Crescent, Cheltenham.  All residents of Beecroft and Cheltenham are welcome to attend.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Funding for Community Building Projects

NSW State Government has announced a Community Building Partnership Fund with $300,000 available to each electoral district to contribute towards the cost of community infrastructure.
Applications close 31 October.
Details can be found at
The Trust would welcome suggestions for such applications.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Epping Town Centre Study

Hornsby and Parramatta Shire Councils are evaluating a study to "explore the potential for the Town Centre to accommodate increased residential and employment growth". The study will be on exhibition until 28 November 2011 at the Hornsby Shire buildings, at Hornsby and Epping Libraries, and at various other locations, and there will be Community Drop-in Sessions advertised in local papers.
Submissions are welcome until the closing date, 28 November, by email to and there is a discussion forum at
The next cab off this rank is likely to be the Beecroft Shopping Village redevelopment, so start practicing the many ways of expressing your views.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rail Noise

Following is an extract from a letter by John Hay of the Cowan Rail Noise Steering Committee:

Dear Sir,

I was very interested in your comments about rail noise and acknowledge your Association’s agreement to join with us and possibly other community groups in a combined approach to the Government, to have rail noise properly controlled.

I found the letter from the Minister for Transport to Mr. Beringer (ML11/04676 -19 Sep), very informative, especially the statement that “The Freight and Regional Development Division (F.&.R.D.D.) of the new Transport for New South Wales will lead the development of strategic plans for freight and will be responsible for freight regulation management including emissions, noise and compliance standards.”

The Minister is to be congratulated for taking this step. For residents affected by “wheel squeal” and other noises from freight train operations this is good news. It is the first step away from RailCorp and its involvement with rail noise and freight management.

As mentioned in my earlier email, Cowan residents have been complaining to RailCorp about rail noise since early 2009, and in July 2010 were told about the Beecroft monitoring system. I noticed the Minister also raised this in her letter to Mr. Beringer.  Of note is the fact that Beecroft monitoring commenced nearly 4 years ago and still wheel noise is a problem.

In the Minister’s letter reference is also made “to a device that applies lubricant to rails at curves in the track.” From information on RailCorp’s website this technology is known as a “friction modifier device”. Even after 15 years of use and various stages of improvement, RailCorp is still unable to combat wheel noise.

On 22 August 2011 Mr. Matt Kean M.P. Member for Hornsby, advised a meeting of Cowan residents of a proposal by RailCorp to trial two Top Of Rail Friction Modifier Applicators (T.O.R.F.M.A.) to the rails at Cowan. These units place a small amount of a lubricant type solution to the top of the rail rather than on the inside edge.

The substance of the proposal by RailCorp was for the trial to be conducted over 12 months and to provide quarterly updates to the community on the progress of the trial. The residents accepted the proposal with the proviso that the trial lasts no more than 6 months and should it not be successful that the noise improvement program be outsourced to a third party.

This conclusion highlights the point of frustration that Cowan residents have now reached from their dealings with RailCorp. Residents look forward to a positive response from the Minister regarding their conditional acceptance of the T.O.R.F.M.A. trial. 

As Cowan residents have exhausted all trust in RailCorp, it is the reason why we want to move to the E.P.A. for rail noise management or, as now mentioned in the Minister’s letter to
Mr. Beringer, possibly to the new F.&.R.D.D. for a more positive outcome.

As the new F.&.R.D.D appears to be in its infancy it might be an ideal opportunity for a combined community approach to be made to the Minister for Transport, requesting that the community at large have some input into the level of rail noise it is prepared to accept and how it should be regulated.  I propose to again contact other interested groups shortly.

In closing, I hope the above comments are of some assistance to you and members of your Association. I trust that we may keep in touch particularly on the progress of a combined community group for dealing with rail noise issues.

John Hay
Cowan Rail Noise
Steering Committee