Tuesday, March 27, 2012

M2 Beecroft Road Bridge Closures

All lanes on Beecroft Road Bridge will be closed between 4am Saturday, 7 April and 12pm Monday, 9 April 2012 while essential concreting work is completed. The westbound off ramp and citybound on ramp will remain open to motorists throughout this period. Motorists will not be able to turn left onto Beecroft Road from Kandy Avenue during this period. At 12pm on Monday, 9 April 2012 all lanes will reopen to motorists and a 40km/hour speed limit may be in place until 5am Tuesday, 10 April 2012.

Monday, March 26, 2012

North West Rail Link Information Meeting

More information meetings are planned, details at http://northwestrail.com.au/
The community information sessions will be held at:
  • Thursday 26 April Epping Club 45-47 Rawson Street,Epping 4pm – 8pm
  • Saturday 28 April Rouse Hill Town Centre 10-14 Market Lane, Rouse Hill 10am – 2pm
  • Thursday 3 May Community Information Centre 299 Old Northern Road (corner Crane Road) 4pm – 8pm
  • Saturday 5 May Cherrybrook Uniting Church 134 New Line Road Cherrybrook 10am – 2pm
  • Tuesday 8 May Crowne Plaza, 1 Columbia Court Baulkham Hills 4pm – 7pm
Experts in specific topics will host additional sessions at the North West Rail Link Community Information Centre, 299 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill on:
  • Thursday 12 April 6pm – 8pm Noise and vibration
  • Thursday 19 April 6pm – 8pm Construction traffic
  • Thursday 10 May 6pm – 8pm Construction methods

2012 Annual General Meeting

The Meeting took place yesterday, approximately 60 people attended, the proposed changes to the constitution were passed, and the ten nominations for committee were elected.
A most valuable presentation by the Northern Rail Corridor project explained in some detail present intentions for the Beecroft and Cheltenham stations, car parking, platform access etc.  More information will be posted on this blog soon, but in the meantime anyone who wants to find out more can contact the secretary, Peter Hewitt, 0417 215 774.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

BCCT Committee Nominations

The following nominations have been received, three from Cheltenham residents, and will be put to the AGM on Monday 26 March. 
Stuart Pittendrigh
1.  Resident of Cheltenham for 12 years
2. Member of BCCT committee for 6 yrs, Sec for 2 yrs, member of Development Housing S/Cmty
3. Chair Development and Housing Committee for last 3 yrs
4.  Practicing landscape architect, consultant arborist and horticulturist.
5. I use my professional skills and experience toward establishment and preservation of the natural and built environment and landscapes related to development issues.
Carolyn Watt
1. Lifelong family connection to Cheltenham
2. BCCT committee member for 10 years, former President and Secretary
3. Editor BCCT Bulletin 8 years
4. Passionate about preserving our heritage and environment
5. Active fighting development which threatens to destroy our suburbs
6. Listen to and represent the community
David Clark
1. Solicitor
2. Providing legal advice to the Trust Committee
3. Local government regulator
4. Lived in Beecroft over 20 years
Ross Walker
1. Member of trust committee for 15 years
2. Resident of Beecroft for 20 years
3. Bush Regeneration for 20 years
4. Active in assessing DAs for 15 years
5. Experience and knowledge of development approval process
Peter Hewitt
1.  Resident in Beecroft since 2004, partner owns business in Beecroft.
2.  Engineer by profession (MSc), 20 years in the Royal Navy before emigrating to Australia
3.  Managed major projects inc 19 yrs with Australian Submarine project
4.  Elected to BCCT Committee at AGM March 2011, took on Treasurer and acting Secretary.
5.  Actively involved with BCCT papers on DA1305 (Hannah St Multi Storey) and others.
6.  Created and now running the BCCT blog bcct2119.blogspot.com
Jo-Anne Cox
1.Qualifications: Degrees in mechanical engineering (1967) medicine and surgery (1978)
2. Residency in Cheltenham:18 months in Old Beecroft Rd then 54 yrs in Chorley Ave.  My father Bill Clarke was patron of the Cheltenham Rec Club when he died in 2005
3.Experience: Successful outcome from the North West Rail Link campaign.  Past committee member
4.Effective Representation:  I’m ready to speak out to help residents who need extra support.  We need to build up better access to our many highly-qualified local experts, whose voices aren’t sufficiently heard.  Expertise combined with local knowledge is a powerful tool.
5. My chief value to this community lies in my determination to help expose Hornsby Council’s carelessness, incompetence, bias, and intention to deceive – wherever we see it displayed by executives of the planning department, or by non-vigilant Councillors.  Brad Hazzard and Barry O’Farrell have said they will respond to demands for public accountability at all levels of government, let’s hold them to that.
Rod Best
1.            Resident in Beecroft over 8 yrs. 
2.            Chair of the local history group. 
3.            Active in local Presbyterian Church and the Beecroft Forum
4.            By profession a lawyer working in the area of child law
5.            Vice president of the BCCT for 3 yrs
David White
1.                   Professional architect in private practice in Beecroft for 22 years.
2.                   Resident in Beecroft 24 years
3.                   President of Civic Trust for 3 years from 2001 to 2004, rejoined committee 2011.
Michael Stove
4.                   34 years in the aviation industry covering general aviation, military aviation and airlines
5.                   Committee W Epping Pre-School, Judo Instructor, Police Citizen Youth Club, Football Coach
6.                   Landcare volunteer, Trustee for local scouting group, Clean Up Australia site manager
7.                   Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust Committee, currently President
8.                   Rainbow Club Committee
9.                   Qantas Foundation Ambassador
Anthony Whipps
1.  Lived in Beecroft 11 yrs
2. Member of BCCT since 2007
3. Served on Committee 2007 – 2009 and 2011 to present
4. 2 children at local schools
5. Actively involved in local community and sporting associations
6. Qualified hydraulic engineer and company director

Monday, March 19, 2012

Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Requirements

The Department of Planning & Infrastructure has issued his requirements of the third line project.


The rail project will give a short talk about the impact of the project on Beecroft and Cheltenham at start of the BCCT AGM Monday 26 March 7:30pm Cheltenham Rec Club.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Development Creep

This delightful Article is from Heckler in Sydney Morning Herald:

WHEN I was a little tacker my parents had a way of dealing with me if I overstepped the mark. If I asked for something and was told I couldn't have it, they wouldn't relent, no matter how many times I pestered them.
The answer was always the same and for the same reasons. If I kept asking I'd be told to pipe down and stop wasting their time. The lesson was you can't always have everything you want in life. We also understood rules were there so the whole family could get along without conflict. Makes sense, right? Good parenting.
It used to be that local councils controlled residential development by enforcing a set of rules that were the same for everybody. So what's happened?
Cluey residential developers have thrown away the rulebook and are pushing whatever they want through toothless local planning authorities. If you have enough money to engage a fancy architect the sky's the limit, literally. Non-compliant? Not to worry. Just pay a certain style of town planner to say black is actually white and Hey Presto Change-o! Unless there are multiple objections, it will probably sail through without proper scrutiny under delegated authority.
Here's how development creep works:
Step one: Apply for twice as much as you are entitled to, including a ''sacrificial lamb''. After council negotiates token conditions, approval is granted because they can't afford to defend refusals in the Land and Environment Court. (Many councils are struggling, having dropped a bundle in US junk bond investments.)
Step two: Wait a few months until everyone has forgotten the details, then lodge a Section 96 development modification application requesting everything previously knocked back (plus a few extras for misdirection).
Step three: Keep pestering - repeat step two until you get everything you ever wanted.
Step four: Submit the Construction Certificate and again change whatever you want as nobody knows or cares any more. Have your hired gun declare it to be ''substantially the same'' development. Your private certifier will mostly sign off whatever you want, as long as you pay their fees.
In response, council planners have developed a finely balanced game of finesse where expectations are weighed and played so each side gets just enough of their own way to think they're better off than before.
In the new world order ethics and integrity are abandoned in favour of winning at all costs. Deep pockets and aggression trump honesty and fair play. What they need is a good smack with a wooden spoon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

M2 Guest Speakers at the BCCT AGM Confirmed

We have arranged for a short talk by the Northern Rail Freight Corridor project, starting at 7:30pm immediately before the AGM gets under way.
The M2 Upgrade Project also offered to give a short talk.  Last year they were kept until after the AGM, 11pm, which was a bit rude.  This year we will halt the AGM for twenty minutes at around 9pm to give the M2 Upgrade Project team a fair go at a fair time.  The Project have agreed to this, and ask for questions in advance of topics that people would like covered.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

St George Beecroft Branch Closing Down

St George have sent out letters saying they have "reviewed branch locations to meet the needs of customers".  As a result they are closing the Beecroft branch, as of 5pm Friday 30 March.  That doesn't seem to meet the needs of Beecroft customers!  Why not be honest and say, "to save costs and cut staft, we are closing branches".  It's like those infamous recorded messages, "your call is important to us".

We are advised that there will be an ATM in Pennant Hills and another in Cherrybrook, which will be a great relief to present customers of St George Beecroft.

Does St George realise the damage a step like this makes to the Beecroft community?  People don't just come to the centre to visit the Beecroft bank branch, they do their shopping at the same time, in the Beecroft shops.  Now, if they have to go to Pennant Hills to bank, they will go there to shop too.

President Shaving Off for Leukaemia Research

Michael Stove is taking part in the World's Greatest Shave 2012.  So far he has raised over $600, but his target is $2,012.  Please help, you can donate at this web site:
You can use your credit card and sponsor me online at :  http://my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/michaelstove

Why is he doing this?
 - Blood cancer research is expensive but vital. The money you give will help the Leukaemia Foundation fund important research into leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other blood disorders.

- Every 46 minutes someone in Australia gets the news they have blood cancer. The money you give will also support them from diagnosis, during their treatment and beyond.

All the Leukaemia Foundation's services are free.  Let's keep them that way.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

AGM Guest Speaker - Rail Freight Corridor Project

At the BCCT AGM, the Project Manager and members of the team for the Epping – Thornleigh section of the 3rd rail track will give a 15 minute talk and presentation on how the Rail Freight Corridor will affect the Cheltenham Beecroft Pennant hills sector of the track, what will happen to Cheltenham and Beecroft stations, the parking, playgrounds etc, design features, and noise issues with the new line.
They will then answer questions, but please understand that they are not able to talk on issues of existing rolling stock, existing noise and pollution, or weed control in the corridor, as these are all state rail matters.
We are advised that the team will comprise the Executive Program Director, Project Manager, and members of the Public Affairs and Planning teams, a most impressive line up.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nomination Form for BCCT Committee

The 2012 Annual General Meeting of the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust Inc is to be held on 26 March at the Cheltenham Recreation Club, starting at 7:30 pm.  The Constitution allows for election at the AGM of ten members of the Committee.  The Nominee, Nominator and Seconder must all be financial members of the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust Inc. for the year commencing 1 January 2012 (2011 members remain financial for six months from 31 Dec 2011). 
The form below should be used to nominate, and also Nominees are invited to add a brief statement as to their interests and the skills they can offer to the Civic Trust. Any such statement should accompany the completed nomination form.
Nominations should be submitted, by post to PO Box 31 Beecroft 2119, or by e-mail to secretary@2119.org.au, preferably by Monday 12 March 2011 to allow circulation to members.
Full Name of Person Nominated:
Nominated by:                                                             Signature;
Seconded by:                                                              Signature;
I agree to this nomination:                                          Date:

Nominee’s statement;
Use these dot points to cover qualifications, experience, occupation, residency etc. 
Date received by the Secretary:                             Additional statement yes/no.

Monday, March 5, 2012

BCCT2119 Blog

For a long time the March 2011 post about Carmel, the heritage building at 115 Beecroft Rd, had logged more posts than any other post.  But now the 5 Jan 2012 post on the Uniting Care DA1305 tops the list, demonstrating the extent of community interest in this multi storey flat development proposal.

Beecroft Being Abandoned?

The BCCT secretary received a thought provoking letter from a resident and Trust member.  Extracts include:
"My major concern since moving to Beecroft in 2003 is the slow decline in the character of the area."
"Hornsby Shire Council, despite being a bushland shire, seem only too willing to allow residents to chop down established trees and for developers to use every last inch of a block of land."
"People buy into the area, apply to council to cut down a significant number of trees on their property, and then sell up and move out of the area."
The writer mentions a couple of properties as examples.
Obviously owner/developers can make a lot of profit if allowed to clear-fell the property they bought with lovely trees on it, and one suspects many applicants are indeed only intending to stay in the cleared property long enough to sell it after building or improving their view by removing trees.  The Trust is doing its best to ban such exploitation, but the Shire must assist in this battle.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Photomontages in Development Applications

An excellent article in today's Sydney Morning Herald says that "Up to 90% of photomontages produced for development applications could be misleading".
David Rothschild, architect and planner, and Nigel Dickson, visiting professor at the University of NSW, say
there are many opportunities for misrepresentation, whether deliberate or not.  Such images should be verified independently. 
It was noticeable that for DA1305 the application shows a montage of the view of the proposed buildings from Hannah St but not from Copeland Road.  Because of the downward slope of the land, the higher houses on Hannah St will mask most (but not all) of the buildings behind, but from Copeland Rd the proposed buildings will tower over the existing residences. 
The NSW government is reviewing the State Planning system, but how can they frame a rule that requires developers to provide both the attractive and the unattractive views?