Friday, December 13, 2013

ETTT Tree Policy, Cheltenham

We have just been told by a local resident that the ETTT tree-killers arrived at 7am this morning and continued their arboreal destruction in Cheltenham.  Did they choose early Saturday morning to avoid upsetting the sleep of residents, or to make it harder to muster objections?

HSC Tree Protection Policy

When asked about the two Blue Gum High Forest trees poisoned and then felled on 109 Copeland Rd, one of Hornsby Shire Council’s staff said: “it is a compliance matter... the tree has been poisoned; nothing more can be done."
So, if you want to have a tree removed you have a choice.  Apply for permission to the Council and pay their application fee $130, or buy a bottle of Roundup for $39.  What price a Tree Protection policy?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

HSC's last chance to save Beecroft from Developers

Apparently before the auction of 109 Copeland Road last Saturday, the owner demolished the house and chopped down both poisoned trees! The police were called to keep the neighbours from lynching him.  Then the auction took place and the two cleared blocks sold for a total $2,380,000, a cool profit of $1,075,000 just for having the balls to do it and the gall to assume that even if the authorities took action any fine would be a trivial part of that obscene profit!
Come on Hornsby Shire Council, your electors are watching you!
(PMN - it transpires that HSC had in fact approved DAs that arguably permitted demolition of the house without public consultation!!  If so then the HSC needs to explain how such a thing can happen, granting a developer such a windfall profit)

If you don't know what this is about, I refer you to the main BCCT website,, "recent submissions", "Poisoned trees at 109 Copeland Rd" of July 2012.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

NWRL and the Disabled

The O'Farell Government says travellers will be better off with the metro style NWRL.  Even before the hypothetical second tunnel is built, they will travel in faster newer driverless trains for some of their journey which will surely compensate for having to change trains a few times.  Of course the new NWRL metro trains will have fewer seats, but does that matter?
Well, yes, Adam of the BCCT writes in to remind us.  Fit and healthy travellers can indeed run up and down and across platforms to catch the diverse trains involved in NWRL commuting.  But as Adam says, the aged, disabled (especially wheelchair dependent) and ill passengers from Beecroft, Cheltenham, Pennant Hills, Thornleigh and Normanhurst traveling to Sydney will have to catch three trains via the Epping to Chatswood rail link.  This has so far been ignored by the NWRL publicity machine.  Hopefully Ms Berejiklian will soon explain her intentions for these disadvantaged travellers.

NWRL - Second Sydney Harbour Tunnel

THE man in charge of the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link said he is building the line on the assumption a second Harbour rail crossing will follow and that Tube-like single-deck trains will then travel all through Sydney.     Transport for NSW's North West Rail Link project director Rodd Staples said his department was working on the concept of a second Harbour rail crossing - a tunnel from Chatswood through St Leonards and involving the creation of a new station at North Sydney. The director's comments show the dilemma facing Premier Barry O'Farrell because, although Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has stated she wants a second Harbour rail crossing, it is completely unfunded, would cost $10 billion to $15 billion and would likely require the sale of the $30 billion electricity poles and wires.

There is no plan, let alone a funded plan, for this second harbour tunnel.  When the O'Farrell party was elected into govenment it was on a promise to provide compatible train sets that could run from Rouse Hill to the city, sharing with North Shore and Northern Line trains to minimise customer inconvenience.  Since the election they changed to offering the Mickey Mouse train that can only reach the city after the hypothetical second harbour crossing is built.  Meanwhile commuters must change trains repeatedly to reach the city.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

DA 38/2013 - Wongala Crescent & Chapman Avenue

A sad conclusion to the BCCT's objection to this DA is:
The Council should note specifically in its decision that the notably flexible concessions it has intended, in this instance, should not be regarded as a precedent by which the Beecroft town centre DCP is compromised at the outset
From the Trust’s perspective, the Hornsby Shire Council has erred significantly in its overly generous interpretation of the key principles of the DCP for this precinct. It is a sad and regrettable situation that those principles and the future quality of development in the town centre of Beecroft may be subject to compromise. This was not the intention of the Councillors, staff, community or Trust representatives who worked diligently for hundreds of hours to frame those DCP principles, only a couple of years ago.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rail Wheel Squeal at Beecroft

This report on Transport NSW website discusses rail wheel squeal noise:
One paragraph says:
"Tranport for NSW Freight and Regional Development, in conjunction with Sydney Trains, has recently implemented best practice rail lubrication on the Main North railway line, including at Beecroft. Following implementation, the number of AoA exceedances reported to train operators has increased. Noise, however, has not increased, and the recent lubrication has reduced both the incidence and severity of curve squeal."
The report does not appear specifically to quantify the effect of recent lubrication.
Some 900 trains were monitored July through September, containing 151,558 axles of which 3,332 exceeded the authority's Angle of Attack criteria, believed to identify "wheel squeallers".  The report discusses corrective actions taken on "repeat offender" rail wagons, saying "repeat offenders" were identified and inspected in Septemer.  But this number of wagons discussed as being in that category seems to be tiny compared to the number of wagons that are heard to squeal as they go through Beecroft.  Let's hope things are improving.
Either way it is good to see action is being taken.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tree Destruction at Cheltenham railway station

A public meeting will be held at The Crescent near Cheltenham railway Stn at 4:00pm this Wed 13 Nov 2013.  Those calling the meeting point out that

"Every single piece of vegetation between Sutherland Rd and The Crescent, Cheltenham NSW 2119 is being removed, inside and outside the rail corridor. WILL the large trees BE REPLACED WITH MATURE SPECIMENS?? - some of the trees are at least 150 years old and nobody alive today will see them regrow to their original size."

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

F3 - M2 Information Meeting 18 November

RMT invites members of the BCCT to a Community Information Session on Monday 18 November 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the Cheltenham Recreation Club.
RMT points out that the preferred design will not be known until early 2014, but this information session will cover location, entry and exit points, and which if any properties might be impacted.  Further information meetings are intended.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dog Off-leash Area - Lyne Road Reserve

Received today from Hornsby Shire Council:
Thankyou for your response to the August 2013 mailout, where Council sought additional feedback on the prospect of permitting off-leash dog exercise in the Lyne Road Reserve,Cheltenham.
This letter is to confirm that Council will proceed to permit off-leash exercise of pet dogs within Lyne Road Reserve.  The submissions received conclude that many residents in the vicinity of the reserve are happy with the decision and / or accepting of the continued use of the reserve in this way, a few are of the view that a fenced enclosure would be acceptable and a minority outright oppose dogs off-leash in the reserve.
There were concerns raised about incidents involving animals off-lead that were not under effective control and issues around litter being left in the park.  Council reiterates that it is the responsibility of owners to keep dogs on a leash if they are unable to effectively bring the animal to respond to voice or other commands.  It is also incumbent upon owners to clean up after their pets and to respect other park users who may not like dogs and / or are intimidated by dogs, especially small children who may be scared even by a small, boisterous, happy dog.
Council will ensure that appropriate signage is installed in the park outlining responsibilities and will provide an additional waste bin in the reserve for the proper disposal of dog litter. Minor works may be performed to improve surfaces at some seating areas and around the bubbler point.  A new bubbler with a dog drinking bowl will be installed.
Council will continue to observe the use of Lyne Road Reserve over the coming months to ascertain any negative impacts as a result of this decision.
You are welcome to contact me on 9847 6854 or email should you have any further enquiries regarding this matter.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

NWRL and ETTT - Transport Minister Responds

The Minister for Transport provided responses to the questions put by our residents in August, mainly about the downsizing of the North West Rail Link.  Refer to the main website page where the PDF can be read.

Beecroft Shopping Village Development - Wongala Chapman Corner DA Defered

On Wednesday night (16 October), Hornsby Shire Council voted to defer the recommendation by Council's planning staff to approve this 5 storey 36-unit development – the first in our Beecroft village centre. C ward Councillors Michael Hutchence and Bernadette Assisi, supported by Deputy Mayor / B ward Councillor Robert Browne, moved that approval be deferred so the applicant can address the non-compliance issues with the Development Control Plan (DCP). The key issues are deep soil planting, building separation and setbacks. It was a lengthy debate, but Councillor Hutchence's persistence carried his motion for deferral by 5 votes for to 4 against.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

NWRL and Richmond Airport

An article in the Daily Telegraph on 11 November discusses a study into the use of Richmond Airport for civilian operations to assist with congestion at Kingsford Smith airport.  It includes the statement "passengers could get to Parramatta twenty minutes quicker from Badgery's creek than from the Richmond air base".  But if Richmond is to serve as a secondary airport to Sydney airport many of the people using Richmond would want to get quickly to Sydney airport, not Parramatta.

Did the study consider the effect of the North West Rail Link on the viability of Richmond?  If the NWRL was extended to Richmond, the viability of Richmond as a local hub airline would improve dramatically.

At present the NWRL is to stop at Rouse Hill, 20km short.  But an extension to take it on to Richmond, above ground the whole way, would be relatively cheap to build, especially if built as part of the existing 24km build programme, most of which is underground.  However you could not expect tired airline passengers to stand all the way between Sydney and Richmond.  So the viability of this extension is called into question by the NSW government's plan to build a metro style train, or specifically to build the tunnels with too small diameter to service full size passenger trains if Richmond does become a commercial airport.

Another argument against the Mickey Mouse Railway!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

NWRL Changes

At a meeting of most of the Trust Committee yesterday the following issues were agreed to be most significant in relation to the downgrading of the NWRL to metro size tunnels and trains.

a. No planning approval has been granted for the changes.

b. Key data in relation to the volume of passengers was reduced without changes made to the business case. The economic evaluation was never redone.

c. The project team did not resubmit the metro proposal to the government for approval after the changes were made

d. It appears that at least one person was requested to fudge figures for metro operation to make metro trains seem viable.


Radio Towers at Beecroft and Cheltenham

Cheltenham residents have alerted the Trust to the above proposals, outlined below.  The above rail radio network is being upgraded across the whole metropolitan area, as a response to the 2003 Waterfall Rail accident Commission of Enquiry
See the main website for details

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

F3-M2 Tunnel Project

Information pamphlets have been sent out by Roads and Maritime Services.

The proposal is for twin tunnels each two lane with provision for future widening to three lanes.

Community Information events are being held in Turramurra on 22 October, Muirfield Golf Club Barclay Road North Rocks on 23 October, and Hornsby War Memorial Hall 2 High Street Hornsby on 24 October, all from 6:30pm to 8pm.

Further information is available at

This blog will update as more information becomes available.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Beecroft Forum

Guest Speaker for the next Beecroft Forum Dinner is Professor Tim McCormack, Professor of Law at University of Melbourne, and Special Adviser on International Humanitarian Law to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. 
Date:               Thursday 7 November
Venue:             Pennant Hills Golf Club, Copeland Road, Beecroft
Time:               7.00pm for 7.30pm
Cost:                $50 per adult
Payment:         Cheques to “MIAT” and mailed to 52 Hannah Street, Beecroft 2119
Electronic:       Commbank Account Name MIAT – BSB 062 113 – Account 10132308 – please remember to give your name as the reference.

ETTT Meeting with the BCCT Committee

Three representatives of the ETTT attended before last night's BCCT committee meeting and the following issues were discussed.
  1. Trust is very concerned by ETTT’s recent extreme tree and habitat clearance along rail corridor;
  2. Trust Arborist presented ETTT reps with professional report on how to save historic 100 year old Bunya pines opposite Beecroft Station
  3. Need for an Arborist to be part of ETTT team
  4. Trust Architect noted it is also essential to avoid the shotcrete walls – like that South of Eastwood Station
  5. Shotcrete walls are subject to graffiti – gabion walls are not
  6. Gabion walls would save long term maintenance
  7. Trust Doctor noted need for integrity of process to be transparent, engaged and environmentally-cognisant
  8. Trust Architect and Arborist pointed to suitability of gabion walling to preserve above pines (recent example RTA at Wentworth Falls – road and rail)
  9. One metre clearance from catch drain on walls could be obviated by gabion walling in station precinct
  10. James is being assailed by NTTAG misinformation
  11. No Beecroft lift proposed – new ‘old bricks’ wing walls at western end of pedestrian underpass at Beecroft Station
  12. Trust Architect requested definite lines of fencing along the section of work between Copeland Road and Chapman Avenue
  13. Fence planting of vines like Kennedia (Tennis Club)
  14. Trust to take photos of playground in use by locals
  15. Engineering design / AECOM urban design team – under ETTT supervision
  16. April 2013 consultations undertook to respect the cultural plantings
  17. Sydney Blue-gum high forest offset plantings – to be finalised 12 months after Office of Env & Heritage approval – website has Bio-baking ratios.
  18. Hornsby Shire Council is yet to look at local sites for Bio-banking
  19. Electrical stanchions [1500vDC] will not impact wall and environment set-backs
  20. How to better address notable recent loss of vegetation and its effective restoration
  21. Site management has been severely lacking – the ETTT Lawson team should enhance restoration
  22. Revamped Wongala Crescent car-park needs to be IN at top and OUT at bottom for better local traffic flows
  23. Trust Doctor provided a report to the ETTT team on the local habitat of the rare and endangered Gang-Gang cockatoo.
  24. Beecroft Cheltenham History Group website is

Monday, September 30, 2013

Beecroft Shopping Centre Development

The developers who had been trying to buy up all the properties in the Arcade, in order to develop them as five storey mixed developments, have sent a letter saying that insufficient parties have signed up so they have withdrawn their offer to purchase.

Meanwhile nothing more has been heard of the parallel Module development, whose DA is with Hornsby Shire Council.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Slums of the Future

An interesting article by Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney, in the Daily Telegraph newspaper today starts:
"Small and badly designed apartments might be what some property developers want, but it is no good for the people who actually buy and live in them."
Later the article says:
"What the development lobby wants is to sideline the community's input so some irresponsible developers can build quick and dirty to turn a buck."
Proposed changes to the approval process for commercial developments seem aimed at assisting the developers achieve this.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BCCT Interview with Gladys Berejiklian

Rod Best and four others from the BCCT committee had a half hour meeting in Parliament House with the state Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday, at which the Minister explained how the NWRL will be world class.  The NWRL will stop at Chatswood, and Northern line trains will run from Epping to Strathfield.  This leaves concerns about how the North Shore line will be boosted to offset the loss of Northern Line trains that presently go through the Epping to Chatswood tunnel and then on over the harbour bridge.  Questioned about this, the Minister explained that the number of trains on the North Shore line will be increased to make up the deficit.

Rail Chief to be interviewed on 702 Radio

Linda Motram will be interviewing the new Sydney rail chief Howard Collins on the 9am morning show on 702 ABC Sydney.  Now is your chance to ask about how the NWRL will integrate into the Sydney rail system.
Go to to find out how to submit questions.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

ETTT Community Information Sessions August

Two information sessions are planned in August to provide details of upcoming construction works.  Design construction and environmental representatives will be present, including noise specialists to discuss the process they will be undertaking to confirm noise mitigation for the project.

Thursday 22 August 5pm - 7pm Beecroft Community Centre 111 Beecroft Rd
and (same information at)
Saturday 24 August 10am - 12 noon Pennant Hills Leisure and Learning Centre 8 Warne Street Pennant Hills.

Monday, July 29, 2013

M2 Widening Project Completes Mid Auguest

Hills M2 project advise the widening project will complete early August with 100 kph speed limits restored both ways.

NWRL Meeting

There was a good turnout for the meeting, about 125 people, including three Hornsby Shire Councillors.  If nothing else people learnt what is proposed for the metro NWRL, although nobody could explain why it is being built this way instead of as something that can integrate with the rest of the Sydney rail network.
Apparently a lot of work is now being done by CityRail or whatever it is called this week, to adapt to suit the change of NWRL from integrated and going to the city, into stand-alone metro stopping at Chatswood.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

NWRL Meet Tonight

The Question and Answer meeting on the NWRL will take place at the Cheltenham Rec Club on 29 July starting 7:30 pm.  All welcome.  The ETTT will also be discussed if time permits.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Community Meeting about NWRL

Many of you will have heard that Gladys Berejiklian had agreed to attend a meeting in the Cheltenham Rec Club on Monday 29 July, but has since advised she cannot attend.

The meeting will go ahead anyway with a question and answer format.  The president Rod Best will read out questions received from the public, and invite the Trust Committee and members of the audience to discuss each issue.  We will then be able to present a synopis of that discussion to the Minister.

If you have a question you would like included in the discussion, send it to
See you there!

ETTT Approved

On 17 June Brad Hazzard granted approval to the State significant infrastructure application referred to in schedule A (the ETTT), subject to the conditions in schedules B to F.

These conditions are required to:
1  prevent, minimise, and/or offset adverse environmental impacts including economic
and social impacts;
2 set standards and performance measures for acceptable environmental performance;
3 require regular monitoring and reporting; and
4 provide for the ongoing environmental management of the development.

More information available at

Sunday, June 30, 2013

NWRL Plans for Cheltenham Oval

The Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust is having a walk from Cheltenham Oval on Sunday 18th August and it would be timely if we can know a bit more about their plans. We have invited one of the NWRL staff to attend the walk.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DA545/2013 Petition

A petition opposing the present DA is being raised at ZalmHair, on Hannah Street directly opposite the Module.  Apparently some 60 signatures have been raised already.

DA 545/2013 Letter of Objection

This excellently expressed letter to General Manager HSC was copied to the Trust:

Dear Sir,
Re:  DA545/2013  Beecroft Module Development

We wish to lodge our objection to the proposed redevelopment of the Beecroft Module site as outlined in DA545/2013. We consider the development is unacceptable in its present form for the following reasons.

1.       The building is not in keeping with the heritage nature of the Beecroft village in style and amenity. To allow loss of heritage is a disservice and insult to the residents of Beecroft who are the rate payers of the area. All councils have a responsibility to serve the wishes of the residents of particular areas. There is no place for a “one size fits all” attitude in any suburb.

2.       The building appears to be a “grab” for dwelling space. 144 units are excessive by any measure in such a small space. This should be halved. In addition there should be a variety of unit sizes to allow equally for singles, families and retirees. This would fit with the diversity of the suburb.

3.       Car exit and entry to the proposed building is plainly inadequate and dangerous. This must be resolved to protect the many pedestrians that frequent the village precinct be they aged (many), young (many school aged), or family. The Hannah street frontage is steep, has poor vision for drivers and is already crowded. The Beecroft Road frontage, whilst better, has significant peak hour traffic jams.

4.       There is no allowance for the expected Village Square and public access is unacceptably limited. Beecroft residents consistently state they want a village atmosphere with comfortable open space in keeping with the heritage and social composition of the suburb. This building does not meet these essential criteria.

5.       As the village precinct is also a train and bus area, commuters and shoppers are part of the day to day mixture. The building does not provide for shelter from the weather along its frontages. This should be a fundamental requirement.

6.       Current commuter parking in Beecroft is inadequate. This building will exacerbate an already difficult situation. New planning should overcome inadequacies not the opposite. There is a great danger of loss of commuter parking adjacent to the station due to the third track that State Rail is constructing. This must be allowed for in all building proposals for the Beecroft Village precinct.

 7.       A five storey frontage is not in keeping with Beecroft. There should be a set back and stepped design that will maintain the beauty of the area and enhance the village character.
Finally, we would like to say that the current Module building is an inadequate, crumbling eyesore and should never have been built. We demand that this disaster is NOT replicated by another disaster and urge Hornsby Council to apply the most stringent standards so that the Beecroft Village is enhanced in keeping with the needs and expectations of the residents and rate payers.

Yours sincerely, (etc)

Monday, June 24, 2013

NWRL Controversy

A rather fine observation received from a Beecroft resident:

In the editorial in yesterday's Herald, headed 'Monorail should be a lesson to all transport ministers', Gladys is quoted as saying that "the monorail is not integrated with Sydney's wider public transport network and has never been truly embraced by the community, and we can't justify the costly upgrades required to keep it running".

Why then are she and her Cabinet colleagues so hell-bent on imposing the NWRL on us, when exactly the same comment can be made about it? We have only vague promises that the NWRL Metro will be extended at some time in the future, but with no timetable or indication as to cost. Talk about double standards!

DA 545/2013 Extension of time to Make Submissions

There has been an extension of time for submissions on the Module development of the Beecroft Shopping Village, until 10 July. The Trust is keen that all residents of Beecroft and Cheltenham take this one last opportunity to have their say on the proposed development. Write to the General Manager, Hornsby Shire Council, PO Box 37 Hornsby NSW 1630, quoting DA 545/2013. 
One reason the UnitingCare development was approved by the JRPP was that there had "not been many complaints".  Don't let the Module development get through without having your say!

DA 545/2013 development of The Module at Beecroft Shopping Centre

The following is a copy of a letter sent to HSC on this topic, and copied to the Trust:

General Manager Beecroft 2119
Hornsby Shire Council

24th June 2013

Dear Sir

I am writing to comment on DA545/2013 which is a major redevelopment for Beecroft Village.

I have lived in Beecroft for 45 years now and have always enjoyed its village atmosphere. I was hoping that the rezoning would be an opportunity to improve the amenity of the area with well designed development. However is this what Council had in mind when it rezoned this area? Surely Beecroft deserves better than this.

Yesterday I went to Stocklands mall in Cammeray and had lunch in a restaurant in this new development which seemed a very sympathetic balance of residential, retail and public space including low rise shops and cafes around a public square. It had a nice inviting atmosphere for customers and I am sure residents too.

This Beecroft proposal is all about making the most profit out of the space available and has little to do with good design and improving the amenity of the site as it is now.

Some of the issues are:-

To attract a good mix of residents the apartments should predominantly be two and three bedroom apartments with more floor space which would be suitable for families and retirees. There could be some smaller one bedroom apartments but not the majority as in the current proposal.

This proposal has very limited public open space for people who live and shop in Beecroft or room for public landscaping and dare I say a few trees.

The design should be more sympathetic to the heritage feel of the suburb and there should be a mix of building heights to fit in with the topography of the site.

Parking and access and egress will be a major problem if this development goes ahead.

I am not sure just what influence Council can have on getting well integrated and sympathetically designed development but it can be done as I saw yesterday in Cammeray.

I hope Council will be able to influence the new development in Beecroft to compliment and enhance this heritage area.

Yours faithfully

DA 545/2013 - The Module development proposal

One evaluation of the DA concludes with:
"At multiple Council meetings when residents expressed concern about the implications of 5 storey development at Beecroft, Council stated that residents need not worry as only quality developments that were sympathetic to the village nature of the area would occur at Beecroft.  This was because of the rigorous DCP and that potential customers for both accommodation and shops would be from the local area.  Another claim was that local residents were keen to have enhanced shopping facilities.  The DA will deliver none of these."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

UnitingCare Copeland Rd build starting

Locals have been advised that construction of the UnitingCare Seniors Living development at 7-11 Hannah Street and 129-131 Copeland Road in Beecroft will commence shortly.  Construction is expected to take twelve months with scheduled completion October 2014.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

DA 545 Residential Plans for The Module

It is difficult and time consuming to download the details of the DA off the HSC website, so here are a few extracts.

The proposed residences are 144 units comprising 2 studios, 69 1 bedroom units, 61 2 bedroom units, and 12 3 bedroom units.

Total parking for residential, shop staff, and shoppers comprises 299 spaces, of which at least 150 will be for the residents and visitors, leaving 140 spaces for a much larger supermarket and many more shops.  The module currently has 100 spaces for the small supermarket and few shops and has been criticised for having insufficient spaces.  As HSC policy, each unit is only allowed one parking space although nowadays most 2 bedroom units would probably have two cars.  The parking plan appears to be silent on how residents and commuters will be prevented from parking in the shopping park areas, an issue which needs to be clarified.

Weekday traffic flow on Hannah street at the moment is monitored at 375 cars an hour (sum of both directions) with 90 cars an hour using the Module Car Park exit onto Hannah Street.  The traffic management plan does not discuss how residents will egress the building in the morning, concentrating on afternoon traffic management.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Beecroft Shopping Village Development DA 545/2013

The DA for five storey development of The Module is now on the council website as DA 545/2013.  The application proposes four levels of residential units for a total of 144 units.  As predicted at the recent open meeting, access to the multi-level parking and shops will be through a single two lane entry onto Hannah Street, roughly the same as now but with a huge increase in traffic.

If you want to contact the Council’s Planning Division on the issued, their telephone number is 9847 6760.  However if you are protesting any aspect of the DA make sure you do it in writing so it is recorded.

To assist you in this matter, the development application and any documentation accompanying the application are available for inspection at the Customer Service Centre, first floor of Council's Administration building, during business hours.

Alternatively, Council has an Application Enquiry system which can be accessed via the Council’s Website, under the drop-down menus of ‘Building & Development’ and ‘Services & Facilities’.  The Application Enquiry system allows applicants and residents to check the details and progress of an application online and includes all documentation i.e. plans, statement of environmental effects, etc. associated with the assessment of an application.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Module Beecroft Shopping Center - 21 Days to Object

The DA to develop The Module was submitted last Friday and the deadline for submissions will be 21 days after that, ie Friday 21 June. 

We understand that the DA goes counter to the HSC Development Control Plan, proposing four levels of residential units with 144 total units (a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms) whereas the DCP had stipulated only three levels.  No improvement has been proposed for vehicle access over what was proposed in the Open Meeting last week.

If you are concerned about these issues, write to HSC Planning Department.

If you feel strongly, then also write to The Mayor and all three C Ward Councillors, addresses available on the HSC website at  If you feel really strongly write to all the other Councillors as well.

When the DA appears on the Council website, this blog will provide full details of how to respond.  But meanwhile get your pens or email fingers going!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Beecroft Shopping Village - letter to council

The attached letter was copied to the Trust and is printed here for community information:

The Town Planner – Beecroft Precinct,
Hornsby Council,
PO Box 37,
Hornsby.  NSW. 1630.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I attended the information evening to hear details from the architects on proposed changes to the Module site in Beecroft Village.  My wife and I live across the road from the site and I have undertaken design aspects of small multi-unit developments in the past.  I must say I was appalled at the design and logistic aspects the development architects presented on the night.  Below are my major issues in point form.

1.       Did they read the Council DCP?  Their concept does not come close to the guidelines; sacrificed commercial space in favour of very small residential units.

2.      Details were given that the 146 residential properties have a total of a 144 or 146 car spaces.  Where are all the extra cars to be parked, already there is no parking within one kilometre of the railway station due to commuter parking.
3.      MOST IMPORTANT: How is it acceptable for cars (from over 300 car spaces) and delivery trucks to have an entrance and exit from Hannah Street?  This street is steep, has many pedestrians, both elderly and school age, and is not a main road even though it is a regular bus route to the railway station.  Even now there are queues past the proposed entry/exit waiting for lights at Beecroft Road. 
4.      A few years ago I built a small café in a commercial zone and Council (not Hornsby) forced me to undertake a professional traffic survey, costing over $5,000.  A traffic survey is imperative and I’m confident it will show that Hannah Street CANNOT handle this extra traffic.  Keep in mind that there have been pedestrian fatalities already in Hannah Street.
5.      Traffic entry from Hannah Street may be acceptable, however, every effort is to be made to secure an exit to Beecroft Road.  After all, Beecroft Road is a main road designed to handle traffic.  Left turn only !!  Alternatively, encourage the Module owner to purchase the residential site currently for sale in Chapman Avenue and combine an exit from the Module site with an entry/exit for residential units on this site.  Hannah Street exit will have limited visibility for pedestrians and the street CANNOT handle the congestion and safety aspects of an exit from over 300 car spaces.  Beecroft Village also serves as a bus hub particularly for school students.

6.      The architects say they have approached RMS on three occasions to have entry or exit onto Beecroft Road.  Have they really tried to achieve this or are they just happy to have entry/exit on Hannah Street because this option is simply cost effective and convenient to their design?

7.       During demolition and construction, all materials that will be transported by trucks MUST use Beecroft Road for access.

8.      I suspect the architects spent little time in the Village, their only correct observation was that Hannah Street had nice ornamental pear trees in the street.  Their only purpose of the meeting was to tell Council that “they consulted with residents”.  In response to a question, one of the architects indicated that a three (3) bedroom unit would have a floor area of 100 sq metres !!!  Really?

9.      The architectural block design displayed does nothing to fit in with the village concept proposed in the DCP or that of those residents who attended the meeting.  Locals are vocal that Beecroft Village have new buildings that are in a modern heritage style; not a rectangular, ultra modern block design.  Hornsby Council has approved residential buildings with an excellent modern heritage design located in Wahroonga Village adjacent to the Post Office.  The presence of a tiled roof section would be sympathetic with the Beecroft environment.

10.  Where are the awnings over the footpath?

11.  The Hannah Street façade is harsh and would benefit from more staggered areas, rather than a long façade.  Also will shadow diagrams be prepared to show the effect on properties across the street and in the green areas of the site?

12.  Hornsby Council has been strict with modifications to existing heritage buildings in Beecroft, hence should also be strong about new buildings, whether large or small.

13.  A narrow, long walkway is proposed between the old Westpac building and the proposed Hannah Street building.  This dark access way has potential after hours problems and may disappear when the old Westpac building is incorporated into the Module site.  Vehicle access to the old Westpac site is in the architects plans.

It is my hope that Council can be strong and listen to those who live in, appreciate and respect the current lifestyle found in BEECROFT VILLAGE.  The traffic issue has to be dealt with before approval or Council will have a disaster on their hands.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

NWRL Emergency Egress

A number of people have expressed concern about how passengers would escape if there was a problem with a train in the tunnel.  Some people seem to think they might have to walk several kilometers to reach the next station, and imagine walking in possibly a smoke filled tunnel.

The NWRL project confirm that there will be safety access tunnels at least every 300m along the twin tunnel system, so if there is a problem then passengers will be able to exit into the other tunnel where vehicles can be provided to carry them to safety.

This blogger is exploring a number of such specific concerns, and invites comments or questions from the public on such issues.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

NWRL - Questions for the Minister

The following is an extract from a letter received by the Trust after the NWRL open meeting:

Why do you maintain the half truth that leading capital cities have a metro when the truth is that most of those metros were built over a century ago as solutions to a problem Sydney does not have,  namely having to terminate outer-suburban trains at the edge of the CBD, & it is publicly acknowledged by, amongst others, Howard Collins that those cities would be far better off if they did not have the metro "we have small trains; I'm pretty impressed by the double deck 2000 capacity trains in Sydney" (ABC interview 21 March 2013)

Why do you maintain that metro style trains can carry more passengers than double deck trains, which have twice as many seats as metros, when your proposition is only achievable by assuming all the seats to be occupied & the rest to be occupied by standing passengers at the unpleasant rate of 4 per square metre? It is not frivolous to note that in Japan there are segregated carriages to avoid groping & on many packed metro systems pickpocketing is rife.

Why do you continue to maintain that double deck trains are incapable of achieving the frequency of metros when, eg in Paris, double deck trains achieve 30 trains per hour?

The feature of metro carriages to which you most frequently refer is that they can load & unload more quickly than our double deck trains because they have three doors. Are you aware that our carriages could be progressively replaced with double deck three door trains such as are being put into service overseas?

Northern line considerations -

Another feature upon which you focus is that the NWRL will have a frequency of twelve trains per hour in peak times. It goes without saying that a private operator will only run trains out of peak times at a frequency which will turn a profit per train. Using Cheltenham as an example the scheduled travelling time to Wynyard is 38 to 40 minutes. What assurances can passengers travelling to & from the city on the Northern line have that trains, out of peak, will be co-ordinated at Epping so that the present travelling time, which has been the same for about 100 years, will not be exceeded by the privately run system?

One of the reasons for taking Northern line passengers to the city via Chatswood was to reduce overcrowding on the lines between Strathfield & Redfern. Why do you euphemistically state that to avoid changing at Epping & Chatswood, Northern line passengers may travel to the city via Strathfield when, if this offer is taken up in sufficient numbers, you will reintroduce overcrowding between Strathfield & Redfern & why do you fail to observe that the train will terminate at Central where those wishing to travel further will have to extend their journey time by changing trains?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Module Development Plans

Just a reminder that the developers proposing to demolish and rebuild The Module, Beecroft Shopping Village, will be giving a presentation in Cheltenham Rec Club Monday 13 May at 7 for 7:30pm.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

NWRL contracts signed by NSW Government

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today announced the North West Rail Link is another step closer with the contract process to operate the new line reaching a major milestone.  The NSW Government has shortlisted two consortia to move forward to the next stage of the Operations, Trains and Systems (OTS) contract following an extensive Expressions of Interest process over the past five months.
The two shortlisted consortia, made up of almost 30 companies from across Australia and around the world, in no particular order, are:
Northwest Rapid Transit – MTR Corporation (Australia), John Holland, Leighton Contractors, UGL Rail Services, Plenary Group; and

TransForm – Serco Australia, Bombardier Transportation Australia, SNC-Lavalin Capital, McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust), John Laing Investments, Macquarie Capital Group.
The OTS contract includes:
 Building the eight new railway stations;
 Delivering the commuter car parks for 4,000 cars;
 Supplying the new generation rapid transit single deck trains;
 Building and operating the stabling and maintenance facility at Tallawong Road;
 Installing tracks, signalling, mechanical and electrical systems;
 Converting the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link for the new rapid transit system;
 Operating the North West Rail Link – including all maintenance work.

Over coming months, the two consortia will be formally issued with a Request for Proposal, where they will put forward how they would deliver the OTS contract. The proposals will be due at the end of this year, with the contract expected to be awarded in the third quarter of next year.

Development of The Module, Beecroft Shopping Village

As promised earlier, the Trust is hosting a meeting on Monday 13 May to discuss the proposed development of the Module, Beecroft Shopping Village, to five storey mixed commercial, retail and residential.  We are expecting the developers of the proposed building to present their plans.  All are welcome to attend, at 7 for 7:30pm, at Cheltenham Recreation Club.

Epping to Chatswood NWRL Conversion

The Trust has been asked how long it will take to convert the Epping to Chatswood tunnel to cater for the new NWRL single decker trains.  This is actually a very significant issue, and any answer from the NWRL project must be treated with caution.

The present CityRail service carrying commuters from Epping to the city via Chatswood will cease when the tunnel conversion begins.  Commuter trains on the western loop will revert back to the long route via Strathfield.  The service to Chatswood will not recommence until those new single decker trains have been fully tested and proven.  And what is the chance of that going to schedule?

The delivery delays of the CityRail Waratah double decker rolling stock have not inconvenienced commuters because the older Tangaras continue to provide the full double decker heavy rail commuter service, including between Epping and Chatswood.  It will be totally different with the NWRL when the tunnel conversion commences. 

Australia's track record in timely completion of major projects like the Waratah trains and the Collins submarines raises the prospect of long term delays for city bound commuters from Beecroft and Cheltenham, who could find themselves going via Strathfield for years.  All because of the decision to go away from using double decker trains.

New Development Approval Regulations

The Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust officers who understand these things have been analysing the proposed new planning rules, aimed at speeding up development approvals.
The main thrust of the planning system is to speed up the development approval process. In simplified terms developers have argued that the current legislation is slow and complicated.
A counterargument that has not been raised in the White Paper is that the current development approval process is delayed because developers are greedy and are continually pushing and exceeding the planning controls. If all developers kept within the current planning controls approvals would follow the fast track complying development process.

Review of NWRL Meeting 29 April

About 130 people attended the meeting last Monday, at which EcoTransit showed their excellent video and gave an impressive talk about the apparent contradictions in the State Government's plan to go for single decker trains on the NWRL, not just from Rouse Hill to Epping, but also from Epping to Chatswood, rendering that key commuter rail unusable by the main commuter double decker trains. 

Many serious questions were raised but no answers were available.  Greg Smith MP gave a good explanation of the financial problems facing the State Government, as inherited from the previous government.  He explained why this had forced the new Government to go for a privately funded project.  He promised to convey the feelings of the meeting back to cabinet, but gave no hint that he thought the decision might be reversed.

It has been implied that the narrower tunnels, 6m instead of 7m for CityRail double decker trains, would be cheaper, but against that saving must be added the cost of special maintenance facilities for the single decker trains, and the cost of converting the Epping to Chatswood tunnel.

Concerns were raised about safety, including the consequence of massive crowding on the Chatswood CityRail platforms as all the commuters from the north west pile into Chatswood on the NWRL metro trains and struggle to board the already-full main line double decker trains coming south from Hornsby and the north.

This blog will post more on this topic as further information becomes available.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Meeting Ref The Module Shopping Centre Beecroft

The Trust is organising an open meeting to discuss the proposed development application for the Module, Beecroft Shopping Centre, at the Cheltenham Recreation Club, 13 May at 7 pm for 7:30 pm.