Monday, February 25, 2013

Rail Green Line

This blog is triggered by a complaint from one Cheltenham resident concerned about recent high levels of train noise, and her attempt to register this and obtain meaningful feedback about Railcorp's explanation.

The Railcorp Customer Relations Unit maintains a website with several topics and the correct phone number to use to for each topic.  To report noise or other pollution in the rail corridor, visitors are invited to call the Rail Green Line on 1300 656 999.

The person who contacted the Trust on this issue says the Green Line phone operator was extremely courteous but was unable to give any useful response other than "we are very sorrry".  (Not sure if he actually said that).  He promised that her complaint would be forwarded to the relevant authorities.  However he declined to give any information on who those authorities are or how the complainant could approach them directly.  If the complainant receives a meaningful response, this blog will publish that response in full. 

The Railcorp website also offers a Feedback Form that allows you to report a compliment, suggestion, comment or complaint against a number of categories.  The complainant was distressed that there is no specific category for what must, in Beecroft and Cheltenham, be the dominant source of complaints about the local train service, which is of course noise.  One would like to have a set of specific complaint categories - wheel squeal, locomotive noise, diesel fume polution, etc, but instead there is only "other".  A shame, because it would be useful information to have a breakdown of the statistics of feedback received.  Knowing that 75% or 5% of the complaints were about "other" would not be very helpful, whereas knowing that 50% were about wheel squeal would surely be informative to railcorp.

BCCT 2013 Bulletin No 1

The Autumn Bulletin is being delivered to residents of Beecroft and Cheltenham.  All our bulletins can now be found on our new website, at  If you get the old website still, you need to delete cookies and other old internet stuff.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

HSC Notification of Major DAs

The Trust has received a letter from a local resident concerned about the failure adequately to advise affected residents of major DAs, specifically his letter is regarding DA 38/2013, five storey development in the NE corner of the Beecroft Shopping Village.  The letter starts:

“While my residence is not adjacent or opposite the proposed development, it is less than 80 m away.  Putting a small DA sign on a front fence on one house in Wongala Cr is inadequate public notification.”

The Trust strongly believes that major developments that will affect the life and property values of very many residents across Beecroft and Cheltenham need much wider distribution, and very much longer submission periods.  In an earlier post we commented how a Cherrybrook DA was promulgated with open meetings for the public and widespread consultation, but it seems increasingly development in our suburbs is being conducted by stealth.

Third Rail Track - Responses to questions

Information provided by the Third Track Project Team
in response to enquiries made by the Hon. Philip Ruddock MP

There are no plans to close Yarrara Road during construction of the project, however the EIS details the need to temporarily close the Yarrara Road footpath (between Yarrara Road and the rail corridor, in the vicinity of Pennant Hills Station) and suspend parking in the southbound lane of Yarrara Road adjacent to the rail corridor while construction works in the vicinity of Pennant Hills Station are undertaken.  These works would include earthworks, demolition, structural works, retaining walls, track, rail electrical systems, extension of the station concourse and other station works such as installation of stairs and lifts.

This parking suspension would be staged to minimise impact on parking in the locality. During the morning peak time both southbound lanes of Yarrara Road between Ramsay Road and Pennant Hills Road would be available to traffic as currently occurs for the period of the morning clearway that applies in this location.  Pending project approval, the works will be ongoing from around mid 2013 to around late 2015.  However the final duration may be shorter and dates and parking spaces affected will be confirmed once the construction methodology and timeline is confirmed by the delivery contractor.  

There are no plans to significantly affect parking directly outside the businesses on the western side of Yarrara Road (the north bound lane). There may however be a few periods (days) where parking is affected to undertake some utility work.   
Pedestrian detours would be in place to allow pedestrians to safely walk around the works.  It is our intention to keep the existing pedestrian footbridge open (other than during short closure periods during or around planned rail shutdown periods) until the new pedestrian footbridge is ready.

Consultation with businesses adjacent to the works would occur prior to works occurring in the area. Opportunities to reduce the impact of temporary changes to parking will be discussed at these meetings.

More information on this is available in Chapter 11 of the EIS and Technical paper 4 (accessible at this link

Management plans would be in place to ensure dust is appropriately managed and does not cause any adverse impacts on businesses and residents. A 24 hour construction response line would be in place for the community to call us if they have any concerns regarding construction related issues.

Construction of the project would be undertaken in accordance with TfNSW’s ISO 14001 accredited environmental management system. A Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) would be prepared prior to construction, which would outline the construction conditions and temporary environmental protection measures to manage the impact of construction activities. The CEMP would be consistent with the environmental management measures documented in this EIS, conditions of approval and the conditions of any licenses or permits issued by government authorities.

The following management and mitigation measures would be implemented during construction to minimise air quality impacts:
-       Limit the area and duration of exposed or unconsolidated areas. For example, stage vegetation stripping or grading where possible, cover unconsolidated stockpiles, or apply hydro mulch or other revegetation applicant to stockpiles or surfaces left standing for extended periods.
-       Ensure weather tracking allows management of the site to suit changing local conditions
-       Limit vehicle movements to designated entries and exits, haulage routes and parking areas. Site exits would be fitted with hardstand material or other appropriate measures to limit the amount of material transported off-site (where required).
-       Visually monitor dust and where necessary implement the following measures:
-       Apply water to exposed surfaces that are causing dust generation. Surfaces may include unpaved roads, stockpiles, hardstand areas and other exposed surfaces (for example recently graded areas).
-       Cover loads on trucks transporting material to and from the construction site. Securely fix tailgates of road transport trucks prior to loading and immediately after unloading.
-       Prevent where possible, or remove, mud and dirt being tracked onto sealed road surfaces.
-       Limit vehicle speeds along unsealed construction access routes.
-       Ensure plant and machinery is regularly checked and maintained in a proper and efficient condition.

Adjacent businesses and residents would be notified of the commencement of works and encouraged to contact us directly with any concerns they have. We endeavor to minimise the impact of our works on the community wherever possible.    

17th January 2013

Development Planning Laws Forum

The Trust has been advised of, but has no role in, the following forum on 7 March, but we believe it may be of interest to the membership:

Important forum for all residents of Western Sydney
Before the 2011 election Barry O'Farrell promised to replace the notorious Part 3A planning law. What he didn't tell us was he was going to replace it with something far worse, including:
  The proposal to remove the right of residents and communities to comment and appeal against specific developments in their neighbourhood
  The proposal to establish ‘enterprise zones’ across entire Local Government Areas with few, if any planning controls
  The removal of Ecological Sustainable Development as the overall driver of the NSW Planning System
  Downgrading the importance of good building design, open space, parks and urban bushland
  The removal of legal protection  for many environmental policies
  The omission of any reference to heritage protection
  Prioritising fast-track development ahead of community wellbeing.

Public meeting 7.30 PM Thursday 7th March
Parramatta Town Hall, Church St Mall

Speakers: Corinne Fisher   (Better Planning Network)
              Ron Hoenig              (ALP Shadow Minister for Energy
    and Shadow Minister for Ports)
              David Shoebridge      (Greens MP)

Hull Road Concrete Footpath

Residents of Hull Rd have been informed that council will be constructing a concrete footpath on the eastern side of Hull Rd between Chapman Ave and Albert rd.  Work will commence mid February and take about six weeks to complete. This is welcome news. The Trust has been lobbying council for many years that the construction of this section of footpath should have a high priority based on road safety grounds.  Hull Rd acts as a link for traffic at this point funnelling traffic and together with the steep grades in the dip vehicles often exceed the speed limit.  Pedestrians , including mothers with strollers, are forced to walk on the road as the footpath is too uneven. One of Council’s arguments for the delay in construction has been always been the high construction costs and consequently a lack of available funds.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chilworth Reserve Access Restored

The path under the M2 through Chilworth Recreational Reserve has been restored to public use, with a nice new wooden footbridge over Devlin's creek.

Remediation has been started with tree plantings above the cutting on the southern side.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Epping Town Centre new plans

On 19 December the State Government announced that Epping Town Centre is one of Sydney's first Urban Activation Precincts.  The Department of Planning and Infrastructure intends a public exhibition mid to late February 2013 displaying the plans which include 30 storey buildings.

Epping Civic Trust AGM

The Epping Civic Trust announces that their Annual General Meeting will be held in the Church of Christ Hall, 31 Bridge Street, Epping at 7:30pm on Tuesday 19 Feb.  A main topic of discussion will be the Epping Town Centre plan.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New BCCT Web Site

The old BCCT Web Site long ago became unmaintainable, due to the ancient language in which it was originally written.  Michael Stove did sterling work keeping it going over the last years but has now commissioned a complete new website, which will go live very soon.

The site addy has always been and the new site should be the same address when it goes live in the next week or so. 

Please bear with us as we slowly populate the site with submissions, minutes of meetings, articles of public interest and so on.  One trick for the unwary is that submissions are at the moment identified by entry date, typically 3 Feb 2013, which does not reflect the date of the original document, which might be 2008 or earlier.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

BCCT AGM 25 March

The AGM will be held at Cheltenham Recreation Club 7:00 for 7:30pm on Monday 25 March.  Graham Ross has agreed to chair, for election of officers etc.
An item on the agenda will be the Development Application for the north east corner of the Beecroft shopping village.

DA for Beecroft Shopping Village NE Corner

DA 38/2013 has been lodged with Hornsby Shire Council, to develop 36 residential units in five storeys, in the corner of the village bordered by Chapman Avenue and Wongala Crescent.
The Trust Committee is evaluating the DA details and will advise findings soon but meanwhile you can read about it yourselves on the Council website.  Contact the Trust Secretary for assistance if required.
Note, the area covered by this submission is outside the commercially zoned area, and is only zoned for five storey residential units.
Submissions close 6 March.

Clean Up Australia Day Sunday 3 March

The BCCT likes to assist with the local Clean Up Australia activity.  Volunteers are needed, please gather at 9:30 in the Beecroft Village Green, wearing stout shoes.