Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DA for The Module

Last night [Wednesday, 17 December] the NSW Joint Regional Planning Panel unanimously approved the redevelopment of the Module site, corner Beecroft Road & Hannah Street, Beecroft.  The approved development generally satisfies the concerns of the community that were raised following the first proposal, refused earlier this year.  While there were some minor matters that the Trust felt could have been changed, overall the development should provide much of the services & amenity our local community expects, into the future.

Monday, November 3, 2014

10/50 Briefing by RFS

The briefing by the Rural Fire Service on the 10/50 rule was attended by over 100 people including a good turnout of politicians and HSC Councillors. 

The RFS presenter did very well to explain the complexities of the issue, and summarising responses received from the public so far.  However all he could say was that the relevant authorities are conducting a review and will report in the new year.  A lively question and answer discussion followed.  The mood of the meeting was that an immediate moratorium was needed to halt urban tree fellings.  By the time this review completes, the trees will be gone! 

A lady from Lane Cove reported that over 200 trees had been felled around her area, and a survey revealed only two of the owners had cleared because of apprehended fire danger, and all the rest were simply removing unwanted trees.  Numerous Beecroft and Pennant Hills residents reported similar distressing news, with lovely tree-lined streets being scarred by individual properties being clear-felled.

There was a discussion about the research and science associated with bush fire protection of properties, and apparently there is some evidence that trees protect the property from much of the ember attack from an approaching fire.

Perhaps the rule should be changed so that trees can only be removed if the relevant property has been "Bush fire Proofed" to the satisfaction of the RFS.  If the owner isn't willing to fit aluminium shutters then clearly he is not removing the tree to reduce bush fire risk.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10/50 Public Meeting

A public meting is being organised by the Hornsby Shire Council for local residents impacted by the 10/50 Tree Legislation, at 7pm on Monday 3 November at Pennant Hills Bowling Club.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

NWRL Take-down of Epping to Chatswood Line

NWRL recently released a brochure on the Epping to Chatswood railway upgrade. It identifies northern line customers from between Hornsby and Cheltenham who currently use the Epping to Chatswood railway as part of a direct rail service to the lower North Shore and the city as a sector requiring temporary transport.
Whilst bus routes 1 and 2 go from Epping, bus route 3 goes from Beecroft to Macquarie University, Macquarie Park to St Leonards. It appears from the map to go down the M2. This bus will travel through Cheltenham but will not pick up at Cheltenham! Residents are irate and have been told they will have to get the train to Epping or Beecroft and catch the bus there.
The Trust is asking our local MP, on behalf of the community, to ask the Transport Minister to have this bus stop in Cheltenham even if it is in Beecroft Rd, and also to clarify if the trains from our Northern Line from Hornsby will continue to the city (Wynyard) via Strathfield or if they will terminate at Central during this supposed "upgrade".

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How Tree Removal affects Kookaburras

We hear the sad story of how a Kookaburra tried to defend its Old Growth Angophora tree and nest against the 10/50 code in Malton Rd Beecroft, and the tree fellers who were chopping down its habitat. As the Kookaburras were swooping  to defend their tree, the tree feller was waving his chainsaw at the birds. After it had exhausted itself, the bird and other Kookaburras landed on a resident's verandah, and stayed for 48 hours, taking no food, as shock set in. 

NorthConnex Tunnel Stacks

There's an interesting and informative article on page 4 of the Northern District Times today, about the proposed ventilation stacks at the southern end of the NorthConnex tunnels.  The article quotes one of the local residents making the point that at present Pennant Hills Road is mostly occupied by stationary or very slow moving trucks and other vehicles belching fumes out at ground level, and if those vehicles can enter and exit the tunnels at 70kph they will generate far less atmospheric polution.  The proposed ventilation stacks will be 23m tall (a typical mature Sydney redgum tree is about 21m tall) and located just west of Pennant Hills Road and north of the M2.  Transurban studies show air quality at road level will improve by 38%.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Amendments to 10/50 code

Recent adjustments to fire boundaries will not protect any Beecroft or Cheltenham trees because the changes are to Category 2 boundaries, whereas our suburbs are Category 1.

A community environment day meeting is being held on Saturday 25 October, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, at the Beecroft Memorial Train Park. Tree and fauna loss due to 10/50 will be a principal topic.
There is a map showing the existing boundaries at
Apparently Councils will now have the ability to reclassify smaller parcels of vegetation from category 1 to category 2, further reducing the entitlement area, but by the time this gets done many more trees will have gone.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Neighbourhood Watch AGM

The AGM will be held at Scout Hall, Plympton Rd, almost opposite the Carlingford north little shops, on Wednesday 15 October at 8pm.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Foreign Buyers of Residential Property

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, foreign buyers face tough new penalties for flouting property ownership rules, as well as capital gainst losses and cross-matching with immigration records, under likely recommendations by a parliamentary inquiry.
The inquiry is understood to recommend that penalties should be proportional to the value of the property purchased.  At present the largest penalty that can be imposed is just $85,000, seen by many as just part of the cost of doing business.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Community Meeting

Over 100 people attended the community meeting called by the Trust on Thursday night, including Greg Smith and three Hornsby councillors.

Much of the discussion was on the topic of the new 10/50 law which threatens to strip large areas of Beecroft and Cheltenham of the lovely trees that are so much of the historic legacy of our previously beautiful suburbs.  Graham Ross gave an impassioned speach against the blanket imposition of such a draconian rule across the State.  There are clear differences in bush fire risk between houses in the Blue Mountains, where the rule is easily justified, and city suburbs, where the rule is just seen as an excuse for landowners to remove trees that the Shire had previously protected.

The question was asked, what will we be leaving to our children after the trees are gone, the railways and tunnels are put through, our rail access to the city is  curtailed, and 500 extra residents have been housed in the Beecroft village with no improvements to roads or schools?
Greg made the valid point that for many years there has been much talk about transport issues, but nothing has been achieved. At least the transport infrastructure that Sydney needs is now being put in place.  It just seems that Beecroft is the hub around which all this development is taking place and Beecroft is not getting any compensating benefits.
The general tone of the meeting might be summarised as Much Anger, but nothing we can Do.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Module development

There is a good article about the new DA in this week's Northern District Times, page 17.  Submissions for the new application close on Tuesday 14 October.
Many of the original objections to the first DA have been addressed, but the problem of vehicle access across the pavement of Hannah Street and into the traffic flow on Hannah Street remain unresolved.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Beautiful Tree lost to Developers

The JRPP decided for the developer, who now has permission to cut down the glorious White Mahogany tree that could have been a feature of the public open space in the shopping village.  At least we tried to save it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beautiful Tree at Beecroft Shopping Village

This Thursday at 10:00 the JRPP will decide on the Development Application for the corner of Beecroft Road and Chapman Avenue.  The one issue outstanding is the lovely White Mahogany tree in the rear of heritage listed 83 Beecroft Road. 
The developers want to knock it down so they can build another five units in their 90-unit development. The Civic Trust disagrees. Although the tree is not very visible at the moment, it will become the center-piece of the Beecroft Shopping Village when the Module development is complete. The new Module development proposes a central grass public area surrounded on three sides by residential multi-storey flat buildings.  If the tree is taken out, the grass area will be surrounded on all sides by residential blocks. 
But if left in place the White Mahogany tree would be a wonderful sight from that grass area!

Monday, September 8, 2014

EPA Review of Regulation of Railway System Activities

The EPA has reviewed the way rail construction and operational rail activities are conducted.  They conclude that the regulatory framework has not achieved the community benefits intended.  Anyone living near the ETTT activities will already know that.
The EPA has prepared a position paper to review changes to the regulatory framework.  The paper is available at and comments are invited by 8 October.
Submissions can be made to

JRPP Chapman Ave/Beecroft Rd DA 81/2014

The JRPP will discuss the DA to demolish existing houses on the corner of Chapman Avenue and Beecroft Rd and construct a 5 storey residential block of flats Thursday 18 September starting 10am

Thursday, September 4, 2014

BCCT Response to Madness of 10/50 Rule

Rural Fire Service 10/50 Clearing Code of Practice
Stop the Madness. Mosman Council is pushing for an exemption –Will Hornsby?
The Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust has been active for 50 years in protecting the heritage, environment and character of Beecroft and Cheltenham. We were horrified to hear that the NSW Government passed this law on 1st August without any announcement or community consultation. In areas declared fire prone, landowners can clear trees within 10m of habitable building and vegetation within 50m. This is ostensibly to protect homes from bushfires. However, that areas declared fire prone have been increased and now encompass some 96% of Cheltenham and 90%of Beecroft. It includes areas which are never likely to be affected by fire. We have very substantial concerns with the impact this will have on our suburbs, known for their bushland. It will affect large swathes of sensitive and valued bushland including 85% of Hornsby Shire and many other parts of Sydney. We have asked that a halt be imposed on this legislation until the consequences are fully examined.

Our concerns are:

1.    The scheme does not address the reality of bushfire risk and may reduce the adoption of more effective measures against bushfires.
2.    It allows widespread clearing of trees and vegetation in large suburban areas which in reality are extremely unlikely to be affected at risk from bushfire.
3.    It adds a 250m buffer to the existing 100m buffer around previously declared fire prone areas.
4.    It fails to consider environmental and heritage importance of trees, biodiversity, wildlife habitats and soil erosion which may occur with clearing sloping land.
5.    It fails to consider measures already in in place to ensure fire mitigation in houses and buildings adjoining bushland and bushfire prevention measures such as controlled burning, community fire pumps and training.
The Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust requests that the Government put an immediate halt to implementing this legislation It allows landowners excessive and unwarranted ability to remove trees, regardless of their contribution to bushfire risk. This will result in loss of biodiversity and environmental damage. It needs to be reconsidered so that these undesirable consequences are avoided.

We would suggest:

•      Making a distinction in policy between rural and urban areas.
•      Considering exemptions for sensitive and endangered species, wildlife corridors and heritage areas.
•      Redrawing the maps of fire prone areas so that they more accurately reflect fire risk. If the existing maps are to be used, the additional 250m buffer zone should be removed.
•      Considering exemptions where Councils have implemented measures to mitigate fire risk.
•      Encouraging more fire mitigation measures.
•      Returning control for local issues to Councils.
Please write to Greg Smith, the Mayor and your C ward Councillors requesting Government put a halt to this legislation and that Hornsby Shire and the Beecroft Cheltenham Heritage Area be declared exempt .

Digital Signal Mast at Chapman Road Bridge

Sydney Trains have erected the Digital Train Radio System mast on the NE corner of Chapman Road railway bridge.
There is a good article on the purpose of this system at this address:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Module New DA

DA 1006 / 2014 was submitted to Hornsby Shire Council on 2 September, titled


This will be evaluated by the Trust Committee and results will appear on this blog.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Spoil Trucks from NorthConnex

An article by Bill Aitken in the Monthly Chronicle discusses the potential for big problems with the spoil to be excavated from the NorthConnex tunnel under Pennant Hills Road.  Present plan is to remove it through Wilson Road and Lock Maree Avenue, with an estimated 1500 trucks a day.

What seems disconcerting is that, apparently at present there is no planned destination for the 2.5 million cubic metres of soil and rock that will be removed!  This seems such a major issue that it would be surprising if no firm plan exists!

Using Wilson Road would work with trucks taking the spoil off to the east or north, turning left onto Pennant Hills Road and returning around Observatory Park and then left off Pennant Hills Road.  But if the trucks have to go west or south that could involve them trying to cross the three lane traffic to turn right around Observatory Park - definitely NOT a viable option!

Answers please, NorthConnex!

Meanwhile, did you know about the huge Tunnel Support facility being planned for the space between Pennant Hills Road and Killaloe Avenue, west of Wilson Road?  Read about it at

Monday, August 25, 2014

Health Issues of NorthConnex

You are encouraged to attend an independent forum, presented by the medical and scientific community, on The Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Relation to the NorthConnex project.

Invites have been extended to Premier Mike Baird, Barry O'Farrell and other representatives to attend and find out how this unfiltered stack will affect their voters. Feel free to also put pressure on all of our representatives to attend and to get involved on our behalf - links are available on our website

Thursday 4th September from 7-9pm

Leslie Hall, Barker College High School, Pacific Highway, Horsnby

Parking onsite, under tennis court, cnr. Clarke & Unwin Rd (behind Hornsby McDonalds & directly opposite the High School)  
Speakers will include:

·  Fiona Davies, CEO The Australian Medical Association

·  Michele Goldman, CEO The Asthma Foundation of NSW

·  Professor Stephen Leeder, Professor emeritus in public health and community medicine, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney.

·  Dr Richard Chard, Head of cardio-thoracic Surgery and an Associate Professor at UNSW.

Experts will present a vast body of medical research showing increased heart disease, cancer, stroke, breathing problems and reduced lung growth in children. They will address the claims by NorthConnex that the 9km of pollution will simply be “blown away” by the stacks using meteorological information and data for both the northern and southern ends of the tunnel.

For your information, the South end frequently has little to no discernible breeze during the morning peak hour period. The plume of pollution will undoubtedly fall on houses within the 1km circle shown in the EIS. On 24th August 2014 there was no wind around the proposed location of the southern portal until9am and what wind there was came from the West. Wind speed of less than 2m/sec (ie about 8km/hour) is not considered sufficient to disperse pollution from the stack. Only a very few gusts on 24th August 2014 were in excess of 8kph.

There is no doubt as to the health consequences of particulate matter. There is no doubt as to the concentrations which will be reached in the tunnel during busy periods. There is no doubt there are sustained periods of still air around the tunnel exits during peak hour periods . . . and it is proven, both medically and scientifically, that diesel emissions are carcinogenic. Are you willing to do nothing and to be exposed to cancer causing emissions when there ARE alternatives available?

Training in effective non-violent protesting

Come along for a whole day of interactive panels and workshops to help you develop your campaign and skills.
When: 30 August, 11AM - 5PM.
Where: Hawkesbury Central Library, George St, Windsor
Workshops include: Non violent direct action, how to use the GIPA (FOI), social media strategies, lessons from the frontline of a campaign
Suggested contribution: $20 waged, $10 unwaged to cover the cost of lunch & afternoon tea

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Submission on 10/50 Clearing Code of Practice

On 1 August 2014, NSW Government passed legislation that allows landowners to clear all trees on their property within 10 m and vegetation within 50m of a house or habitable building if it is in a bushfire prone area. The definition and extent of bushfire prone properties is so wide that it includes most of Beecroft and Cheltenham including properties which have no likelihood of ever being affected by bushfires. It will impact on 85% of Hornsby Shire, 90% of Beecroft.  It will allow widespread clearing of trees and vegetation while doing little to reduce the actual risk from bushfire.

All who value our trees and greenery are asked to protest to the authorities about this, perhaps using the following submission:
I am opposed to this legislation because:
·         It allows widespread clearing of trees and vegetation in large suburban areas which in reality are extremely unlikely to be affected by bushfire risk. This could result in developers and land owners clearing trees and vegetation simply to allow subdivision and development which bears no relevance to bushfire prevention.

·         Trees are an integral part of our environment and heritage. They offer shade, improve our streetscape, scenery and living amenity. They reduce heat radiation and carbon dioxide so important in combatting climate change. They are so important for wildlife habitats and wildlife corridors.

·         The hard fought protection offered by Council’s Tree Protection Order (TPO) and the Beecroft Cheltenham Conservation area will be lost.

·         Our suburbs have critically endangered Blue Gum High Forest and Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest which will be threatened. No distinction is made for threatened or endangered species.

·         Biodiversity will be reduced. Soil erosion will increase and water quality reduced.

·         It fails to consider measures already in in place to ensure fire mitigation in houses and buildings adjoining bushland and bushfire prevention measures such as controlled burning, community fire pumps and training.

·         It applies statewide so all suburbs and regions with bushland will be able to undertake clearing.

For these reasons, I ask that an immediate halt be placed on this legislation so that its impacts and effectiveness can be assessed. Realistic boundaries for bushfire prone areas need to be drawn. Special consideration should be given to suburbs and regions where trees are an integral part of their character, environment and heritage.

Other comments: ________________________________________________________________________



Address ________________________________________________________________________________

Stuart Ayres, Minister for Emergency Services:

Greg Smith MP,SC:

Steve Russell, Mayor Hornsby Shire Council:

Michael Hutchence, C ward Councillor:

Castle Hill Showground

Another park area being taken over by developers!  This came in from the Hills Distict Kennel & Training Club:
I am writing to inform you about the predicament that Hills District Kennel & Training Club Inc find ourselves in.
The Hills Shire Council are looking at redeveloping Castle Hill Showground.
They are planning Sky Rise Buildings, Cafes, Real Estate, a Stadium and a Shopping Centre.
We need your help!
Could you please pass on the below link to all your Club Members asking them to sign our Online Petition.
This will be handed onto our Local Mayor, the General Manager of Castle Hill Showground and our Local Member.
Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Open Meeting on the future of our suburbs

Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust is holding a public meeting to allow residents to discuss the future of Beecroft and Cheltenham.

Date: Thursday 9 October 2014

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Beecroft Presbyterian Church Hall, Welham St Beecroft. Parking is available on site or in Welham St or Mary St.

We hope you will be able to attend.


New 10/50 Law - come and hear about it

If you haven't yet heard of the latest NSW Government threat to the beauty of our suburb, you soon will, and hopefully you will be as angry as we are! 
David Shoebridge who is the Greens' spokesperson on this legislation will be at Cheltenham station at 8am tomorrow morning 15 August, at the invitation of Michael Bianchino. It's important that we hear as a community what can be done to change the 10/50 Code. Please be there if you can.
We will post full details of the horrendous law, and of the BCCT Submission against it, very soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Public meeting briefing by project Wednesday 30 July 10am to 12:30pm at Pennant Hills Golf Club, Beecroft.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

NorthConnex – Environmental Impact Statement Public Exhibition

The date and location of these drop-in sessions and the dedicated Air Quality Forum are:

 Wednesday 23 July 2014, 6pm to 9pm
Pennant Hills Golf Club, Corner Copeland Road and Burns Road South, Beecroft

 Saturday 26 July 2014,1pm to 4pm
Pennant Hills Golf Club, Corner Copeland Road and Burns Road South, Beecroft

 Tuesday 29 July 2014, 7pm to 9pm, Air Quality Forum
Hornsby RSL, 4 High Street, Hornsby

 Thursday 31 July 2014, 6pm to 9pm, focus on the M2 Integration work
Muirfield Golf Club, Barclay Road, North Rocks

Monday, July 14, 2014

More Gum Trees Taken Out

Monday morning before most of us were awake, tree people moved in to remove these two lovely trees.

This pic shows the bland result.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

More Trees at Risk in Beecroft?

Local residents have just been advised that the Digital Signalling Tower will be constructed starting Monday 14 July on the Northern corner of the Sutherland and Chapman Road junction.  We hate to imagine what damage will be done to the beautiful (mainly Blackbutt) trees along the western side of Sutherland Road, if great care is not taken with the installation.
So take a good look at this lovely picture taken by a local resident, and just hope that these lovely trees look as good in ten years time!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Oversupply of New Units?

This week from Western Australia:
With the number of rentals available continuing to rise this month in Perth, the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) believes its putting pressure on property managers, who are becoming very stressed with the demands from owners.  David Airey, president of REIWA, revealed there’s a massive oversupply in the Perth rental market, with over 5,500 rentals available and the vacancy rate at the four per cent mark.  "There's a huge number of apartments and units being built in Perth."

Last week from Darwin:
A new apartment complex, comprising 200-300 units, may be creating an oversupply in the Darwin urban market. “It's significant when you consider that in any single month, we probably only sell between 250 and 300 properties in the Darwin CBD, the Darwin suburbs and Palmerston combined,” he said. “The settlement of off-the-plan apartments has taken a fair whack of investors out of the market.”

Next week from Beecroft?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Appeal on DA 1207/2013 168 Copeland Road

This DA is being appealed at the Land and Environment  Court on 6 and 7 August starting on site at 9:30am on the 6th.  Hornsby Council has appointed lawyers Pikes and Verekers to act for them.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

P Ruddock meeting about ETTT

Carolyn Watt of the BCCT Committee had a productive meeting with Phillip Ruckock today.  Unfortunately much of the meeting involved Mr Ruddock explaining why had he no power to change or even influence things. Perhaps the most significant comment was the following, extracted from Carolyn's minutes:

"The NSW Govt wants to get freight off the roads but freight companies prefer road as it is direct, involves less handling. Therefore to make rail economic for them, it is unlikely that they (the NSW Govt) will put pressure on rail operators to upgrade their rolling stock or take measures which would reduce the commercial viability of rail freight. They are relying on less costly measures such as rail lubrication."

It would be unfortunate if, after building and silencing the ETTT, rail prices were so high nobody wanted to use the extra freight capacity!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Greg Smith in Parliament expresses concern about units in Beecroft area

Hansard LA
17 June 2014
Mr GREG SMITH (Epping) [7.25 p.m.]: I refer to the excessive number of home units being built in many parts of my electorate despite the assurances of Hornsby Council in 2010 that the limits that it imposed at that stage would be the number of home units that would go up in those areas. In 2010, local councils, including Hornsby Council in my electorate, were required to nominate to the Department of Planning areas for rezoning to allow for the erection of home units. This caused great consternation in the Epping electorate, particularly in Carlingford, Beecroft, Thornleigh, Pennant Hills and West Pennant Hills. At that stage Epping and most of Pennant Hills were excluded as there were to be special studies into the town centres there, and that has led to a big increase in the number of units proposed for Epping. Limits were proposed as to how many units would be built in particular areas if approved. For example, in Beecroft, which is the subject of a number of development applications at the moment and an area rich in heritage with delightful gardens and homes and which up until now has not had much high-rise development at all, a limit of 244 home units was proposed. As I understand it, that figure was gazetted through the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure on 2 September 2011. However, the number of units the subject of current development applications far exceeds this figure and is causing great consternation in the area.
The module development application, as it is called, on the corner on Beecroft Road and Hannah Street, comprises 144 units. The Chapman Avenue and Wongala Crescent development application comprises 36 units. An adjacent block, numbers 1 to 5 Chapman Avenue, comprises 60 units. The Chapman Avenue and Beecroft Road development application comprises 92 units. Whilst not all
of those have been approved as yet — there have been rejections of the module development application — counting another block of units that has been approved and is under construction at the moment between Hannah Street and Copeland Road, which was affordable housing and never was anticipated to be home units as it is in a single-dwelling residential area, it is now proposed to
build 383 units rather than 244. I know that Sydney needs more accommodation for the large numbers of people who migrate to this city, mainly from overseas but sometimes from interstate, but surely areas that are more suited for high rise should be selected rather than heritage areas where the heritage will be destroyed. Properties zoned heritage are about to be overpowered by large home units. The curtilages of these heritage places often contain beautiful trees and they will be razed by these developments. I express my concern because I do not want Sydney to end up being a city of home units of various colours, for example, yellows and greens, which are very kitsch and will age very quickly. We will be left with beautiful heritage areas amongst ugly units. We should be trying to beautify this city and to protect the things of beauty in it rather than turning it into a concrete jungle.
In the past we moved many Housing Commission residents from high-rise accommodation into single dwellings in other places and country areas. We should be seeking to beautify other parts of the city and to maintain that beauty, rather than allow people to just walk all over us.

Monday, June 16, 2014

DA1432 Units on Corner Chapman and Wongala

The JRPP will debate DA/1432/2013, construction of two 5-storey residential flat buildings at 1, 3 and 5 Chapman Avenue at 5pm in the Hornsby Council Chambers, 296 Pacific Highway.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

ETTT Noise and Vibration

Two ETTT experts attended the BCCT Committee meeting on Tuesday night, to explain the Operational Noise and Vibration report which is now on display.  This shows the plans for noise screens alongside the track, and treatement for houses that are predicted to be adversely affectected by the increased ETTT traffic.
It's a very complex issue both accoustically and legally.  Let me try to summarise in simple terms what was said, but please understand this summary has not been vetted by anyone for its accuracy.
Noise barriers are expensive, and are not covered by the ETTT.  The original approved Environmental Impact Statement did not call for them, so if they are now wanted the taxpayer will have to pay for them, at typically $1M for quite short lengths.
People already suffering high noise levels from existing rail traffic will not necessarily get any remedy, on the same basis as people who bought houses under the flight path of an existing airport are not entitled to compensation.  Only where predictions show noise will increase by 2dB or more will the houses be shielded by noise barriers or have noise insulating treatment for their homes.  If that predicted 2dB increase won't happen for some years, then nothing will be done at this time.  The noise levels will be monitored after 1, 5 and 10 years, and treatments will be applied as appropriate.
Disturbingly (sorry for the pun) nothing will be done about increased sleep disturbance due to more frequent wheel squeal, only average noise levels are considered, not spikes and screams of noise that wake you up in the night.  We are constantly assured that steps are being taken to reduce wheel squeal, but the problem seems to be inherent in dragging the new longer wagons around the very tight curves at Beecroft.
Nothing can be done by the ETTT project team about noisy or polluting locomotives, unless political pressure can be exerted.  The ETTT has no authority to make the operators get rid of those old locos.  So complain to Phillip Ruddock and his fellow politicos.
A second Community Information Session will be held on Wednesday 4 June 5pm to 7pm at the Pennant Hills Community Centre, corner of Yarrara Road and Ramsay Road, Pennant Hills.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

115 Beecroft Road Hit by Car

Many residents were concerned about the development of Carmel, the heritage cottage at the corner of Beecroft Road and The Crescent, given the traffic problems associated with the right turn entry to Kirkham Street opposite.
It was no great surprise to see the damage caused by a car losing control at the corner.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ETTT Noise Presentation Saturday

The ETTT are holding an Information Session on ETTT Operational Noise and Vibration issues on Saturday 31 May in the Beecroft Community Centre from 10:00 to 12:00 am.  All welcome!  Come along and see what the future has in store for Beecroft and Cheltenham.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Lyne Park - NWRL DECIDED to change its use?

The Trust is hearing that NWRL are planning to build a kids' playground at Lyne Road Reserve. This  park has been  designated an off leash dog park.  How is this going to work? People playing football, throwing frisbees, dogs running around (all on the main part of the park). Where is the playground being installed? What about parking issues? Has the NWRL consulted with the residents in Lyne Road & Boronia avenue?  

Our correspondent lives in Lyne road and says she was only advised about this by the Northern District Times.
NWRL must learn to consult, not notify.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Rail Noise Unacceptable" said Gladys

The article below is an extract from the State Government's Hansard in 2012, prior to the change of government and Gladys being appointed Minister for Transport. 

Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN (Willoughby) [6.12 p.m.]: I raise a very important issue in the Willoughby electorate, that is, the noise experienced by local residents from the Epping to Chatswood rail line. Many local residents have contacted my office about the impingement on their quality of life since the new rail line opened. Many residents who have lived along the North Shore rail line for decades said that the noise from that line had not bothered them. Yet since the new rail line has opened, every 15 minutes they experience noise at a level that affects their quality of life. Some residents work from home, and many residents have said they have been unable to open doors or windows since the new rail line opened. It is an unacceptable situation. One would expect that a new rail line opened in 2009 would be more sensitive to environmental issues and more considerate of the impact on residents than a rail line opened a century ago. More than 400 residents have signed a petition about the noise, and I understand many others will sign.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wongala Development Application

DA 448/2014 has been submitted seeking to add an extra level above No 3 Wongala Crescent to provide living accommodation over the shop, with a terrace.  The  BCCT is considering the application and has not yet determined its position.  However as the proposal will be out of sight from the street, screened by the existing shop frontage, it seems an acceptable proposal.
Any objections to this DA need to be submitted by 4 June.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

JRPP Refuses the DA for The Module

The JRPP unanimously agreed with Hornsby Shire Council's recommendation, and refused the DA 545 application for a 140 residential unit on the corner of Hannah Street and Beecroft Road. 
Greg Smith gave an excellent speach against the proposal, as did Councillor Michael Hutchence.  Bernadette Azizi and Robert Browne were also present. Ross Walker gave a ten minute speach on behalf of the Trust, and eleven other local residents contributed, all opposing the development. 
The applicant suggested they could "tinker" with the design to make it more acceptable, and asked for a deferral rather than refusal. That is what happened with the UnitingCare proposal on Hannah Street, which was accepted on the second hearing, partly due to a decline in the level of protest.
A lesson for the future was the importance of maintaining the level of objection.  There were something like 250 objections to the initial proposal last year, but only about 50 objections to the modified design issued early this year.  I am sure most people who had originally objected assumed that their earlier objection still counted, but the applicant used the lack of protest to imply increasing acceptance of this proposal.  So in such important matters it is vitally important to keep up the volume of protest at every opportunity.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

JRPP Hearing on the Module development

The decision process for the Module Development starts at 5pm at the Hornsby Shire Council buildings Thursday 15.  Even if you don't intend to speak, be there to support those who do!

For information Hornsby Shire Council planning department recommended the application should be refused, on a large number of issues.  However the JRPP has the power to ignore that recommendation.  The Trust remains convinced that this is a bad design and if allowed to be built it will severely damage the viability of the Beecroft Shopping Village.

You can read the Council's reasons for refusal at:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Concerns about JRPP Hearings

The Trust received the following advice about JRPP procedures:
A GIPA application to the Dept of Planning disclosed the JRPP did not consider any verbal submissions or a written submission submitted to the JRPP hearing at Hornsby Council on 13 December 2013 about 110 units in Trebor Road.  There were no audio recordings made on 19 December.  The JRPP decision noted the names of the speakers but nothing about what they said.
For the 15 May hearing on The Module, it is suggested that everyone submits five copies of what they read out to ensure their concerns have been recorded and hopefully taken into account, both in this and any later hearings on the Application.

This concern arises from the way the Uniting Care development in Hannah / Copeland was decided.  After a stream of verbal submissions were given, all against the proposal, at the first hearing, the matter was deferred to a second hearing.  The Panel chairman had not been present during the first hearing and therefore had not heard any of those oral submissions. Despite this the chairman cast two votes (his own and a casting vote) in favour of the proposal.  
The Trust complained about this but were advised the chairman is not under any obligation to follow convention  and give a casting vote in favour of the status quo.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Committee for the Trust

At the first meeting of the Trust since the AGM, the following positions were agreed:
President              Kent Ross
Vice-President      Ross Walker
Treasurer             Peter Hewitt
Secretary             Colin Johnston
Committee:         David White,
                           Carolyn Watt,
                           Michael Stove,
                           Barbara Davis,
                           Julienne Lynch,
                           Peter Snelgrove.
Appointment M2-F3  Bill Woods

NWRL Meeting at Cheltenham Rec Club

The Trust organised what was meant to be an information meeting in which North West Rail Link authorities and the Government could explain why the NWRL is being built with metro style instead of double decked rolling stock compatible with the rest of the NSW rail network.
Rodd Staples gave a good description of what is being built, already under construction.  Unfortunately he did not answer many significant questions, such as "how long will the Epping to Chatswood tunnel be out of use during conversion to metro?"  Buses will be needed throughout the conversion period, with road transport already a disaster along the Epping/Macquarie/Chatswood route.
Wishing to inform the local population the Trust had opened the meeting to the general public, and it was well attended, with standing room only at the back of the hall.  Unfortunately it seems many who came had political agendas and little interest in the NWRL.  Some had clearly come to heckle, waving placards and yelling abuse that was unrelated to the reason for the meeting.  As local MP Greg Smith commented, "There is a lack of human courtesy here tonight and I'm amazed that people from Beecroft and Cheltenham could be so rude." 

Certainly some of the protesters seemed to have come from outside our area.  The lesson for the Trust must be that for future open public meetings we should require evidence that people attending are either members of the Trust or are resident in the 2119 post code area.
The other lesson must be, surely, that there is no point now protesting about something already under construction.  The Trust has been  flagging this issue, and trying to raise public awareness, for well over a year and sadly the general population took no interest until it was too late.