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.