Council Categorically Rejects WestConnex Dive Site Options
Sunday, 26 February 2017
A Council report undertaken to examine the feasibility of WestConnex Stage 3 (M4-M5 Link) ‘dive’ site options for tunnelling works in the inner west has raised significant concerns with both options under consideration by Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC), citing technical, social and environmental implications. The report will be considered at Tuesday night’s Inner West Council meeting.
The report examined the impact of potential tunnelling sites in the Lilyfield and Leichhardt area near the existing City West link that SMC has identified as potential ‘dive’ sites between the tunnel portals at Haberfield and the Rozelle Railyards.
The report focused on sites being actively considered by SMC on Darley Road, Lilyfield (currently housing a Dan Murphy liquor store) as well as one on nearby Derbyshire Road in Leichhardt.
The Derbyshire Road site is located between the Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt high school campus and the adjacent State Transit bus depot.
Administrator Richard Pearson said the report found both sites to have significant issues and that as a result Council was not supportive of either site.
“The report details that both sites will impose considerable additional heavy truck movements into an already congested traffic network,” he said.
“Concerns have been raised by residents in the vicinity of the proposed Darley Road dive site
about noise, dust and traffic impacts from trucks and other vehicles accessing this site while the Derbyshire Rd site is located directly next to a secondary school.”
“As a town planner myself, I know that you look to exclude heavy engineering construction sites such as that proposed by SMC from locations close to sensitive land uses – and I would have thought a school for almost 1000 students would fit that bill”, Mr Pearson said.
Mr Pearson said Council has told Sydney Motorway Corporation unequivocally that neither of the sites is acceptable.
“Three years of noise, dust and traffic chaos for school students and residents of the Lilyfield and Leichhardt areas is clearly not an acceptable trade-off for the quicker construction time benefits touted by SMC”, Mr Pearson said.
The report found in assessing sites and options, consideration should be given to (but not be limited to) the noise, dust, traffic and other environmental impacts that may affect local residents, businesses, schools or any other uses in the vicinity.
The report also considered an alternative ‘dive’ site option at the Rozelle Railyards which Council identified as a possible ‘least worst’ compromise option. However, SMC has ruled this site out due to potential conflict with light rail operations.
Possible dive sites to the west of Darley Road were also considered by SMC, but were ruled out as they were in areas of fill or reclamation with a high water table, making dive-site works difficult and complicated.