36 Orchard Road Beecroft NSW 2119

Development Application - Demolition of existing structures, tree removal and construction of a double storey 60 place child care centre including basement car parking and associated business identification signage.

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We found this application for you on the planning authority's website 25 days ago. It was received by them 1 day earlier.

(Source: Parramatta City Council, reference DA/498/2019)

19 Comments

Have your say by adding your own comment.

  1. Bill Rankine commented

    I have no objection to a childcare facility being developed. However, the application and traffic report is silent on the impact of the development on the intersection of Orchard & Murray Farm Roads. This is a busy and problematic intersection during peak hours; there have been several accidents and near misses in recent years. The proposed development is only 50 metres from this intersection but there is no mention of this in the traffic report. The traffic study needs to include this intersection. The parking being provided is for 15 places. However, 7 of these places are for staff. With the development catering for 60 children where are all the parents going to park to drop off their children?
    The development proposal and traffic report are deficient and need to be revised.

  2. Anna Chip commented

    I am also concerned about this road as it a major thoroughfare and with parents stopping and parking to drop off children there needs to be some thought to traffic calming?

  3. Ryan Payne commented

    We have lived in this area for 20 years and have noticed a marked increase in speeding and traffic volumes that use Orchard Road as a through road from Pennant Hills Road and Beecroft Road,

    This traffic comes from the corner of North Rocks Road and Pennant Hills Road through to Kirkham Road and Beecroft Road (via Murray Farm Road and Orchard road).

    This traffic does this via a 40kph stretch in front of Roselea Primary School, Carlingford High and St Gerards Primary School.

    Once free of the 40kph stretch cars accelerate regularly and speed through Orchard Road and Murray Farm Road. Many times in excess of 100kph.

    We believe that a proposal to open the western end of Murray Farm Road to Pennant Hills Road as a turn South only onto Pennant Hills Road needs evaluation.

    This would allow traffic from Beecroft Road to travel via Kirkham Street and Murray Farm Road directly to Pennant Hills Road and then turn South on Pennant Hills road.

    This would spread traffic more evenly though the egress points from the suburban areas and also reduce traffic from the front of the Primary Schools on North Rocks Road.

    We also believe that there is merit in evaluating :

    1) a roundabout or set of traffic lights at the corner of Kirkham Street and Beecroft Road, and a means for pedestrians to cross (we have witnessed so many near misses)

    2) a roundabout at the corner of Orchard Road and Murray Farm Road; and

    3) an improved intersection at the corner of Plympton Road and Orchard Road (for some reason drivers will not stop at either stop sign, we have seen so many near misses)

    We have also seen multiple accidents in this area with a recent Fatality on North Rocks Road and one of the key drivers of this is the speeding through the rat runs from North Rocks Road/Pennant Hills Road and Kirkham Street/Beecroft Road. Also quite a serious accident at the Orchard Road and Murray Farm Road intersection.

    We have also had our car badly damaged twice from car accidents whilst parked on Orchard Road.

    We have no objections to a child care centre, but Orchard Road is not safe in it’s current state, traffic is extremely dangerous now, so what is going to happen with 60 more cars dropping small children off at peak hours.

    We do not believe that cars will use the underground car park but are guaranteed to opt to park illegally to drop off children as there will not be enough car parks for them all to use.

    Even if they did use the car park, they will quickly work out they can't get back onto Orchard Road, we know as we can't get out of our driveway either.

    Hence they will park illegally.

    We witness on a daily basis dangerous erratic driving, road rage and aggressive driving.

    Development such as this should not proceed unless traffic calming is a serious focus of the council in this area.

    Otherwise this is a tragedy waiting to happen…

  4. Ryan Payne commented

    Just read your report conclusions on traffic safety in this area.

    Sorry, but you are incorrect, you have not monitored the Orchard Road/ Murray Farm Road intersection.

    There are also no checks of the average speed on Orchard Road, it is well above 50kph.

    Our experience of this road is that Hazard lights are required regularly to pull into your driveway due to tail gating drivers, so I don't understand how you believe that the current traffic management systems in this area will be sufficient.

    Drivers entering Orchard Road (say from Karril Avenue) are unable to see the ends of Orchard road due to overhanging tree branches and with the speed that cars continually travel downhill on Orchard Road this compromises safety.

    ++++++++++++++
    Based on the information provided, the proposal does not generate any increase in safety risk to pedestrians or drivers as a result of the access and parking configuration;
    • The proposed development will not negatively impact current traffic conditions including local intersection capacity;
    +++++++++++++

    Nope sorry, the traffic in this area needs calming now, just ask a local.

  5. Karen Payne commented

    Have you considered that there are actually residents who live on Orchard Road? It is not just a rat run used by speeding commuters. There are actually members of society who pay their taxes and rates and who should have the ability to enter and exit their own property in a safe non threatening manner. Currently we experience road rage daily just trying to get into and out of our driveway or into any cars parked legally on Orchard Road. Reading your traffic report suggests that this has not been taken into consideration and I cannot see where a thorough analysis of the traffic using Orchard Road has been undertaken. One day where someone stood and counted the traffic at the corner of Orchard Road and North Rocks Road is definitely not sufficient. I strongly disagree with your traffic report of which the conclusion states there will be no negative impact on traffic conditions and pedestrian safety. Orchard Road is already a nightmare to live on and use. This proposal without traffic calming methods introduced will most definitely have an increased negative impact. Please explain how we are to exit our own driveways safely with yet more cars using the road? Currently we need to use hazard lights in order to enter our driveway in peak times. The report mentions that Orchard Road is used by only low volume local traffic. This is absolutely incorrect. I know for a fact it is used as a rat run by commuters trying to avoid Pennant Hills Road and Beecroft Road. I have spoken with some of them. They are in my circle of people I know. They do not even live in this area. I believe a more thorough assessment of the traffic using this area needs to be undertaken before this proposal can be considered. There has been no traffic monitoring done on the section of road which will be most affected. I have seen no sensors across the road to actually determine the speed and volume of the current traffic using this road. I request you reconsider until such proper analysis has been undertaken. I am not opposed to a child care centre if the road is actually made safe for the residents to use.

  6. Bec kirby commented

    Please do not open the end of Murray Farm Road onto Pennant Hills Road. This will not fix the traffic problems mentioned in the comments so far. I suggest speed humps along Orchard and North Rocks Road to actually reduce driver speed down the big hills and long stretch. This works perfectly in another area (Ada Ave, Wahroonga) where there is also a school zone and hills. Opening the end of Murray Farm Road will only increase danger on Murray Farm Road, where the 50km speed limit is rarely adhered to.
    Thank you.

  7. Margaret commented

    I agree with Bec Kirby don’t reopen Murray Farm road onto pennant hills road to dangerous if it was I can so many accidents some being fatal.
    Putting speed humps or speed cameras in the streets she mentioned would make a big difference.
    Thank you

  8. Maria Rundell commented

    We live in this area and I agree that speed humps need to be added to Orchard Road. Cars are notorious for speeding along this stretch of road and combined with the poor visibility from the hills and trees it is a disaster waiting to happen eg; a child being hit as they cross the road.

    There also needs to be a pedestrian crossing on Orchard road particularly for school kids who catch the 553 bus from Beecroft station to North Rocks or vica versa. Orchard Rd is dangerous to cross for the kids and in my opinion is an accident waiting to happen (particularly if a Childcare center is going to open which will increase the number of cars on that already dangerous stretch of road).

    The intersection at Orchard Road and North Rocks Road also needs fixing. Putting 2 stops signs adjacent to each other creates confusion. Would it not make more sense to remove one of the stop signs?

    I think someone from council town planning needs to drive this stretch of road several times throughout the day to get an understanding of the serious issues that reside along North Rocks Road, Orchard Road and Murray Farm Road (North Rocks to Beecroft Station) and vica versa. It is not until you drive this stretch of road particularly around school time (7:30-9:30am & 2:30-5:00pm) that you can fully understand what it is like. Please note that kids are coming from schools far away and often don't get home until 4:30pm or even later. There needs to be more safety provisions put in place in this ever growing family area.

  9. Lara van der Wall commented

    I am a local who has used these roads for 16 years, my children attended schools in North Rocks Rd. Recently I taught my children to drive and had fresh experience how dangerous the roads in this neighbourhood can be.

    The odd-shaped roundabout at south end of Orchard Road and North Rocks Road is ambiguous with 2 Stop signs; drivers disregard them both and just Give Way.

    More dangerous is Orchard Road itself, with speeding on the hill a real problem. This could be solved by installing speed humps, and a speed camera (which may be a good earner for the state government).

    A pedestrian crossing with islands and yellow bars would be a welcome protection for children crossing to and from the 553 bus stop, and during school times a lollipop person could be employed for additional safety.

    When the child care centre is built, I suggest to change the road paint and have a dedicated parking lane in front of the centre. And a roundabout at Orchard Rd/Kirkham St.

    This stretch of road needs a serious observation and assessment. It can seem a tranquil street at midday, but the trees are sinister as they do block your view of drivers the speed from both sides, from North Rocks Rd and Kirkam Rd. And at peak times, it is treacherous.

    Please do set up measurement equipment to record the traffic in Orchard St.

  10. Anna commented

    Awesome to hear so many good ideas to deal with this stretch of road which I do use regularly to get to North Rocks shops and Carlingford Court. I do live in Beecroft. However to suggest to open a closed quiet street to "spread" traffic is bizarre. This just opens up more streets to speeding traffic. Rather deal with the speeding traffic as a consequence of suburban growth and development, and let the Developer fund this! Please Council, if the Developer is so keen to make a quick buck allow him/her to also fund ensuing measures to make changes to deal with these increases in car traffic.

  11. Ryan Payne commented

    We have been lobbying for increased safety and calming of traffic on Orchard Road for 20 years. This has included Speed bumps, better lineage, signs etc. In fact the whole road was resurfaced due to us saying that the road was run down (which it was).

    About 10 years ago the council decided to painted big '50' signs at the bottom of the valley on Orchard Road after checking speeds.

    We noticed an immediate increase in speeding and after lobbying for it to be rechecked, the council agreed that that the speeds had increased and removed the painted 50 signs on the road. All the signs did was give the rev heads a target point to speed over, sometimes at 100kph.

    We also lobbied for speed bumps to reduce the traffic after a close call mowing the lawn believe it or not (amazing that you can almost die mowing the lawn in the front yard…) and the council informed us that due to Emergency Vehicles using Orchard Road (from the Beecroft Fire Station and Ambulances etc), that they would not entertain speed bump inclusions.

    To open up Murray Farm Road is a suggestion, as it seems that the council had difficulty thinking of possible solutions and not meant to be bizarre but a planned approach to solve road safety without compromising emergency vehicle access to all parts of the area.
    Murray Farm Road is open to the Pennant Hills Road on the other side of Murray Farm Road and doesn't seem to be a problem, maybe the curve of Pennant Hills Road is the real issue here, not sure.

    Orchard Road was also a quiet road before the overpass over the M2 from Murray Farm Road to Kirkham Road was built, but now everyone in the area has the benefit of increased access, to Beecroft as well as Carlingford Court as well as quicker Emergency Access if they need it.

    A set of lights on the intersection of Kirkham Road and Beecroft Road would reduce rat run traffic down Boronia Avenue and radically increase the safety of cars turning south from Kirkham Street onto Beecroft Road. Have never understood why cars would risk this dangerous turn.

    A set of lights here might increase traffic volumes through the areas as by product of this increased safety, but if the speed is controlled and safety is adequate then it's a good outcome.

    I believe that the residents of Boronia Avenue would also welcome spreading some of their traffic which may even be travelling to some of the closed quiet streets.

    Most other cities have multiple ways for anyone to get anywhere, Sydney though creates pinch points deliberately and this causes increased traffic through the pinch points which in turn causes people to speed, to make up time of being stuck in increased traffic volumes through rat runs.

    We do the same thing with single point access to many of our train stations, if you go to Italy for example, there are dozens of ways to enter each train station and from what I observed, it’s relatively rare to see people running to catch train as they know that they can get to the train platform easily. I asked the station master at Cheltenham Station, that whilst they had the opportunity to redesign access to the station at the time of the refit, why they did not increase the number of access points? He informed me that it was due to vigorous lobbying of locals only wanting one. So as result, daily school kids must weave through traffic at the pedestrian crossing at that dangerous corner.

    It’s a classic catch 22 that in many cases people that live in quieter areas and rat runners actually may cause the increases in traffic which over time leads to speeding by selected people.

    In fact Brisbane City Council town planners recognised this in updating their town planning approach for the future – please read : https://brisbanedevelopment.com/the-governments-cul-de-sac-ban-a-game-changer-for-good-urban-design/

    The solution is not to eliminate traffic as it will continually increase, but to make the roads safer, drivers more cognisant of the fact that they do not need to speed and that no matter where the traffic jams are, there are multiple ways to arrive at their destination that do not need them to speed or take risks.

    Another Option that would increase safety on Orchard Road is that the council gets out the chain saws on low hanging branches across the road and increases visibility for drivers.

    At the moment the bottom of the canopy runs parallel to the road surface as you drive Orchard Road, the road ahead opens up as the trees allow.

    I know that tree preservation is important, but so is the safety of our population and pre-schoolers, and the loss of a few low hanging branches will not affect the viability of these trees.

  12. Karen Payne commented

    Do you think council could please do something about the speed, cars, trucks and buses travel on Orchard Road, North Rocks Road and Murray Farm Road? We do not want to see another senseless tragedy occur. Too many near misses. When cars are mounting the kerb out of anger because a driver wishes to turn left or right off these roads it will only be a matter of time. People deserve to make it home safely.

    Today's traffic tragedy: the loss of a 12 year old making their way to school.
    https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/news/child-trapped-beneath-car-in-hurstville-southern-sydney/news-story/a8b7b97e733fc1c3b374425249f8fece

  13. Anna commented

    Again some great comments about traffic and having egress from a number of points. Problem with using the Brisbane CIty approach as mentioned above is that it is for new estates so that the whole "Grid" approach can be planned and developed in its infancy. Sydney is way beyond that. If we open up that Murray Farm Cul de Sac it will just invite drivers to use Kirkham as quick cut through to Pennant hills road missing the Copeland Road gridlock. Given the nature of Kirkham, winding, narrow in parts and dimly lit at night and in the rain, this just becomes the new grand prix race track for savvy drivers trying to cut 10 minutes off their commute time. Speeding drivers will always speed, whether they are late or not. We need to manage these behaviours rather than reward them with quicker times through residential streets. I too have to manage the Cheltenham Girls traffic, I simply avoid that street and drop said children in earlier streets, or avoid that problem time. Managed behaviours.

  14. Karen commented

    Orchard Road has been a problem for many years now. People seem to think that, as it is on a hill, it's an invitation to speed up or down as fast as they like. When I see school children trying to cross that road, I feel so worried that an impatient driver will hit them. And as other people have said, when someone wants to turn left or right, the impatience of others behind them is unbelievable. The majority of drivers don't have the patience to wait anymore, they take risk after risk. Adding a 60 place childcare centre onto an already over-busy dangerous road is not a good idea. As another person has said, I can't see the majority of parents driving into the basement carpark. Time-poor parents people will pull up on Orchard Road to drop off or pick up their child on their way to or from work. The intersections of Orchard Road/Murray Farm Road and North Rocks Road/Orchard Road are both dangerous intersections, with near-misses every day. People turning right from Orchard Road onto Murray Farm Road regularly don't give way and pull out when a car is driving straight along Murray Farm Road. I am so used to people doing to it now that I tense up and have my foot ready above the brake to brake so they don't hit me. A lot of drivers don't know who has right of way on the North Rocks Road/Orchard Road roundabout. These two intersections must be fixed before the idea of a 60 place childcare centre can be brought into the picture. Residents on Orchard Road should be consulted for their views, as they are already living with this over-busy dangerous road every day, and this will impact them greatly.

  15. David Hartley commented

    To put a preschool with such a narrow street frontage so close to the Orchard Rd Murray Farm Rd intersection is a crazy idea. Orchard Rd is busy at the times of pick up and drop off and there is no doubt there will be a fatality.

    By the way, having lived at my Murray Farm Rd address for over 30 years I do remember when Murray Farm Rd was open to Pennant Hills Rd. There was not a huge amount of traffic using the route because you had to have a death wish to take on that intersection. But cars were driven too fast along Murray Farm Rd. The intersection was identified as one of the state’s major black spots and was closed after far too many fatalities.

  16. Mel commented

    The Traffic impact report is flawed due to very scant analysis & comment on the implications of this proposed development from the intersection of Murray Farm/Orchard and lack of consideration on the use of Karril for transit as a cycleway, to the local schools (back gates), and to training ovals! Local knowledge also highlights vehicles frequently speed/have high rolling momentum up/down the Orchard hill directly in front of this site.

    Crossing the road as a pedestrian and vehicle / bike rider egress of Karril & Bingara roads as well as Orchard driveways is already perilously dangerous with risk levels further increased by More users with children in the mix. The allocated parking is not suffice and will create flow on danger to Orchard. Numerous staff have to park and parents will look for overflow/convenient road parking rather than enter the basement car park. On-street parking considering the hill, trees line and shade along the road burdened by large “family” sized vehicles that may not fit/manoeuvre easily in the basement car park, will further increase the risk and level of potential harm to pedestrians/vehicle accidents. This risk would apply to proposed site users as well as vehicles emanating from Karril/Bingara/Orchard.

    Further controls for traffic and pedestrian safety are needed.

  17. Sharon commented

    The impact on traffic as found in the application needs significant attention as it seriously understates the reality of the way that Orchard Road is currently used - further analysis must be done to ensure safety for all users before additional traffic complexities are added due to a proposed development. We currently have children at a local primary school and we will not let them cross Orchard Road without an adult because it is so dangerous at present.

  18. Karen Campbell commented

    I have lived on Murray Farm Road Beecroft for 24 years, one house from the corner of Orchard Road.

    I have had a vehicle crash through my fence into the garden. In another incident a car ended up on my verandah. Both times there were two cars involved. I have personally attended another six accidents at this intersection.

    Every day I hear tyres screeching and car horns as another vehicle fails to stop at the stop sign. Some stop but still don’t give way according to the rule.

    Many vehicles coming up Orchard Road and turning left onto Murray Farm Road DO NOT STOP.

    The intersection of Orchard Road and North Rocks Road with a roundabout and two stop signs is extremely confusing as drivers frequently do not know who has right of way.

    In the middle of this on the slope, we have a proposal for a 60 place Child Care Centre.
    I cannot see any parent using the eight allocated parking spaces in the basement, as the first time they do they will discover it is extremely difficult to enter back on Orchard Road safely. Then where do they park?

    At the very least a roundabout at the intersection of Murray Farm and Orchard Road is required. There would also need to be a barrier in the middle of Orchard Road to prevent right turns into and out of the Child Care Centre. This then necessitates a roundabout on Karril Avenue to allow vehicles to access the Centre.

  19. Ryan Payne commented

    I witnessed yet another close call today for a car turning right from Orchard Road into Murray Farm Rd towards Beecroft.

    The car did not stop at the stop sign on Orchard Road and as a result two cars missed each other by less than a metre, horns, screaming, tyres skidding etc.

    Yet another one. Wonder what will happen tomorrow??

    Honestly the entire stretch of Orchard Road needs traffic calming including both intersections.

    At a minimum : stop signs on feeding avenues, a roundabout at Murray Farm Rd intersection, a permanent fix for the North Rocks Rd/Orchard twin stop signs, opening up visibility for traffic by culling low tree branches and traffic calming all along Orchard Road (solid lines for parked cars, speed bumps, chicanes, narrowings, whatever - something has to be done).

    There are so many near misses at the twin stop signs that the local dentist years ago setup a traffic cam to video them and post to the council - still no action.

    Maybe the longer term plan is to re-zone all of the areas close to the schools as medium/high density for townhouses/apartment blocks? Starting with the childcare centre? Assumed that this would be aligned with the recent amendments for further controls on Granny flats?

    At least medium/high density would choke the roads with cars so much that at least people wouldn't be able to speed ? Sydney really needs more empty investment apartments!

    Buy hey, as long as the developers & councils can benefit in some way and indirectly keep adding traffic - all good huh?

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