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In Woonona NSW on “Commercial - demolition of...” at 74 Russell Street, Woonona NSW 2517:

Jon Seccombe commented

The residents of the street have largely objected on the basis of traffic concerns affecting a street currently zoned residential.
Other concerns include:
2) Noise
3) Commercial valuations affecting residential values
4) Visual affects - downgrading of community ambience
5) Telecommunication downgrades
6) Environmental: Changed building footprints and drainage; exposure of children to toxins and increased risk
7) Access
8) Security
9) Precedent for continued commercial development
10) Evening activities

Firstly, it is helpful to know whether this is a long day care centre or not. During playtime the combined sound of many children moving around will register at a very high level of decibels. For those immediately adjacent there will be little respite from this noise. Further up the street, the noise will be muted but will still intrude on owners in what is a very quiet residential street which has not been zoned for this activity.

The introduction of commercial buildings will depress the values of residences as the area is no longer deemed entirely residential. It also sets a precedent that other commercial buildings may be allowed once the zoning has changed.

Furthermore, this street needs continued greening: already two fine specimens of Harpephyllum caffrum have been removed in the last 18 months and the visual appeal of the street has decreased as more units/ buildings can be seen. Placing another large structure and removing a number trees will lower the aesthetic appeal of the street again with an impact on property values but also contribute to the downgrading of the environment. Removal of trees contributes to climate change: significantly, studies of micro climates show that the ambient temperature in a local area can rise significantly by as much as 8 - 10 degrees when all trees are removed and radiant heat comes from buildings and asphalt. This large structure suggests that there is insufficient room to include play areas for children AND will be an additional heat sink. Furthermore, this is a street with significant drainage issues. With climate change comes an increase in storm events depositing large amounts of rain: several have been experienced in the last few years and these have been exacerbated by over development. Increasing the built surface area in the street provides less opportunity for water to be absorbed naturally by soils and increases the damage caused to other built structures through flooding and excessive run off. These storm events with strong damage have occurred twice in our complex in the last 5 years. This building is at the top of the hill and it will inevitably cause problems for those further down the hill. Is the current sewage infrastructure capable of sustaining the toileting needs of another 60 individuals?

The proposed complex is directly adjacent a major arterial route. The pollution from tyre wear (compounds) will inevitably be deposited on the grounds of the day care centre and children will have direct exposure to tailpipe gases throughout the day - a matter of a few metres away: the nature of the onshore breezes pushing against the escarpment gives little opportunity for these deadly chemicals to disperse and be escaped by the moist vulnerable age group and will certainly have a deleterious outcome on health.

This street is at the end of the line from the Corrimal exchange: whilst NBN is a significant outcome. there is still significant copper wiring and threats to internet speed need to be explored.

The end of the street provides significant pedestrian access to the beach: will this be interrupted? Do we want a high degree of foot traffic going past small children: does this pose a danger to young children? Will further development provide a greater likelihood of break and enter offences?

Owners of large buildings which have a significant investment will seek to maximise returns. Will this centre be used for evening events which are noisy and impact neighbours in diverse ways? Will it also be used for elections and other community events which may bring a level of traffic creating gridlock due to the extremely narrow streets?

Ultimately this is a quiet, residential street which already has reached its capacity to sustain and this is whist it is entirely residential. It is a street of a certain character and charm although council needs to consider further tree plantings and other visual enhancements. As the current residents have indicated it is straining to support the current traffic: the addition of further traffic may lead to an increased number of serious traffic accidents and this in turn will put council in the invidious position of solving a problem of its own making - and the solution will not be simple or inexpensive.

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