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In Macquarie Park NSW on “Approval is sought for a...” at 122 Herring Rd Macquarie Park NSW 2113:

Eyal Karin commented

Dear Sir/Madam,

after lengthy discussions amongst the residents of 1 Saunders close and 120 Herring road, the community seems to bring up several points of objections, as well as common suggestions for a better Herring Road design as a whole.

Here are two common points of objection, and these are also reflected within the other submissions and comments to this DA -

1. The close, multiple and large scale construction next to our building is unacceptable to the community; The construction creates risk and anxiety about the security of the current 120 Herring, and 1 Saunders Close buildings. Many of us in the existing community, object to the proximity of the buildings (6m-12m) and demand more space between the buildings. The plan also (1) box both of the existing buildings from two sides against Herring road and creates minimal sunshine, minimal pedestrian access, noise levels that are near the maximum standard (as indicated by the town planner at 50/56), (2) roads and garage entrances where green paths and additional floor space ratio should be added for compensation to the low floor space ratio the plan creates. But most critically (3) the engulfing new buildings restrict the pedestrian passage measures to either the Metro, Macquarie Centre or the Kent Road School (primary pedestrian flow in the neighborhood). The current community is large and overlooked in the plan.

2. The congestion imposed by the addition of >600 apartments and >500 cars to a small, and an already congested area is unacceptable to the community; The plan currently includes very minimal green spaces, and largely takes away floor space ratio from both Herring 120 and 1 Saunders Close – a point that was even noted by the Town planner contracted by Morling College (p.139).

Our suggestions as a community include

1. Create more space between the buildings; and use greening spaces between the new and existing (Herring 120, 1 Saunders) buildings. Green space features between the buildings can stand to reduce noise (Buffering sound, reduce car activity, remove the location of the garage door noise). This can be achieved by removing duplicating garage entrances from Site B, (next to Herring 120) and the move of the Site A car access to the end of Saunders close (Facing a commercial rather than residential building). Increasing the green space between the buildings can also increase much needed privacy (through tree plantation and distance between buildings that are made of largely glass walls in Herring 120), and achieve higher floor space ratio for both buildings (that is already at a bare minimum, as indicated by the town planner; p.139). This suggestion can also achieve the outlined urban design aims of integration, connection, sense of space; and safety given our main current pedestrian pathways to the Metro, shops and Kent road school pass through the back of 1 Saunders Close, and will pass through the back of 120 Herring road in the future.
If the plan can move the buildings further apart, the residents of 120 Herring and 1 Saunders will also gain much needed sunlight access, and safety concerns about proximal construction can be addressed.

2. Lower the height of the apartments to 8 floors; and the match of the new building in site B/ Northen part of site A to match the height of the existing buildings in Herring Road 110-114 buildings (nine floors). In this way, the community can mitigate some of the issues around poor sunlight, congestion, prospective wind draft and traffic. In addition, the number of on street parking and car spaces in general should be reduced to achieve the intended design urban principles outlined in page 22 of the plan (Primarily safety).

3. Adding addition features that are pedestrian and child friendly; such as playgrounds, parks, wider pedestrian pathways and pedestrian crossings. There are (1) many young families in the area, (2) the area includes multiple mixed zoning, and (3) even a child care centre is proposed, yet very few efforts are currently proposed to achieve pedestrian safety and connection. The pedestrian connection of Herring 120 and 1 Saunders close are largely overlooked, and the future connection of our neighbourhood as whole is restricted to pathways at the back of site B which will miss the main pedestrian axiom of the current and future community to the Metro, shops, and Kent Road school (An axiom stretching from the back of 120 Herring and 1 Saunders to the End of 110 Herring Road where wheelchair access lifts are located). The current reliance on herring road as a pedestrian road that links us to the station is unacceptable given that Herring road is (1) congested at most parts of the day, (2) is not wheel chair or child friendly, (3) is without pedestrian crossings for most of the road, is unappealing given the pollution, noise and the risk of walking by cars that drive at speed. We also suggest that the pathway width increase on the expense of on-road parking spots in order to reflect the safety needs of the neighborhood, and a sense of space. In addition, the area does not include a playground for what would be in the future over 1000 families.

Please consider the point of view of the current residents, who feel largely overlooked, boxed in, and are going to endure three years of construction only to deal with challenges of congestion, privacy, low sunlight, wind draft, noise, and rolling garage doors in their faces.

We all want (1) liveable spaces, (2) we rely on good access to the metro station shops, and above all (3) we demand better safety for our kids!

Please help us achieve this.
I hope you find these to be clear and to the point. Please approach us about the plan.
Thank you, and we hope to address the panel in person in the near future.

delivered to the planning authority

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