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In Keiraville NSW on “Residential - multi...” at 14 Cosgrove Avenue, Keiraville NSW 2500:

Irit Alony commented

Dear Council, Thank you for protecting us residents from inappropriate overdevelopment in our area. This submission is a clear example of such overdevelopment, breaching concerns in the areas of geo-techincal feasibility, bush-fires risk, traffic and access, floods, environmental protection, community and amenities, and its unreasonable impact on local residents- not only during construction but also post completion.

-Geotechnical issues
The slope at the proposed area is extremely steep. In fact it is so steep that garbage collection trucks will not be able to access it. In addition, the geology of the land is a hard bedrock covered by slip-area quality soil. The area has had mud slides following rain periods over the last half of the century. Residents who spent their childhood here decades ago still recall occasions after rainy days when they would go to the proposed development area and slide down the muddy slope of the steep hill, enjoying the ride. It would require extreme reinforcement measures to make construction of the proposed scale viable and not to put at risk of considerable damage to themselves and the properties below (such as my home).

-Bushfire risk
The summer of 2019-2020 provided us with a loud and clear wakeup call. The proposed development is located in the middle of an area of high risk for bushfire, which were only avoided this time due to wind conditions. The proposal suggests building 47 housing units, which will house 150-200 people. In light of expected changes in climate which will only increase the risk of bushfires, this is irresponsible and must be reconsidered.
Furthermore, as explained under ‘Traffic and access’ below, the proposed development relies on a single access point. In the case of a bushfire and evacuation, this single and narrow road would be the only way for estimated 110+ cars to drive out of the estate, and for the emergency vehicles to enter to fight the fires. This is a recipe for a disaster on a national, if not international, scale, and anyone who approves the project should be considered an accessory to any resulting loss.

-Traffic and access
All construction project MUST consider the results of council traffic studies. The proposal does not mention the results from a recent Keiraville and Gwynville traffic study, and it must consider them.
A single access point to the estate is proposed, with a two-way street on one side of it and a one-way street on the either. This access point is meant to service an estimate of 110+ cars in a suburb already overloaded with traffic and parking of students attending the nearby university campus. There are no footpaths and due to parking cars, most people simply walk on the road itself. Adding heavy vehicles during construction, and traffic after completion, will greatly exacerbate the problem.

The risk of floods resulting from this proposal was grossly (and possibly deliberately ) underestimated. The proposal relies on irrelevant rainfall data. First, the data is from 1987, and therefore does not consider floods which resulted from heavy rainfall occurrences in 1988 and the 1990s. Second, the data in the proposal considered rainfall at a distant Illawarra location (Port Kembla) which regularly receives less rainfall than that in the proposed development area. Heavy rainfall on the proposed development area would result in distribution of water above and beyond the capacity of current stormwater systems, and could result in flooding of properties not only near by but further down the catchment area.

-Environmental protection
This area was agreed by council as requiring environemtnal protection, and it is not clear why all of a sudden it is considered for medium density housing. The area of the proposed development was originally zoned as an area requiring environmental protection for animal habitats and vegetation. Furthermore, this area would be aesthetically damaged beyond any construction on the escarpment and significantly harm Mt Keira’s natural landmark beauty. The precedent of such damage would be devastating for the entire escarpment and inconsistent with Council's plan for it.

-Community and amenities
Little benefit, if at all, will result to existing residents from this development. The proposed development will effectively be a ‘gated community’, and its residents will only be able to drive in and out of their property due to the extreme incline that will restrict pedestrian access. It will not integrate its residents into Keiraville’s community, nor will it offer the estate’s residents any reasonable amenities. No public transport will be able to access the community, and no shops or community facilities were included in the proposal. It would possibly house students and having them so isolated from the rest of the community opens the door to many possible negative social and criminal outcomes.

-Impact on current residents
A development of such scale would be expected to take years to construct. During this time trucks, heavy machinery, traffic controls and construction access will impose heavy restrictions on the area and will impact current traffic and all nearby residents. This is particularly important for vulnerable pedestrians (parents with prams and young children, elderly, etc.) who currently often make up the pedestrian traffic at Keiraville would face danger and difficulties on a daily basis. No benefit resulting from this proposed development is evident which would offset the inconvenience, and therefore cannot be justified.

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