STATE GOVERNMENT INFRASTRUCTURE & ISSUES

Pitt Town bypass

The Progress Association and local community have been lobbying state government and Hawkesbury Council for more than sixty years, yes 60!, for a bypass to be constructed connecting Pitt Town Road at Glebe Road to Cattai Road at Buckingham Street, and bypass the town centre of Pitt Town. This is to avoid the hundreds of large vehicle movements through four intersections with the obvious impacts on safety and quality of life of residents and travellers.

The Progress Association more recently, lobbied specifically for the bypass to include:

  • A two-lane roundabout intersection with Bathurst Street and a re-aligned Glebe Road.
  • A two-lane roundabout intersection with Old Pitt Town Road and Eldon Street.
  • Buckingham Street to continue to connect with the bypass as a standard T intersection.
  • A review signage and intersection design of the following intersections will also be necessary once the bypass is completed (local council actions):

Re-align intersection of Chatham Street and Bathurst Street to make Chatham Street a standard T intersection with Bathurst Street with give-way sign facing Chatham Street.

New signage at the intersection of Chatham St and Eldon St with GIVE WAY signs in Chatham St only.

 

 

Latest News Update from RMS – March 2017 states:

Following consideration of community feedback in 2016 and further investigation, Roads and Maritime Services has selected a preferred option of the proposed Pitt Town bypass to progress to the next stage of development. We have included a map of the preferred option to help explain the proposal.

 

Key features

Further investigation has confirmed the features that can be included in the road design include:

  • a two lane roundabout for the new intersection at Pitt Town Road, Bathurst Street and Glebe Road
  • a two lane roundabout instead of traffic lights for the new intersection at Eldon Street and Old Pitt Town Road
  • maintenance of restricted access to Buckingham Street from Cattai Road (left turn in and out of Buckingham Street). Next steps We will continue to consult with the community and key stakeholders as the proposal progresses. Contact
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  • Roads and Maritime will continue planning and development of the concept design and environmental assessment based on the preferred design option.

If you have any questions, please call our Project Manager, Stephanie Hambly, on 1800 793 862 or email pittownbypass@rms.nsw.gov.au. For more information on the proposed Pitt Town Bypass, visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au/pitttownbypass

 

Critical Changes to Planning Agreement for Pitt Town

On the 6th April 2017, the NSW Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts, signed a Deed of Agreement with The Johnson Property Group (JPG) to retrospectively reduce JPG contributions to state government infrastructure from $42,000 per lot in the Bona Vista and Fernville developments, to $10,500 AND releasing JPG from all obligations to deliver infrastructure to Pitt Town as originally promised in the 2006 Agreement.

This action results represents a substantial reduction in the levies paid to the NSW Government; and gives no assurance of delivery of the infrastructure promised in the original Agreement.

The two amended Agreements can be found on the NSW Department of Planning website as follows:

http://vparegister.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=8152

and

http://vparegister.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=8152

The latter includes a Deed of Release which releases JPG from all obligations to complete the infrastructure works listed in the 2006 Planning Agreement.

 

Pitt Town Road upgrade

The 2006 Planning Agreement referred to above includes the widening the length of Pitt Town Road to Windsor Road with 2m shoulders. This additional road width should be line marked and used for a cycleway to meet the new requirement to provide 1.5m clearance from cyclists. The Planning Agreement specifies the following roadworks to be completed as part of the development of Pitt Town:

“Shoulder construction – Continuous 2m wide sealed shoulders from Windsor Road to the end of Pitt Town Road with pavement consisting of 400mm of road base (DGS20), 10mm prime seal and 14mm rubberized spray seal. Alternatively, a 360mm road base (DGS20) and 40mm ACl 4 wearing course could be provided in place of the spray seal. The join between the shoulder works and existing pavement: is to be formed by either excavation with a rotor mill or Saw cut. Appropriate drainage {subsoil and surface) is to be provided in accordance with RTA requirements. Services and other road safety hazards, including but not limited to power poles, trees etc. within ‘the shoulders and dear zone (determined as per the RTA’s design guidelines) are to be relocated. Only if road safety hazards cannot be relocated due to the proximity of property boundaries, can they then be treated by protection (e.g. by use of guard rail.)”

 

Upgrade five intersections along Pitt Town Road

The five intersections between Pitt Town and Windsor Road are to be upgraded as agreed in the original Planning Agreement, for which Pitt Town residents and all road users have been waiting for ten years. The Planning Agreement specifies the following roadworks to be completed as part of the development of Pitt Town:

“Intersection Improvement works – The following intersections with Pitt Town Road – Charles Street, Wolseley Road. Pitt Town Bottoms Road/Saunders Road, Schofield Road, Glebe Read are to be upgraded with localized widening to provide appropriate left turn and right turn bays. The first four intersections are to be upgraded in accordance with the RTA’s AUR and AUL intersection treatments with 1he Pitt Town Road/Wolseley Road being upgraded in accordance with 1he. RTA’s CHIR intersection treatment.

The existing lane widths are to be maintained and the existing line marking removed and the intersections resurfaced in asphalt and re- line marked to cater for turning movements. Note that upgrading of the Cattai Road/Mitchell Road and the intersection of Bathurst. Street and Eldon Street are to be carried out in accordance with the TMAP/Council’s Section 94 Plan for the Development Site and are not Included In the five Intersections specified in the RTA’s correspondence on the developer for regional road improvement.”

 

Mulgrave Station carpark

The current carpark on the northern side of the station is unsealed and too small to accommodate current or projected car parking. It is to be enlarged, sealed and upgraded to a similar standard of carparks at other suburban railway stations.

 

Windsor bypass and bridge

Traffic flow along Windsor Road through Windsor increases year on year and flow is seriously affected by the bottleneck from Pitt Town Road through Windsor and over the existing Windsor Bridge. The proposed new bridge will do nothing to alleviate this situation; and will worsen the already chronic traffic problems in Windsor township. Nor will it improve traffic flow during flood events as the section of Windsor Road between Pitt Town Road and South Creek floods even before the river rises to that level.

The only permanent solution to both issues is a new, high-level bridge and bypass of Windsor. Clearly this will be more expensive. However, much of the current proposal in only window dressing as the existing bridge can be repaired for a fraction of the cost of the overall current proposal that will not improve traffic flow.

In other words; repair the existing bridge and plan a proper solution for when it can be justified and afforded.

Further details can be obtained from the RMS website: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/sydney-west/windsor-bridge-replacement/project-documents.html

 

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT INFRASTRUCTURE AND ISSUES

 

Protection of the Bootles Lane bushland

JPG owns the parcel of land bounded by Vermont Avenue, Pittsmoor Street and Bootles Lane known as Lot 61 DP 1206587, 43 Bootles Lane. The lot is currently zoned RU2 and has been identified as containing critically endangered species of native flora. It is also one of the few remaining areas of remnant bushland in Pitt Town; it is also listed as part of the Cumberland Plains Woodland by The Office of Environment and Heritage. JPG wish to develop part of the site for housing and claims to protect the remaining area by rezoning it to E2 and sell it as part of a housing lot.

A recent development application to Hawkesbury City Council to dub-divide the lot into three residential lots was rejected as a result of Progress Association objections on behalf of local residents.

JPG lodged an appeal to a Rezoning Review process within the NSW Department of Planning. And this too was unanimously rejected by the review panel on the 9th of March 2017.

The key points to consider in relation to this site are:

This area forms part of the Cumberland Plains Woodland and is one of the few remaining stands of critically endangered flora species, essential habitat for a wide variety of native birds and other fauna. It is currently zoned RU2 which has a minimum lot size of 10Ha; while the actual area of the lot is 7.446Ha.

The Department of Environment and Energy states that:

“Both New South Wales and the Commonwealth have listed the Cumberland Plains Woodland as an endangered ecological community under their respective Legislation. A Recovery Plan for this Woodland is being prepared by the NSW Government. Environment Australia, under the Natural Heritage Trust, is supporting a number of projects restoring and rehabilitating these woodlands through Landcare and Bushcare programs and through community groups”

Prior to 2000 the subject site was part of a much larger lot owned and partially farmed by the Johnston Family. It was acquired by the Johnson Property Group (JPG) in 2000. At that time the subject site was much larger and more heavily timbered that it is today. Aerial photographs dated 1986, 1998, 2002 and Statutory Declaration from the former owner confirm that the cleared section fronting Pittsmoor Street, was cleared by JPG in approximately 2011/2012 to accommodate a temporary water detention pit.

A Local Environment Study (LES) conducted for Hawkesbury Council by Connell Wagner Pty Ltd in April 2003 was commissioned to provide Hawkesbury Council with advice and recommendations prior to the commencement of major residential development in Pitt Town. This report clearly identifies the subject site as “Riparian Forest”, “Vegetation Conservation” area, and part of the area to “retain forest woodland and buffer, undertake rehabilitation actions and restrict access”.

JPG purchased land in Pitt Town, including the subject site, with the full knowledge that the subject site was to be retained and protected undeveloped. The JPG Master Plan for Vermont & associated JPG site plans clearly identify this.

The vast majority of the areas described in the LES referred to above have already been cleared and fully developed in spite of the recommendations in the LES (refer Section 4.5.1). This remaining small site is THE LAST REMAINING REMNANT WOODLAND within the area originally identified to be protected.

The current Hawkesbury Development Control Plan (DCP) shows that the original area to be protected has been substantially reduced to the subject site between Bootles lane and Vermont Avenue. Refer Figure 4.3 of the current DCP.

The JPG proposal itself stated that: “Approximately 90% of the site has been identified as having endangered ecological community and connectivity between Remnant Vegetation on the Terrestrial Biodiversity map. The entire site except for a small cleared grassed area [which JPG cleared for their temporary commercial use] having frontages onto Vermont Avenue, Pittsmoor Street, and Bootles Lane at the western end of the subject site is covered with significant vegetation”.

The cleared section at the western end of the site should be re-generated with suitable native species and fenced as per DCP guidelines.

The site would be best protected if it were rezoned E2 and placed in public ownership

The Pitt Town Progress Association and the local community stand ready to take an active part in the long-term rejuvenation and protection of the site.

Pitt Town residents demand that the entire site be protected in perpetuity and that the cleared area fronting Pittsmoor Street be re-generated as it was before being cleared by JPG. Any further applications for development on this site will be rigorously resisted.

 

Eldon Street & Chatham Street intersection

Review signage at the consider replacing the give-way signs facing east in Eldon St and facing south in Chatham Street with STOP signs. Note: review as part of bypass plan.

 

Bathurst Street Repair & Upgrade

Widen and re-surface Bathurst Street from Buckingham Street to Hall Street. Include a shared walk way/cycle way.

Widen Bathurst Street from Eldon Street to Buckingham Street including kerbing & guttering on both sides; and a footpath on the eastern side. The road must be wide enough in this section to accommodate parking on both sides with simultaneous passing of normal traffic (width needs to be at least that opposite the post office).

 

Johnston Street and Hawkesbury Street intersection with Bona Vista Drive

Re-align intersections of Johnston Street with Hawkesbury Street and Bona Vista Drive to make them two separate T intersections. The current design and signage is ambiguous and dangerous. A “teardrop roundabout” design roundabout could also be considered.

 

Bathurst Street & Punt Road intersection with Hall Street

Re-align intersection of Bathurst Street / Punt Road with Hall Street with appropriate give way sign for traffic heading south in Punt Road. Storm water drainage in Punt Road needs to be appropriately handled; and the dangerous culvert on the low side of the intersection needs to be upgraded.

 

Hawkesbury Street upgrade

Hawkesbury Street between Hall Street and Johnston Street has been overlooked and neglected as part of the surrounding developments. This street is a vital connection between the new developments in and north of Hall Street; and the rest of the Vermont Estate. Hawkesbury Street needs to be widened, re-sealed, kerbed and guttered. It also needs to have a footpath to connect Riverlands Estate to the shopping centre via Bona Vista Park.

 

Grenville Street footpath

A footpath is needed in Grenville Street to connect the walkways in the Vermont Estate to the shopping village. This is currently one of the missing links in the footpath system.

 

Boat Ramp & Upgrade of Punt Road

The new facilities must be of quality design and construction; and include public toilets as part of the boat ramp design.

On 20th March 2016, The Hawkesbury Gazette reported:

The DA for a new boat trailer parking facility and the upgrade of Punt Road at Pitt Town has been approved.

Johnson Property Group will complete the works, which are expected to be completed by September.

The road and parking area fall within the boundary of the group’s Vermont Estate.

The car park will be built at the northern end of Punt Road, near its termination with the Hawkesbury River.

The company claims the car park will allow for easier access to the river and wider turning circles for cars with boat trailers.

It will accommodate 14 cars with boat trailers as well as having 16 vehicle spaces, including disabled parking.

The site will also include covered waiting shelters.

Construction is expected to start soon.

 

The above article implies that the new facility will be nothing more than a small car park! What happened to the boat ramp? The river walk etc.?

 

Here’s a list of the current facilities as listed on the Australian Boat Guide website:

Ramp Details Amenities
Construction: –

Lanes: –

Parking: –

Condition: –

Lighting: –

Washdown: –

 

FishClean: –

Kiosk: –

Toilets: –

Disabled Access: –

Fuel: –

BBQ: –

 

In other words, absolutely nothing! And now Hawkesbury Council and the Johnson Property Group want us to be happy with a small car park!

The JPG website shows more details of what they claim will be included in the new facilities however the Development Application Number DA0262/15 doesn’t appear to include the same details. Check this link to the JPG site: https://www.johnsonpropertygroup.com.au/blog/vermont/riverland/vermont-boat-ramp-sporting-facilities-community-centre-update/

 

Boat Wharf & River Walk

These features have been pictured in many of the JPG marketing promotions but there has been nothing in terms of design and details. They were also included in the Hawkesbury Council Section 94 Plan 19??

Access to the river is a key attractant for people choosing Pitt Town as a location for their new home. People of all ages would use these facilities and they could be one of the most attractive features of the area.

 

Re-open Bootles Lane through to Cattai Road

Bootles Lane between Redfern Place and Cattai Road has been closed to traffic for many years. However, with the significant increase in population and traffic over recent years, the road needs to be re-opened to allow convenient traffic in and out of the Vermont Estate. This will share traffic flow from the new estate to Cattai Road; and will provide additional exit during flood evacuation. It is a relatively small piece of infrastructure that will have significant benefit to residents.

 

Tea Tree Lane

Provide a sealed footpath and or cycle path from Johnston Street through to Bootles Lane. This pathway was known as “Tea Tree Lane” by local residents and the old name should also be preserved. This is in lieu of an extension of Johnston Street as shown on development maps.

 

Improve storm water drainage

Several natural water courses in the area have become clogged with silt and growth of both native and exotic plant species. This results in increased local flooding, even after relatively low rainfall events. Specific areas of particular concern include: Pitt Town Road near Horton’s Bridge; and Old Pitt Town Road east of Cattai Road.

 

Old Pitt Town Road

Repair the badly damaged section of Old Pitt Town Road between Cattai Road and Airstrip Road. This is truly an ugly blight on the Pitt Town township and a sad reflection on the neglect of a key arterial road by Hawkesbury Council. The natural water courses have silted up and become overgrown with plant growth such that this section of the road is now permanently covered with water and has been closed for safety reasons.

Repeated communications with council have not been taken seriously. The director of planning says that council is waiting for the water to recede before effecting repairs. A cursory look at the area by anyone with any understanding of civil works, can see that the water level of the natural watercourse has risen, approximately one metre, by silt and weed growth. The watercourse must be cleared before any roadworks can be effected.

The same clearing of water courses is necessary to reduce local flooding of several other roads.

 

Floodwater level signs

Many of the floodwater level signs adjacent to local roads are hidden by vegetation, damaged or illegible. All such signs should be repaired or replaced as the current situation is particularly dangerous to the many new residents who are unfamiliar with local flooding conditions. This situation is exacerbated by the clogged waterways described above. Floodwater signs in particular need of attention are those on: Cattai Road, Old Pitt Town Road, Punt Road and Pitt Town Dural Rd.

 

Flood Evacuation Route Signage

Updated and improve signage to clearly identify the flood evacuation route, including an electronic sign on Pitt Town Road at Windsor Road to warn motorists when McKenzie’s Creek is flooded.

 

Pitt Town Road, Pitt Town Bottoms Rd &Saunders Road Intersection

The current left-turn arrows from the left lane northbound in Pitt Town Road at the intersection of Pitt Town Road with Pitt Town Bottoms Rd at Saunders Road, are dangerous and ambiguous. Traffic turning right into Saunders Road causes traffic travelling straight ahead to either stop or move into the left lane, which is currently illegal as the left lane is left-turn only. However, stopping in the right lane is dangerous and unnecessary especially for heavy vehicles.

The removal of left turn arrows from the left lane, would allow through traffic to safely and legally move into the left lane to pass traffic turning right. This is the normal situation at most similar intersections. It may require some upgrade of the roadway on the north-west corner of the intersection.

 

Bona Vista Park

The Bona Vista Park was finally provided by the developer after much lobbying and complaint about the delay. The park is well supported by the local community but needs a public toilet. This should have been part of the initial plan and is now an urgent necessity. Either Hawkesbury Council and or the developer should now provide this obviously necessary facility.

 

Fernadell Park

The current state of Fernadell parkland and playing fields is appalling. The area is unusable for any sort of recreational use and even the basic site preparation has been very poorly done. Residents expect completion of playing fields at Fernadell Oval including landscaping, public toilets and other amenities as promised and as levied on land purchasers by Hawkesbury Council.

 

Fernadell Community Centre

A community centre was promised for location in Fernadell Drive, opposite the Fernadell Oval. Residents expect this facility to be delivered as promised; and to be of a high standard.