The proposed location of ventilation stacks for the Beach Link Tunnel have been released, alarming residents in Nth Balgowlah, Balgowlah and Seaforth.
While many accept that the tunnel is inevitable, the proposed location of stacks near schools and residences is totally unacceptable.
According to recent reports in the Sydney Morning Herald, there will be a tunnel entrance in Serpentine Crescent and ventilation stacks in either North Balgowlah (corner of Bangaroo Street and Serpentine Crescent ) or Balgowlah (Dudley Street).
It is not entirely clear from the diagrams whether the ventilation building will be near the corner of Bangaroo and
Serpentine, with the stack further away in Serpentine, or whether the two will be together.
If in Dudley Street, it is not clear where in the street this would be located. In all cases, the proposed stack is right beside houses, especially if a stack is located within North Balgowlah itself.
On the north western side, there is a tunnel entrance and a ventilation stack proposed for Judith Street in Seaforth. This also is right beside houses. The location will be coping with extra traffic due to the doubling in size of the Wakehurst Parkway.
While the RMS continues to hold public meetings, the information provided to date has been sketchy leaving residents feeling they are being kept in the dark.
Education Minister Rob Stokes was recently quoted as saying that “there was no way in hell” he would allow stacks near schools, and yet he allowed ventilation towers to be constructed near schools in the city’s inner west as part of WestConnex during his time as planning minister.
Clearly the plans are well underway for the $14billion underground toll road linking the Northern Beaches to the inner west as shown by the leaked documents to the Herald and ABC.
While it may be too early to confirm any design details about the project until geotechnical work is completed and an alignment developed, we must remain vigilant to ensure that any adverse impacts are managed to protect the health of our community.
Have you attended a public meeting? What do you think?
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.