Strathfield Council has recently been advised that land in three locations in the Strathfield local government area will be acquired as part of Stage 1 of the WestConnex development. Stage 1 of the project will widen and extend the M4 motorway between Parramatta and Haberfield.
Bill Boyce Reserve in Homebush will be acquired on a lease arrangement until 2019. The Girl Guide Hall at 53 Ismay Avenue, which is currently used by Strathfield Girl Guides, will be fully acquired.
The southern section of Arnotts Reserve, which was recently returned to Council by the NSW Government after a long negotiation period, will be used by WestConnex until 2019. The affected area is a significant portion of the site – 2440 square meters will be leased for construction purposes, and 580 square meters will be acquired.
Strathfield Council is extremely disappointed at the decision regarding these land acquisitions, in particular in relation to Arnotts Reserve. Arnotts Reserve is a key part of Council’s Powells Creek Master Plan, which is an important major project for the community. The lack of detail concerning construction works and the location of the proposed on ramp from Parramatta Road will impact on the quality of Arnotts Reserve.
In addition to the land acquisitions, WestConnex is also planning to install a ventilation stack in Homebush, near Underwood Road and the M4 overpass. Strathfield Council is concerned that this ventilation stack will be located in close proximity to residential areas. The stack will be unfiltered, and there is a lack of detail concerning the associated environmental and health impacts.