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Regarding the Inquiry into F6 Corridor
Since our last letter to you about this matter, we have had an opportunity to walk the length of the corridor with the Grays Point & Gymea Bay Residents' Association and to formulate more ideas for alternative uses.
This submission is accompanied by photos to illustrate the text.
As we noted before, the corridor offers a good opportunity to provide an off-road pedestrian and cycleway route from Kirrawee to Gymea with opportunities there to link to Miranda shopping precinct and schools in Gymea and Miranda. We provide our comments with this central focus in mind.
1. It would appear that a house currently straddles the land between South Street and Thacker Street , preventing access to both these streets from the corridor. We suggest that, even should the property remain, and part of the land sold off for private housing, an easement should be created to both streets for cyclists and pedestrians. Access to South Street would enable access to Gymea Station. Access to Thacker Street would enable access to Karimbla Road or Sylvania Road for shopping or schools in Miranda.
2. A drainage line currently runs through the corridor under Thacker Close through to parklands adjacent to Kiah Place . The waterway is currently weedy (and there are huge coral trees which are a pest and should be replaced progressively with endemic canopy trees) though it looks as if it carries significant water flow at times. We suggest that this part of the corridor remain open space with the waterway reformed into a wetland. The drain would run either into Yowie Bay or Gymea Bay . Both these Bays are under significant stress from sedimentation and pollutants and to have the water polished further upstream would be a significant benefit.
3. We note that along Houston Street and Manchester Road , where the corridor intersects, there appear to be public housing. We strongly support the retention of public housing and suggest that these lots continue to be utilised for public housing purposes. Once again, however, a sufficient easement for a cycle/pedestrian way should be dedicated between the houses.
4. The easement would run behind the Montessori School on Manchester Road , and be close to the high rise units around Chapman Street . We were unable to actually see what the bushland comprised behind the school but noted the well-established canopy trees. We strongly recommend that such vegetation remain in the corridor and that wherever such canopy cover exists, especially if it is accompanied with middle and lower storey vegetation, appropriate bushland zoning be accorded. Such bushland could provide good access to the school and provide a good open space facility to residents of the high rise apartments.
5. Similarly, the open space (currently a lawn) on the southern side of President Avenue should be planned to provide facilities for surrounding residents. For example, a tennis court might be installed, and/or a park for children. Another idea is to provide space for an offleash area for dogs (the one at the end of the corridor near the national park is well-used and very popular).
6. Most of the street frontage to Chapman Road could become housing blocks. If so, the park facilities recommended in point 5 above would be even more pertinent - provided that the easement for cycle/pedestrian access is allowed for between the houses.
7. Currently commuter parking dominates use of the corridor between Chapman Street and Gymea Bay Road . There is scope for this use to continue and be formalised. This may become an especially attractive option when the Cronulla rail line is doubled and the numbers of people wishing to travel by train increases.
8. Repeat comment at 6.
9. A derelict scout hall stands at Talarra Road . Such premises are magnets for vandals and should be removed. Perhaps part of this land could be sold for housing - allowing enough land for the cycle/pedestrian easement.
10. The area between Blackburn Place and North West Arm Road , however, should be dedicated as bushland reserve. Although infested with many weeds, this reserve contains much good vegetation and provides a finger corridor from Dent's Creek.
11. Similarly with the bushland on the western side of North West Arm Road . Bushcare groups currently work in these bushland patches, struggling with the problems caused by jurisdictional issues between RTA lands and Council lands. The ownership or care and management issues should be decided and resources provided to enable the bushland to be appropriately cared for. The matchpoint tennis courts should remain.
12. The corridor running parallel to Forest Road , thence Mundakal Avenue currently has an open parkland feel. Such extended areas of parkland are rare in urban areas and we strongly recommend that this area be retained as open space for public use and managed to retain the canopy cover with a relatively open access for public use.
13. The corridor is also useful because it ends at the off-leash dog area on Acacia Road - a much-patronised facility that could be given better facilities.
In the above, we have suggested that the corridor be used for a mixture of housing, sporting facilities, commuter parking, wetlands, and open access parklands as well as more productive and biodiverse bushland. Threading throughout this mixed use area should be the pedestrian/cycle access route. We recommend that if land is to be sold for private housing in the areas we suggest may be suitable, the funds raised should be dedicated to provide seed money for the facilities we recommend.
We also strongly recommend that the land be given appropriate zoning according to the uses decided to discourage any future bid to resume the corridor for road purposes. The consultants should indicate what the appropriate zoning should be.
We hope that the above provides helpful input to the Consultant's deliberations and we look forward to the opportunity to comment on the Consultant's observations and recommendations.
Thanks again for extending the time for us to comment and for encouraging us to put in more effort to the comment process.