We were promised parkland for 25 years!
We have fought again and again to protect the local residents from inappropriate and unhealthy industrial uses of the Delta site.
Kingston Council have promised residents for 25 years that the Delta site (91-185 Kingston Road Heatherton VIC), currently used as a cleanfill site, would eventually become parkland as part of the Green Wedge Sandbelt Chain of Parks, in part to compensate residents for the decades of noise, smells, and dust they have had to endure from the sand mining and landfills in the area.
Along with being zoned as Green Wedge, the land currently has a Parks Victoria acquisition overlay. More recently, and even during the most recent local and state government election campaigns, Kingston council provided residents with plans for new sporting fields on the site, and the state government promised and budgeted $25 million to acquire the Chain of Parks land from private owners.
The Suburban Rail Loop Authority are now planning to use this site as an open-air Train Stabling yard for up to 34 trains, including a train maintenance facility and operations centre, and to use this site as the epicentre for the rail loop project, including as the tunnel boring launching point and dirt extraction point for the tunnelling works during the long construction. We estimate that 500,000 trucks worth of tunnel dirt will be extracted from this site. This site will also be an above ground open-air section of rail line for all Suburban Rail Loop trains, meaning the suburb of Heatherton will be subjected to train horns tooting as they enter and exit the tunnels every few minutes, 24/7, only metres away from homes. Heatherton will be the only suburb in Melbourne with an above ground train line and no station.
This announcement has completely blindsided nearby residents, businesses, and the unique privately-owned ‘Doggy Play Park’ which is hugely popular with 600+ members, and whose land has now been marked for compulsory aquisition. (At the Kingston council meeting on the 27/01/21, councillors unanimously voted to support the motion that the – “Council absolutely rejects and expresses its disappointment with the government’s proposed location of the stabling yard.” Glen Eira City Council unanimously voted to support Kingston council on this on the 06/04/2021 )
The surrounding Heatherton residents and businesses will be significantly impacted by this decision, including ongoing noise and light pollution issues, ongoing vibration issues, dust issues due to dirt extraction from the tunnelling, loss of amenity for what is currently a quiet semi-rural area, and compulsory acquisition of properties. This will be completely detrimental to quality of life for residents.
Residential areas share a boundary with this site, with hundreds of residents living within 150 metres of the site, and ~3000 residents living within 1.5km of the site.
The Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, has exempted the extensive ‘initial works’ from the Environment Efffects Statement (EES) process, meaning the construction works will begin before there is a full understanding or consideration for the impact these works have on the site and the surrounding area. This shows a disregard for protecting the birdlife, flora and fauna, residential amenity, and nearby heritage listed properties. Although the EES process will apply for the ‘main works’, by then much of the damage will have already been done.
We are urging the government to choose an alternative site for the train stabling, still near the rail alignment of the Suburban Rail Loop, that will minimise impacts on the wider community, and is located much further from residential areas. Other land parcels must be considered for such a significant project.
We are yet to hear any justification from the state government on why this Delta site land was chosen over other suitable land in the area. We know the land needs to be a certain size to accomodate train stabling, and we know the government want to minimise acquisitions. However, we need answers, transparency, and compromise.
At this stage we can only assume that the decision for the state government to propose this land was based on the most convenient, quick, and cheap option, without any consideration given to the multitude of negative impacts for the community. We do know that this site was chosen via a desktop assessment only. It’s important that the location of the train stabling is the best long-term decision and not just a convenient short-term solution with disregard for all the impacts.
Read the reasons why we want to move the train yard.
Read the letter Kingston Council mayor Steve Staikos sent to Daniel Andrews, which includes great background information on the usage and planning for the Delta site over many years.
Find out more about the alternative site we are proposing.
Read the Community feedback.
Read The Age article ‘Suburban Rail Loop set to thwart decades-old parks plan’
Read the Herald-Sun article ‘Families to protest over new train stabling yard for Suburban Rail Loop’
Read the Leader article Fury over plans to plonk trains on ‘promised’ park land
For detailed information about what Suburban Rail Loop are proposing for the site, read the planning documents linked to from the Links page.
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Last Updated: 11th April 2021