Appin residents band together to fight proposed orbital route

Appin residents are concerned their homes could be destroyed if the yellow option is approved. Picture: Supplied
Appin residents are concerned their homes could be destroyed if the yellow option is approved. Picture: Supplied

Appin residents have come together to oppose one of the state government's proposed options for stage two of the Outer Sydney Orbital project.

The major roadway will form a link between the Hume Highway and the Illawarra region stretching through Appin towards Menangle and Douglas Park.

However Appin locals are concerned one of the options would not only destroy their homes but have a negative impact on the Appin township as a whole.

Life-long Appin resident Linda Seeney said the 'yellow option' was "totally unjust".

"We were in absolute shock that the 'yellow option' would even be considered," she said.

"In the same week that my elderly mother was presented with a certificate from 'A Grateful Nation', recognising my father's war time service in Darwin, she found out that Transport for NSW has proposed a motorway to plough straight through her house.

"Our family has resided here for more than 100 years and as primary producers this motorway would reduce our ability to farm."

The public consultation process for the proposed route was opened last month with two potential options provided for the second stage of the orbital.

The 'yellow option' for the proposed road extends from the stage one corridor at the Hume Motorway, crosses the Nepean River, then follows Macquariedale Road and connects to Appin Road.

"The 'yellow option' is illogical as it unnecessarily takes, not just ours, but many family's homes, destroying their livelihoods," Ms Seeney said.

"The 'yellow option' would, if approved, bulldoze through environmentally sensitive areas, including a proposed E2 Conservation zone, irretrievably destroying a creek, bushland and a natural koala habitat.

"In fact, this option would be sandwiched between two koala corridors.

The yellow option. Picture: Transport for NSW documents

The yellow option. Picture: Transport for NSW documents

"The 'yellow option' is also in such close proximity to the township of Appin that motorway noise, vibration and emissions would severely affect the residents."

The 'blue option' also extends from the proposed orbital stage one corridor at the Hume Motorway, crossing the Nepean River, before curving south at West Appin and connecting with Appin Road.

Both options avoid the Appin township, however Ms Seeney said the 'blue option' was the better choice.

"The 'blue option', south of Appin would affect far fewer property owners, as most of this land has already been acquired by a large development corporation," she said.

"The blue corridor option is predominantly open land, not covered in trees or houses and not environmentally sensitive.

"Adopting the 'blue option' now facilitates town planning around developers being able to design housing suitable for close proximity to a major motorway.

"In addition, this option is further away from the township of Appin, thus creating a buffer zone."

Ms Seeney and her fellow residents have formed the Appin Orbital Motorway Support Group to advocate against the 'yellow option'.

"Without doubt planning ahead to better connect communities in greater Macarthur with jobs, services and amenities and to help businesses to move freight more efficiently is beyond reproach," she said.

"Whilst both the blue and yellow options appear to equally meet these objectives, one option has a considerably greater negative impact on people's lives.

"We believe the 'yellow option' has a much greater adverse impact on people from both a financial and mental health perspective."

The blue option. Picture: Transport for NSW documents

The blue option. Picture: Transport for NSW documents

Transport for NSW would not confirm how many properties may be affected by either option when asked by the Advertiser last week.

"Both corridor options bypass the Appin township to connect to Appin Road, south of the village," a Transport for NSW spokeswoman said.

"As part of the consultation process, we are engaging with landowners on the proposed route options to help identify a suitable option that minimises impacts to landowners wherever possible."

The Transport for NSW documents state that these options were short-listed based on existing land uses, conservation, heritage, the existing landscape and geography, potential noise and vibration, transport planning needs and socio-economic impacts.

The Transport for NSW spokeswoman said the region's koala colonies and the endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland were also considered during the planning process.

"Transport for NSW has been working closely with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to ensure the corridor options avoid koala habitats and colonies," she said.

"In future, and before the OSO2 is built in the longer term, more detailed design work will be carried out to ensure the inclusion of mitigation measures for koala habitats and crossings.

"We have been working closely with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to also minimise impacts on the Cumberland Plain Woodland.

"The corridor options impact some of this area, but this will be further refined as part of the consultation process."

Wollondilly councillor Judith Hannan met with Appin residents last week.

She urged all Appin, Menangle and Douglas Park residents to take a look at the plans and make a submission.

"Residents understand that this road will be happening no matter what but they are advocating for a route that would have less impact on people," Cr Hannan said.

"I think people in Appin, Menangle and Douglas Park in particular need to read the documents and make a submission.

"But I would encourage everyone to take a look at the plan and make a submission no matter where you live."

Community consultation will close on Monday, December 14.

For further details on both planning projects and to provide feedback, please visit: transport.nsw.gov.au/corridors/oso2.

This story Appin residents band together to fight proposed orbital route first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.