Residents want more roads in Eglinton to reduce truck traffic

Local residents Ray Leicester, Trudi Turner, Butler MLA John Quigley and Cheryl Leicester. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d442681
Local residents Ray Leicester, Trudi Turner, Butler MLA John Quigley and Cheryl Leicester. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d442681

ALKIMOS residents have called for a developer to build more roads to Eglinton to reduce truck traffic in smaller streets.

Trudi Turner said construction vehicles had been using her street, Helmsman Avenue, and nearby Course Way to move between Shorehaven and Amberton estates since the connections opened.

Mrs Turner said trucks started using the neighbourhood streets as shortcuts from about 5am on weekdays and Saturdays.

“We weren’t told when we first bought this land that they would open up this road,” she said.

“We’ve had all the builders going through for the past six months. These roads weren’t designed for all the traffic.”

Mrs Turner said 14 children lived in the street, and they often played there because Shorehaven developer Peet Limited had not yet established the park on Comito Bend.

“Because there’s no park, there’s nowhere for children to play, so they are playing in the street,” she said.

“As more and more houses are going to get established in Amberton, the traffic is going to get even worse.”

Peet’s managing director and chief executive Brendan Gore said the developer took road safety matters seriously in the estate, which now had about 600 households and would grow to more than 3450.

Mr Gore said Peet had been working with local and state governments since releasing the first lots in 2009, creating an estate with landscaped parks, roads and a large park by the beach.

“There is still much, much more to come – including the construction of the extension of Leeward Avenue,” he said.

Acknowledging recent concern about trucks on Helmsman Avenue, Mr Gore said Peet had delivered four road connections to its estate boundary since 2009.

“The connection of Helmsman Road occurred in line with the orderly development of Amberton – as their development continues, additional road connections will be made,” he said.

“Local residents have been making use of the road to travel to the beach – as have tradespeople and others involved in the construction of new homes.

“This is not unusual during the development of new communities throughout Perth.

“Shorehaven at Alkimos is under development and that will involve trucks and other vehicles involved in construction, including the construction of privately owned homes, travelling on local roads in the estate.

“Not all infrastructure and amenity can be delivered at once.”

Mr Gore said Amberton developer Stockland had implemented a traffic management plan for Helmsman Avenue, approved by the City of Wanneroo, which included a 40km/h speed limit.

He said they told the main earthworks contractor to ensure no construction vehicles used local roads between the estates, instead driving on Marmion Avenue.

Mr Gore said they had spent more than $12 million on landscaping and created about 7ha of public open space so far, with plans to open more parks in the next year.

He said work on the Comito Bend park would start in October, and the existing Topsail Park was within 800m of Helmsman Avenue. Despite getting approval for the park some time ago, the developer decided to improve the design.

Issue raised in parliament

BUTLER MLA John Quigley raised the Shorehaven truck traffic issue during a parliamentary grievance recently.

Mr Quigley said structure plans showed Leeward Avenue would be the main connecting road between the estates, but that had not yet been built.

“An enormous amount of traffic is going through what were intended to be narrow, quiet suburban streets,” he said.

“There are tip trucks and semi-trailers, and that is going on all the time because building is taking place on the Amberton side, just to the north of these homes.

“These are all public roads, so all the tradies and builders go through these streets.

“We now have very young children going out the front of their house and mixing with really heavy vehicular traffic – it is a very, very dangerous situation.”

Mr Quigley said he asked the developers to build the short section of road, but was told it could not be done until the surrounding blocks were ready for release and the market was too soft for that.

“It is not as though Peet Limited cannot afford it,” he said.

“I have just looked at its 2014 annual report, and the first thing it boasts is that net profit after tax increased 3442 per cent, from $880,000 to $30,291,000.”

While the company is not expected to release its 2015 annual report until October, the half-year results for investors cited a 76 per cent increase in revenue.

Planning Minister John Day acknowledged the MP’s concerns and photos of truck traffic using the “minor residential roads”.

“Both of those developments have subdivision approval from the WA Planning Commission – that has already been given, so it is pretty hard to take any action retrospectively in relation to approvals,” he said.

“Concern really relates to the staging of the subdivision, particularly the timing of the roadworks and other works, including public open space provision, and the desire to have these completed quickly for the benefit of the wider community and to limit potential traffic impacts on local roads.

“The developers and local government have a responsibility to ensure that the development works are completed in a timely and safe manner.”

With the developers expected to build the last 180m of Celeste Street within 12 months, Mr Day said he encouraged them to build Leeward Avenue before blocks were released.