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Beaches Link Project Still Proceeding Despite Concerns

November 19, 2021
Flo Mitchell

Critics view the new Beaches Link report as failing to address the major concerns of the community.

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has released in early November responses to community submissions for the Beaches Link and Gore Hill Freeway connection. Several communities have voiced their opposition to the multi-billion dollar project amid the negative impacts it will have on the residents and the environment. In a recent media report of the Manly Daily, a Balgowlah Residents Group Spokesperson Nerissa Levy commented that the new tunnel document “is an exercise in rubberstamping” with problems such as traffic volumes being dismissed by TfNSW.

While aiming to create a western bypass of the Sydney CBD and an alternate route to relieve traffic pressure to the North Shore, the controversial Beaches Link and Gore Hill Freeway connection project has received more than a thousand submissions from the public.

The recent Submissions Report released by the Transport for NSW deflects community concerns to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment citing the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 as removing “the direct involvement of the proponent (Transport for NSW) in the management of submissions received.” The Submissions Report continues to explain that the project proponent was “required to consider and respond to the submissions raised.”

The Beaches Link tunnel will have 54 properties in Artarmon, Balgowlah, Seaforth, Killarney Heights, and Frenchs Forest purchased under compulsory land acquisition legislation to make way for the construction. Despite the uncertainty, Transport for NSW have already bought a significant number of the impacted properties. The advantage to the owners to sell now voluntarily to Transport for NSW is that they can still obtain the benefits under the Just Terms Act, and move elsewhere. Given that they would not be able to sell their property on the open market for a fair value, it allows residents to decide if they prefer to remove any uncertainty, and relocate. The Just Terms Act allows for all stamp duty costs to be paid on the new property, and all costs associated with relocating. In addition, it allows for the market value to be the fair market value as it if were not impacted by the project. This firm has already acted in many of these cases and assisted in impacted owners being relocated, despite the project’s uncertainty.

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