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Beaches Link Project Still Proceeding Despite Concerns

Nov 19, 2021
Flo Mitchell
Updated May 20, 2024

In September 2023, the NSW Government officially cancelled the Beaches Link tunnel project, which aimed to connect Sydney's northern beaches to the city's north. Transport for NSW has withdrawn its State Significant Infrastructure Application for this project. However, work will continue on the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway upgrade to improve the road network.

Critics view the new Beaches Link report as failing to address the major concerns of the community.
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) released responses to community submissions for the Beaches Link and Gore Hill Freeway connection in early November 2021. Several communities have voiced their opposition to the multi-billion dollar project amid the negative impacts it will have on residents and the environment. In a recent media report by the Manly Daily, a Balgowlah Residents Group Spokesperson, Nerissa Levy, commented that the new tunnel document “is an exercise in rubber stamping” with problems such as traffic volumes being dismissed by TfNSW.

Community Opposition and Environmental Concerns

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 received more than a thousand submissions from the public. Critics argue that the project will have significant environmental impacts and disrupt local communities.

Government and Resident Responses

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

Impact on Local Properties

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 has already bought a significant number of the impacted properties.

Benefits of Early Sale Under Just Terms Act

The advantage to the owners of selling 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 if it were not impacted by the project.

FM Legal's Role in Compulsory Acquisition Projects in Sydney

FM Legal has extensive experience practising in the area of compulsory acquisition law. This firm has already acted in many cases and assisted impacted owners in being relocated, despite the project’s uncertainty. We continue to support clients through the complex process of compulsory acquisitions, ensuring their rights and interests are protected.

For more information on how FM Legal can assist with compulsory acquisition projects in Sydney, contact us to arrange a consultation.

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