Retirees devastated when their quiet suburban street is suddenly turned into a construction site

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A retiree couple were devastated when their quiet tree-lined street was turned into a major construction site with a major road built on their doorstep.

Peter and Sue Coles bought a two-storey home by property development company Stockland in Leppington, western Sydney, in October 2018.

The couple paid $805,000 for the house and claim they weren’t informed Denham Court Road would be turned into a four-lane highway. 

Retirees Peter and Sue Coles purchased a home (pictured above) by property development company Stockland in Leppington, western Sydney, in October 2018

Retirees Peter and Sue Coles purchased a home (pictured above) by property development company Stockland in Leppington, western Sydney, in October 2018

They claimed they were not informed construction (pictured above) would turn two-lane Denham Court Road into a four lane highway and remove trees and nature strips

They claimed they were not informed construction (pictured above) would turn two-lane Denham Court Road into a four lane highway and remove trees and nature strips 

‘It’s completely changed the ambiance of the place and it’s quite scary that trucks go rushing by so close,’ Mr Coles told The Daily Telegraph.

The couple had been looking for a secure property close to their autistic grandson and his family and were drawn to the ample parking and surrounding nature.

Advertisements showed the home had a large, grassy verge and was surrounded by mature trees and was 2m above and 15m away from two-lane Denham Court Road.

Mr Coles claimed there was nothing in the property’s conveyancing report that indicated an arterial road would be built and 100 trees would be cut down.

Stockland sent out a letter explaining Denham Court Road would be expanded from two to four lanes in February 2019.

‘In 2019 Stockland didn’t go into any great detail about what the road would look like, saying it hadn’t been finalised,’ Mr Coles explained.

‘Then works started outside our place around May and we lost our height from the road and now it comes within a few metres of our front door.’

Mr Coles said by June 2020 the trees and green strip had been removed and their fence was replaced with a cheap metal structure as construction continues.

The couple said Stockland sent out a letter explaining Denham Court Road (construction pictured) would be expanded in February 2019 but did not include finalised details

The couple said Stockland sent out a letter explaining Denham Court Road (construction pictured) would be expanded in February 2019 but did not include finalised details 

Mr Coles said the road was brought level with their front door (Denham Court Road pictured)

Mr Coles said the road was brought level with their front door (Denham Court Road pictured) 

The road was also raised to be level with their home and the new footpath is now only about 2m wide with no verge or option for trees to be planted.

Urban planning expert Michael Comninos slammed how the whole saga was handled, particularly the destruction of the trees.

‘The design there is grossly inadequate; it’s a stuff up and it should be fixed. Trees are critical to managing heat and creating liveable spaces,’ he told the Telegraph.

‘The state government has programs where they offer free trees to plant but what’s the point if you’ve got nowhere to put them.’

Other neighbours said the construction had made bird life disappear and was conducted closer to the homes than anyone expected. 

A Stockland spokeswoman (homes at Stockland's Willowdale development pictured) said the company communicated with residents at each stage of the road upgrade

A Stockland spokeswoman (homes at Stockland’s Willowdale development pictured) said the company communicated with residents at each stage of the road upgrade

The development application for upgrading Denham Court Rod was lodged with Campbelltown Council in November 2016 and approved in November 2018.

Campbelltown Council director city development, Jim Baldwin, said the council was not made aware of any complaints about moving the road.    

A Stockland spokeswoman said the company communicated with residents at each stage of the road upgrade.  

‘On behalf of both Liverpool and Campbelltown City Councils, Stockland engaged contractors to deliver the required upgrades needed for the area’s growth expectations,’ the spokeswoman said. 

‘Throughout the process, Stockland worked closely with both Councils and the community to deliver this important infrastructure project.

‘Stockland engaged with residents directly and ensured ongoing communication at each stage of the project.’   

The spokeswoman said the company held a community consultation evening about the upgrade and information was also distributed in an electronic newsletter and resident’s letter boxes. 

A 1800 information line was also activated and notices were placed in the local newspaper and on the Stockland Willowdale website.  

Source


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