Arcadia Quarry/Dump Site?

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Residents of Arcadia and Geelans Road have been calling the work at 22 Geelans Road a dump site or more like a quarry, and from the image, you can probably understand why.

Two DA’s were submitted by the owner, one for earthworks and one for an equestrian dressage area and associated shed. When neighbouring residents were advised of the DA, it looked quite harmless. Total works costing $350,000 and approximately 12 weeks to complete. Works started in July 2016. We are now in August 2017 and the trucks are still arriving. As reported by residents at the Community Meeting on Friday 25th August, the trucks have been arriving at a rate of 20 truck and dogs per day since then. One resident reported that when they spoke to the foreman at the site, he said he thought works would continue until July 2019, although this has yet to be substantiated.

Residents of Arcadia and Geelans Road have been calling the work at 22 Geelans Road a dump site or more like a quarry, and from the image, you can probably understand why.

Two DA’s were submitted by the owner, one for earthworks and one for an equestrian dressage area and associated shed.

When neighbouring residents were advised of the DA, it looked quite harmless. Total works costing $350,000 and approximately 12 weeks to complete. Works started in July 2016. We are now in August 2017 and the trucks are still arriving. As reported by residents at the Community Meeting on Friday 25th August, the trucks have been arriving at a rate of 20 truck and dogs per day since then. One resident reported that when they spoke to the foreman at the site, he said he thought works would continue until July 2019, although this has yet to be substantiated. Ray Hadley from 2GB took up the residents concerns after they had continual problems trying to get Hornsby Council to review the situation. Ray spoke on air to Matt Kean, Julian Leeser and Mayor Steve Russell. Julian Leeser attended the residents meeting together with Deputy Mayor Michael Hutchense, a representative from Matt Kean’s office and two Council Officers.

Many issues were raised at the Community Meeting, the main points were:

1. Trucks and dogs travelling too fast and ‘running people off the road’.

2. Truck and dogs lining up along Blacks and Arcadia Road (outside Arcadia Public School). Sometimes up to 6 trucks & dogs waiting, causing problems at school drop off and pick up time

3. Damage to the local roads, particularly Geelans Road which is clearly not designed for these types of heavy trucks, 20 per day for over 12 months and potentially longer.

4. Works being undertaken appear to be way outside what was proposed on the DAs submitted.

5. Probable removal of more trees than the DA suggested (Council will now review)

6. The vegetation management/sediment controls were not being adhered to

7. Far more fill appears to being delivered to site than the DA suggested

8. Some of the fill was reported as being dirty fill, ie had builders rubble in it. Pictures of dirty fill were made available to Ray Hadley and State/Council Officers.

9. Rock breaking noise from 7am to late in the day being heard as far away as Galston.

10. Dust generated from the site blowing around, which is not good for neighbours health nor the fact they are all using water tanks.

11. DA says there has been continuous dog boarding on the site, but there was no kennels noted on the site in 2011 (as shown in picture of the site in 2011). Comparison of the site from 2011 to 2017 also shows the extent of the earthworks.

This is not an exhaustive list of the points raised, but some of the main items.

The residents asked the Council to stop the work on the site, given all the evidence and pictures that had been provided. The Council refused to do this immediately. They advised they would have to arrange a survey to see if the amount of fill that had been delivered was in excess of that described in the DA (this raised laughter from all residents present given the height and scale of the soil on the property). Council further advised they would ask the EPA to sample more of the soil on site.

Residents were shocked that the Council didn’t have the power to stop the work immediately. How can this be, given the DA suggested 10-12 weeks and it had now been going on for over 12 months, and looking at the size and scale of the earthworks compared to the DA.

The Hornsby Police also attended the meeting and agreed to provide additional police patrols to ensure the trucks and dogs abide by road rules. (In the last week following the meeting, several trucks were seen to be booked for various offences).

If you want to follow more of this story, or listen to the radio interviews with 2GB, please follow the residents facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/476386296052612 or just search ‘The Arcadia Quarry/Dumping Site?’ on facebook and like the page.

Just prior to going to print, work on the site had been stopped, it was indicated for approximately one week, while further investigations are being undertaken. Ray Hadley had advised on his 2GB show on 29th August that he may have uncovered worrying links to other landfill dump sites by one of the contractors of this site. We will also publish links and updates on our facebook page www.facebook.com/galstonnews