New South Wales
I am a relatively new resident of Kellyville Ridge, and previously at Cherrybrook for 30+ years, I have been waiting for the NW Metro project to come to fruition for many years. So I now welcome this new public transport link and the further development of the metro/light rail system. The recent publication of ideas for the future of Sydney through the Bradfield Oration is also heartening.
I consider the area that I now live is a fringe suburb or entry point to the great Sydney Metropolitan area. The development of the NW Metro with only about 4,000 parking spaces at Tallowong, Kellyville and Bella Vista stations was a gross under-estimation by planners. Not withstanding the principles of encourage walking and cycling within the concept of an Active City, there are many more people who currently live beyond the 2km zone, let alone the number of new residents to come. One only has to look at what has been happening, and what is planned, in the North West. Other forms of local (public) transport are proposed, but these statements in Appendix H reflect more a 'possible aspiration' or mere words. This area is progressively changing from a rural to a residential area, so why is it so difficult to ensure that planning is contemplative of a more holistic outcome. So my concern first is the proposed development at both Bella Vista and Kellyville stations, while serving residential and commercial ideals in a 'village' like approach, do not consider the need for additional station parking, if only to provide for the needs for those who like outside the 2km zone. Once the areas proposed to be developed are in fact developed, how does the government and government planners plan to address the existing shortfall for reasonable station parking, let alone future parking. So I urge the planning give consideration to extending public parking needs for metro users, and ensuring that land is set aside for this purpose. I wrote to my local member of parliament about my concerns regarding planned parking during the period the metro was designed and built, only to be fobbed off (suggesting I write to Andrew Constance). Does this reflect a government who appear to be above any sort of criticism or is it more a local member 'toeing the party line'?
My second comment reflects the concept design of the residential and commercial precincts proposed. Appendix B (Section 4.3 Principles) outline positive concepts regarding open space, building offsets and building form. Consideration needs to be given to how the area is developed and looks from the perspective of those looking in. People who chose to take up residency within the development will no doubt have some aspects of a pleasant outlook. However, it concerns me that the images of the proposed build form appear to reflect the ongoing practice of rectilinear design - with perhaps a splash of colour to reflect a more aesthetic architectural treatment. One only needs travel along Windsor Road, Old Windsor Road, and nearby areas to see the quality of 'architectural excellence' that has been approved and developed by both the Hills Shire and Blacktown Council. Frankly, this is quite outrageous that developers are permitted to provide new medium density homes based on mediocrity. The new areas of Sydney being developed should now be based upon creating something special - there is a 'blank page', a opportunity to specifying more unique and interesting buildings for all purposes. I have grave concerns that the current 'high rise' examples within the area, may become ghettos in the future. Today's Bradfield Oration article in the 'Daily Telegraph' reflects the challenge put forward by Californian academic Joel Kotkin who stated "Planners and a lot of their allies in the business community are trying to do everything they can to make the suburbs a very difficult place to live." The NW metro created something of great value as well as interest particularly the curved bridge across Windsor Road. Lets now take the step and specify architectural design that reflects both livability for those who take up the new residences, as well as those who live nearby and look in - give us something of merit and interest to look at, to appreciate that ensures value and merit to the outer areas of Sydney.