Car­nage near child­care cen­tre

That’s the pre­dic­tion from res­i­dents if it gets the go-ahead

Monthly Chronicle - - News - Jenny Bar­lass

A fa­tal car ac­ci­dent or cat­a­strophic fire event is pre­dicted if a 127 place child-care cen­tre near the busy cor­ner of Fox Val­ley Road and Com­e­narra Park­way in Wahroonga gets the green light.

The child­care cen­tre has a protest group of over 110 lo­cal res­i­dents writ­ing to the Coun­cil. De­ter­mined to stop the plans, sub­mit­ted by de­vel­op­ers Kyre­nia En­ter­prises.

They want to see the three block site re­duced in size or re­lo­cated, cit­ing se­ri­ous traf­fic and fire safety con­cerns. The busy in­ter­sec­tions al­ready strug­gles to cope with around 2000 ve­hi­cles an hour at peak times, they say.

The en­trance for the 127 users and 30 staff is on Com­e­narra Park­way, just three houses down from the in­ter­sec­tion, and the exit is on the south side of Fox Val­ley Road.

“The trou­ble is,” says John Far­rar, spokesper­son for the res­i­dents, “there are ac­ci­dents at that in­ter­sec­tion ev­ery week. The cen­tre is only a few houses from the in­ter­sec­tion and as cars come up over the rise from both di­rec­tions, vis­i­bil­ity is very poor.

“There’s only oc­ca­sion­ally a green or red ar­row telling you when to turn right from Thorn­leigh - a lot of the time it isn’t there and that’s when these ac­ci­dents hap­pen, par­tic­u­larly with the ex­tra 150 cars com­ing and go­ing there twice a day.

“It makes turn­ing right into the Cen­tre from Thorn­leigh al­most im­pos­si­ble at any time of day.”

The other is­sue is the houses be­hind the block bor­der a bush­fire zone. In 2006 a cat­a­strophic bush­fire came up to the rear of prop­er­ties on the south side of Sey­mour Close - though the pro­posed site is not. The only egress is Fox Val­ley Road for around 350 houses in a col­lec­tion of streets bor­dered by Kal­lang Pa­rade, Le­una and Morona Av­enues.

“If ev­ery­one is try­ing to es­cape a fire at the same time in­clud­ing 120 child­care at­ten­dees and 30 staff, the road will be even more blocked. It will prove ab­so­lutely cat­a­strophic.

“Build­ing any­thing that big in a bush­fire zone is a very bad idea. It’s not a nimby no­tion, we’re just con­cerned about the traf­fic chaos es­pe­cially dur­ing a fire evac­u­a­tion.”

He said that Ku-ring-gai Coun­cil re­cently gazetted the area south of this in­ter­sec­tion as a high fire risk zone, with req­ui­site de­vel­op­ment re­stric­tions. “Why then ap­prove the sit­ing of a child care cen­tre im­me­di­ately ad­ja­cent to a high fire risk zone?

“If it goes ahead I fore­see a se­ri­ous or fa­tal ac­ci­dent on that in­ter­sec­tion. And if there’s a fire, it will be hor­ren­dous.”

DA ap­pli­cant Sam Ma­mari when con­tacted by the Monthly Chron­i­cle said: “I’m go­ing to leave it up to the coun­cil to de­cide though if I need to amend the DA to keep ev­ery­one happy then that’s fine.”

Ob­jec­tions to the DA can be lodged un­til Au­gust 21. Ku-ring-gai Coun­cil will then con­sider the plans.

Lo­cal res­i­dents in­clud­ing John Far­rar (far right) at the spot where the child­care cen­tre will be

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