Roundabout closes in on front fence
The proposed roundabout in Copelands Rd will restrict access to a property opposite the new subdivision and will come within two metres of the front fence.
Darren and Natalie Pecovnik have lived on their rural residential property for 30 years. They did not oppose advertised plans for the new Copelands Rd residential estate because they accepted the growth and development occurring in the area.
But, Mr Pecovnik said plans for a roundabout at the entrance to the estate appeared to be a late addition, with the subdivision now including a new Catholic primary school on the Copelands Rd boundary.
“We looked at the plans and we didn’t have a problem with the subdivision. The roundabout wasn’t on the original plan.
“The only reason we are so late complaining is because we have been notified so late,” he said.
Developers have now marked out the site of the proposed roundabout and line markings show the roundabout encroaching about five metres of the road reserve outside the Pecovnik’s property.
As well as making access to their property difficult, they have serious concerns about a roundabout only two metres from their front fence and therefore only metres from where their two young children play.
Established trees along the road reserve also will need to be removed, reducing their privacy.
While the developer has now agreed to install a barrier along the roundabout edge adjacent to their front fence, Mr Pecovnik said the guard rail was the bare minimum of compromises. They would prefer to see the roundabout relocated.
Mrs Pecovnik said council and the developer kept telling them to “wait and see how it looks when it is marked out, it will be fine.”
“Well it’s not fine and we aren’t going to just sit back and take it. A guard rail takes away some of our fear but it is absolutely bare minimum.
“They are making access to our property very difficult and it all becomes a safety issue,” she said.
Mrs Pecovnik said access to and from their driveway would be difficult, with the driveway access directly onto a roundabout.
She said it will be impossible to reverse out of their driveway onto the road and accessing their driveway with a trailer or large vehicle would be unsafe for them and other drivers.
The Pecovniks are disappointed that even after plans changed and a roundabout was included to serve the proposed primary school development, there was no consultation with them as adjoining property owners.
They said it “beggars belief” that a roundabout two metres from their front fence was acceptable.
On the other side of the front fence is their family pool, which creates real concerns for the safety of their children and anyone in the front yard.
They said their front nature strip, which is planted out with trees will become non-existent and it would be impossible to safely mow around the edge of a roundabout.
“We are not opposed to the subdivision and understand the growth that is happening needs to go ahead but wish that we could make this proposed intersection safe for everyone and mitigate the harsh impact that it is having on us,” Mrs Pecovnik said.
Baw Baw Shire community assets director Cohen Van der Velde explained the subdivision was exempt from advertising and consultation with neighbouring property owners because it fell under the Warragul Precinct Structure Plan provisions.
Mr Van der Velde said the Pecovniks were not eligible for compensation because the works are within the road reserve and the roundabout “will not impact the accessibility of their property.”
Mr Van der Velde said an independent road safety audit was conducted on the roundabout design.
He said the audit did not raise any concerns relating to its offset to nearby properties. The audit was based on a single unit truck/bus (12.5 metre length) as the design vehicle, and a 19 metre long single articulated truck as the checking vehicle.
Mr Van der Velde said the roundabout location was endorsed on the subdivision plan and could not be relocated.
He said the developer of the Chesterfield Park Estate would construct the roundabout and council would maintain the infrastructure.