KINGSTON Council is weighing up how it will advocate in regards to Suburban Rail Loop projects in the municipality.
The proposed multi-billion dollar rail loop project starts from Cheltenham. The former Delta landfill site in Heatherton has been identified by the state government as its preferred location for stabling, angering some residents (“Stabling plans spark protest”, The News, 17/3/21).
The stabling site at Heatherton will be assessed as part of the Environment Effects Statement hearings. Kingston Council will make a submission during this process, and is currently considering the way forward.
At their most recent meeting, Kingston councillors opted to defer community consultation on the proposed stabling facility “pending further discussions with key local groups including Move the Train Yard Group, Heatherton Residents Against Inappropriate Development, Defenders of the South East Green Wedge and other interested community members”.
A further report and detailed advocacy documents are expected to be presented to councillors for consideration later this year.
Council has agreed to start community consultation on initial design principles and opportunities for the Cheltenham Suburban Rail Loop Station.
A late change to the motion councillors approved read that “council [will] reiterate its previous position of strongly opposing the Delta site for use as a stabling yard and continue its advocacy to the state government to find a more suitable site that does not have such negative amenity impacts for local residents.”
A report prepared by Kingston Council officers read “on 9 June 2021 council received a letter from the Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Suburban Rail Loop Authority confirming that the Kingston Road site is the selected site for consideration through the Environment Effects statement (EES) and the reasons for this decision. Having now received this confirmation from the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, it is proposed that council advocate on behalf of the community to optimise the design of the proposed stabling yards and seek to mitigate its impact on surrounding residents and the Green Wedge landscape.”
“Council has now assembled a team of consultants to assist in its response to the EES, through the technical reference group and recent advocacy work. The advocacy work will comprise the development of two precinct-based documents that will be developed for adoption in late 2021. The documents will speak to council’s expectation for design outcomes at the station precinct and stabling facility building upon previous advocacy work and feedback to the SRL,” the report read.