East West Link five metres from flats but no compensation on offer

Herald Sun: East West Link five metres from flats but no compensation on offer. Michelle Ainsworth. 26 August 2014

The view today from apartments on Bent St, Kensington.

Huge freeway ramps will run within five metres of the bedroom windows of an inner Melbourne apartment building if the east west link is built.

The Linking Melbourne Authority has refused to buy 53 apartments impacted by the road, or offer compensation for its impact on their property values.

Residents of the Kensington warehouse apartments commissioned an independent report from Echelon Planning which found the edge of the elevated road connecting the east west link to the Port of Melbourne would sit 4.7m from their apartment windows.

The pylons at ground level would be about 8m from the building’s door.

“If that project goes ahead exactly the way it’s planned to go ahead everyone in the building will suffer a substantial financial loss,” owners corporation chairman David Hardy said.

The future view from apartments on Bent St, Kensington, which will look out on to ramps of the East West Link.

The report found up to 60,000 vehicles would use the road each day once the full link was built.

“Residents on the lower three floors of the apartments will be living under the shadow of the elevated roadway,” it said.

“The bedrooms, living rooms and balconies of the apartments along the frontage of the Kensington Warehouse Apartments will directly look out to the elevated freeway.”

Mr Hardy said residents wanted the design of the toll road changed, possibly to a tunnel, so they could continue living in the 18-month-old building.

If not they wanted the properties acquired or compensation offered, as happened for the owners of the Evo apartments in Parkville.

LMA spokeswoman Gemma Boucher said the port connection design was still subject to change.

“LMA has recently met with the Owners Corporation for the Kensington Warehouse Apartments in Bent Street and we will continue to keep them up to date.”

Greens candidate for the seat of Melbourne Ellen Sandell said the residents of Kensington had every right to be deeply concerned by the project.

“In addition to disastrous impacts on people’s homes, we know the toll road will put more traffic on inner-city streets as people try to avoid expensive tolls,” Ms Sandell said.

Opposition roads spokesman Luke Donnellan said the Government should release the business case for the controversial tunnel after VCAT yesterday upheld a decision not to publish it.

“Denis Napthine won’t release the business case and we still don’t have traffic projections for this dud tunnel,” he said.

“Denis Napthine cannot sign the contracts before the election.”


East-west link: Tollway ‘hell’ expected by landlords, residents

Weekly Review: East-west link: Tollway ‘hell’ expected by landlords, residents. Sue Hewitt. 18 August 2014

Landlord and resident uncertainty continues over the impact of east-west link, according to the Flemington Association.

Association president Les Potts said landlords have emerged as the latest group worried about the impact of the toll road.

He said like residents, landlords were concerned whether their properties would be acquired or be left next to road fly-overs or other disruptive aspects of the project.

Mr Potts said a community meeting at the Flemington Community Centre last week showed people still had many questions about the project and the acquisition process.

He said residents of the warehouse apartment block in Bent Street, Kensington, were uncertain if individual apartments could be acquired because they would face an elevated road forming part of the link only 14 metres from their units.

Some Ascot Vale residents affected by the link’s Ormond Road off-ramp and widening of the Tullamarine Freeway were unsure if they wanted to stay, even if their properties were not acquired.

Elizabeth McCormack, a resident of Pattison Street, Ascot Vale, for more than 40 years, said her house had been spared but two townhouses next door had been acquired and would be demolished.

“There’ll be the demolition and construction noise and a tollway running behind me – it’s going to be hell,” she said.

George Mungherli, 84, has been told he can keep his Pattison Street house, but had to sell part of his backyard to the Linking Melbourne Authority running the road project. He said he did not know if he wanted to stay because of noise during construction.

Brisbane Street, Ascot Vale, resident Julia Cusack said those not affected by compulsory property acquisition still faced disruption, including those using playgrounds, which would be overshadowed by the off-ramp.

Many sporting clubs would be forced to relocate during the construction of the toll road, including the University of Melbourne Baseball Club.

Club president Vibeke Pedersen said the club would play its last games on Ross Straw Field in Parkville this Sunday before moving to the Essendon Baseball Club grounds for the next five years.

The lineup will feature three competitive matches, as well as a veterans’ game involving past players, coaches and umpires, against the Westgarth Baseball Club.

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