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Residents of Oran Park are divided over an idea to run the Camden rail line underground.While many residents adversely affected by an overland rail line are in favour of the underground plan, people living near land which developers have suggested could be suitable for a subway have spoken out against the idea.
Oran Park developer Greenfields revealed in its submission on the extension of the South West Rail Link that it will ask the State Government to place the rail line underneath their homes.
Under the State Government’s proposed route, the rail corridor will cut through Chesalon Living Retirement Village. In the Greenfields submission however, it has asked for the rail line to go underground and moved it over to make it more economically viable.
Residents who would be impacted by the rail line underneath them were against the idea. They asked to remain anonymous due to tension between them and Oran Park residents who are in favour of a subway.
“We’re extremely concerned about tremors, noise and environmental impacts with the line going underneath our houses and the worst part is we aren’t getting any specific information,” a resident said. “There’s a lot of confusion.”
Another resident said they feared the value of their property would be impacted.
“I’m really disappointed at the lack of support from the development company and that this has been sprung on us,” they said.
“I haven’t been able to receive any information on how this would affect my property valuation.”
Mick Owens and Mark Perich from Greenfields. Picture: Melvyn Knipe
Greenfields general manager Mick Owens said by moving the track as proposed, a more direct route could be created, saving 400m of rail. At what he estimated to cost $100,000 a metre to have it placed underground, the move would save $40 million.
“By moving the rail line over, we’re trying to make the underground option as attractive as possible to the government because it would be very expensive,” he said. “In our submission we’ll be asking the government to also address residents’ concerns.”
The proposal was revealed in a recent meeting in Oran Park which was attended by more than 400 people.
“We understand someone is always going to be impacted by this,” Mr Owens said.
“It wouldn’t be the best for everybody but it’s the best we can come up with.”
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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