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A PLAN to extend the Schotters Rd rail stabling yard has angered neighbouring residents, who say they received little to no notice of the changes.
The Mernda yard, which was set to run from Bridge Inn Rd to Hayes Rd, will now be extended to Johnsons Rd.
Neighbours are upset over possible noise and floodlighting.
Acting Level Crossing Removal Authority Project director Chris Papadopoulos said affected households had been notified of the changes as soon as possible on June 15.
“Impacted residents were door knocked and a letter was left in their letterbox and we will be back out talking to the local community in the coming months,” he said.
But residents who spoke tothe Leader said the first they heard about the plan was when the trees at the rear of properties were cleared out on June 27.
Schotters Rd mother Julie Melenhorst confirmed she had received a card in her letterbox from the LXRA but heard nothing more until the trees came down.
“I’m not against development but the lack of communication seems a bit fishy to me, if I’d known I could’ve prepared better,” she said.
“I contacted John Holland (the engineering contractor) to see the plans but they told me nothing was finalised ... if there are no plans, why have trees been cleared?”
The Mernda mother said she had asked John Holland to extend the height of her fence to increase safety as well as reduce noise and floodlighting.
But she said the firm had declined and instead offered five free pot plants as compensation.
John Holland and the LXRA did not to respond to questions about Mrs Melenhorst’s situation or an apparent lack of community consultation.
Mr Papadopoulos said the design of the stabling yard would be confirmed in coming months, at which point mitigation measures would then be determined.
But Extend Mernda Rail spokesman Darren Peters questioned the extent of LXRA’s notification process.
“I find it extremely hard to believe that the LXRA contacted any of the residents I have spoken to because none of them had received any notice,” Mr Peters said.
“They have a right to be angry about these unannounced railyards.”
Mr Peters said, at minimum, the LXRA should have held a community meeting. The yard is expected to be finished by 2019.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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