VicRoads mulls land grab along Calder Park Drive

VicRoads may need to acquire parts of properties near the intersection of Calder Park Drive and Hume Drive to accommodate traffic between the Western and Calder Highways. Picture: Google Streetview

VicRoads could acquire “parts of” up to 26 properties for a proposed 16-kilometre six-lane road connecting the Calder and Western freeways.

An environment effects statement inquiry panel hearing heard the agency owned “most of the project land”, but a “small proportion of each property, including three residential properties” could be acquired.

VicRoads told the inquiry late last year that land acquisition was “unlikely” to affect business, retail and community facilities and would produce “minimal change” for residents.

As part of the Palmers Road Corridor Project, expected to be completed in 2046, the six-lane road could connect the existing north-south road between Westwood Drive, near Commercial Road, Caroline Springs, to Westwood Drive just south of Kororoit Creek.

It would have an 80km/h speed limit.

Of 33 submissions received by the panel, nine were from residents of one Sydenham street; these residents raised amenity and noise concerns.

The rear of properties in Lynette Court, Taylors Hill, could be affected, with plans including an intersection at Calder Park and Hume drives.

A “small section of land” from the rear of both properties would be acquired. VicRoads described the acquisitions as “minimal”.

Six-lane concerns

Caroline Springs resident Lloyd Mouat told Star Weekly the plans showed that the kerb of the road could run a “mere 5.2 metres” from his back fence.

He said the project, although long-term, should not be considered as a viable option.

“I am seriously concerned at the impact that six lanes will have on our property and our standard of living, whether it’s us or future inhabitants,” he said.

“Yes, all the boxes have been ticked by the many studies into this project, but it appears that near enough is good enough where residents are concerned.”

VicRoads told the hearing the biggest environmental impact, due to an expected “significant increase in noise”, would be on people living near two proposed three-lane bridges to be built over Kororoit Creek.

A VicRoads spokesman said it had consulted property owners for several years.

The panel recommended that the project be approved and that environmental impacts could be managed.

It said “property acquisition should be avoided whenever possible” and impacts on property owners could be “mitigated to an acceptable level”.

“The project will have a significant adverse visual impact on the Kororoit Creek corridor unless substantial mitigation measures are implemented,” the panel found.