The residents of Appin and surrounds will be breathing a sigh of relief after learning that the state government has chosen the blue option for stage two of the Outer Sydney Orbital.
It follows a strong community campaign against an option which would have meant this giant motorway too close for comfort for the Appin township.
The route adopted will see the Orbital cross the Nepean River from the Hume Highway, curve south following the bush line at West Appin, before passing south of the Appin township and connecting with Appin Road.
The key features of the blue option are that it avoids Appin as well as most native vegetation – apart from minor impacts near the Nepean River and Elladale Creek.
Appin is in the Wollondilly Shire local government area.
Wollondilly mayor Robert Khan has welcomed the decision to go for the blue option.
“I’m pleased to see that the government has listened to council and community feedback and selected the community’s preferred choice for this important infrastructure plan,’’ he said.
“What is critical is that Transport for NSW appropriately refines the option to address community and stakeholder concerns, particularly in protecting our beloved koala population and cultural heritage.
“Pleasingly, upgrades to Picton Road, the Hume Highway and an upgraded connection between Appin Rd and Picton Road are identified as key priorities for Transport for NSW.
“We look forward to these critical projects being delivered urgently.”
The identification of the preferred option for stage two of the Orbital does not result in any immediate changes to planning controls relating to land zoning or how the land can be developed.
The next stage of the project involves Transport for NSW working with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment as part of the on-going planning for the Greater Macarthur Growth Area.
There is no need for Transport for NSW to acquire any land until close to the time the transport infrastructure is required, which may be many years away.
When it does come time to build the road, Transport’s proposal would have to undergo detailed planning assessment, providing further opportunities for the community to comment on the project.