Anger over Campbelltown Road land grab

Fighting back: : Lyndell Painter and the Denham Court Association are angry about a proposal to widen Campbelltown Road to up to six lanes.  Picture:Jeff de Pasquale
Fighting back: : Lyndell Painter and the Denham Court Association are angry about a proposal to widen Campbelltown Road to up to six lanes. Picture:Jeff de Pasquale

DENHAM Court residents are up in arms about a plan that would see Campbelltown Road expanded to six lanes — and could shave many metres off their historic properties.

The Advertiser reported earlier this month that NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) planned to expand the stretch of road between Camden Valley Way and Brooks Road to four lanes, with a capacity for six, to service the booming South West Growth Centre.

Ruth Banfield of Denham Court (whose late husband, Brenton, was a respected Campbelltown mayor) said the project would "change the whole nature of the road" and that residents had not been adequately informed.

"We moved here because it was a scenic protection zone. It's going to have a major impact — there will be concrete barriers and no trees."

"There's so much history there with Denham Court House and the Ingleburn Army Camp."

Terri Culina, who owns historic Denham Court House with her husband — and former Socceroo — Jason Culina, was among those stunned by the proposal's progress.

The pair was told there were no plans to expand the road in the next few years when they bought the site last November.

It includes the heritage-listed residence built in 1812.

They now stand to lose 37 metres curtilage from the front of the 2.42-hectare property.

Mrs Culina told the Advertiser increased traffic and noise would have a significant impact on the area's environment, wildlife and heritage.

"We'd be losing 11 significant, mature gum trees which have been the boundary for the property for years," she said.

"The reason we chose Denham Court was because of what it had to offer.

"It's the reason you pay a bit more to be close to the city but still have that rural outlook."

Scenic Hills Association spokeswoman Jacqui Kirkby said the RMS was pursuing a "foot in the door strategy" that would open the Scenic Hills up to further development down the track.

The deadline for public submissions has been extended to May 31, but Ms Kirkby said it was not enough time.

Campbelltown Liberal MP Bryan Doyle said there had been a delay in the RMS mailout to some homes.

"I'd been speaking to people who felt generally blind-sighted," he said.

Mr Doyle said the need to upgrade roads to cater to the growing area must be balanced with community concerns about the suburb and its heritage.

Macquarie Fields Labor MP Andrew McDonald said the RMS had not done its homework.

"The planning has been completely non-existent. This is how not to do it: Get an idea, pretend you're doing your research, backdate things so it makes it look like you did more research than you did, and then give people ridiculous timeframes to give feedback."

An RMS spokeswoman would not be drawn on a predicted start date for the works, saying the project was "still in the planning phase with the start of work dependent on funding".

Campbelltown Council's general manager Paul Tosi said the works "would seem to be some time away".

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