Community Comment on Weston Creek Canberra Islamic School DA

The WCCC and Fetherston Gardens Friends (WCCC/FGF) submit the following comments on the Canberra Islamic School DA for additional school building construction, as this development will directly impact on the Fetherston Gardens next door, both during the construction phase and afterwards.

The WCCC/FGF are concerned, first, that having access to the construction site via the unmade road from Heysen Street on the eastern side of the site means a risk that heavy vehicle traffic could damage the arboretum and garden plantings in the immediate vicinity, either through turning/parking vehicles or through erosion from the higher ground to the east as a result of land disturbance.

This could be avoided by accessing the construction site from the formed road off Unwin Place. But it could also be mitigated by having temporary protective fencing installed along the edge of the arboretum and gardens where the eastern perimeter is currently unfenced.

The WCCC/FGF are concerned about the potential for rubbish from the construction site being blown into the gardens by prevailing North-West winds, and requests that, for the duration of the project, temporary protective screening. in the form of Sarlon netting or similar, be placed along the fence between the construction site area and the gardens.

The WCCC/FGF are also concerned about potential for contamination from the removal of hazardous waste given the close proximity to edible food plant species.

Based on a briefing from the Islamic School, and based on careful scrutiny of the DA plans and of tree surveys, and based on personal knowledge, the WCCC/FGF are satisfied that tree removals proposed will not affect trees of high value and that the removal of a relatively large number of low-value trees will be compensated for by appropriate new plantings and by tasteful landscaping as proposed. This should not adversely impact on the visual amenity of the Fetherston Gardens, provided that ACT tree removal policies are adhered to.

Trevor Wilson
On behalf of Weston Creek Community Council and Fetherston Gardens Friends
13 February 2012

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