On Friday 9 December several Sunshine community groups with an interest in the Heritage listed HV McKay Memorial Gardens met with Regional Rail Link (RRL) representatives at Sunshine.
At that meeting it was revealed that the preferred proposal would result in the following impacts on the Gardens:
Moving the recently restored gates up to 20 metres
Acquiring land along the Anderson Road frontage
Removing the 4.5 metre heritage listed pedestrian footbridge from across the train tracks
Building a new 7 metre pedestrian footbridge with two lifts
Noise increase of at least 5 decibels
Attendees also noted that no investigation has been done into the effects of vibration via the increased train traffic. This is particularly worrying for the recently-underpinned historic Presbyterian Church, situated in the Gardens and probably any residential properties situated close to the tracks.
The community groups present expressed concern that this information was not presented to the broader community as part of the RRL information sessions held in late November 2011 (two weeks ago). Fortunately, for Sunshine residents, the Heritage status of the Gardens means that the public will be given an opportunity to review the finalised proposal and make comment to Heritage Victoria once it receives a permit application from RRL.
Members of the Friends of the HV McKay Memorial Gardens, the Sunshine Residents and Ratepayers Association and the Sunshine Historical Society were boosted by the promise that their input and feedback would be taken back to the design team and hope that the next meeting, in the new year, presents a reconsidered design with no impact on the nationally significant HV McKay Memorial Gardens.