decline and decline of Bonnefin Road

Residents are dismayed at the deterioration of the living conditions in Bonnefin Road and the degradation of the local environment caused by ongoing over development, poor management of the street traffic and parking, neglect of the roads and footpaths and lack of consideration of the needs of the residents.

Click here if you would like to share the increasingly common sound of sandstone becoming rubble in Hunters Hill !!

Over the last twenty years or so, many small houses have been demolished and very large houses then built, particularly on the northern side of the road.  Developments have been approved which require massive excavation and rock removal some of which have taken up to eighteen months to complete followed by the building works.  These projects have been approved despite the fact that they radically changed the local environment and the landform, blocked views, created access difficulties & drainage problems.  The recent development approvals also do not appear to take account of the disruption to the  residents during the building process. The massive house at no. 57 for example took over two and a half years to construct and the disruption to the residents of Bonnefin Road and the immediate neighbours was significant and stressful.

The huge project at no. 39 is even worse with excavation of stone & soil alone, taking eighteen months. This excavation works meant that up to 12 b-double trucks visited the site daily for over a year and earth moving equipment and cranes were brought in every other day.  The narrowness of the road & the size of the project meant that the residents of the street were constantly inconvenienced by noise and dust and were also subject to the danger caused by trucks and the many builders cars using the site, which are mostly parked on the pavement.

Now that the construction work is proceeding at no. 39  the number of vehicles is increasing as the work force grows.  The building works consists mostly of poured concrete and steel which is most unusual in domestic construction and is grossly overdesigned.   The disruption to residents is now compounded by the internal fit out of no. 41 and the excavation and commencement of construction of number 32.   The residents now feel that they are under siege.

It is not possible to walk on the footpath in Bonnefin Rd, because of the cars and trucks parked there and walking on the road is quite lethal.  Cars leaving garages in the street are under constant threat of collision and how there have not been more accidents and worse, is beyond comprehension.

At no time have the residents been aware of any Council staff, rangers or inspectors checking on the situation and the private certifiers of projects have proved that they are not interested in the residents.

The footpaths and kerbing on Bonnefin Rd, are constantly subject to damage due to the trucking and the roadway is breaking up.  While the footpaths outside some of the major developments have been replaced or repaired after construction has been completed in others they have not.

For instance the construction of 57 destroyed the footpath outside 59-61 but this has not been repaired or replaced in several years.   The development of no. 47 was completed more than a year ago but the footpath is still not repaired and replaced.  There are unrepaired footpaths caused by water board work near the laneway between no.40 and 42 and opposite between no. 53 & 55caused by replacement of  power poles – all more than a year ago. There is an air of neglect in the street.

A Federal Road grant was used to re-surface the top third of Bonnefin Road near the junction with Ryde Road.  The construction of no. 62 and 62a required the new road be excavated to access services within months of the resurfacing and has never been adequately filled. Construction work at no. 5 & 14 has left the footpath damaged  and  this has been badly repaired.

It is noted that several developments on the south side of Bonnefin Road have been required to build carports/garages with side entrances and parking on site but those on the north side have been approved with security fencing and restricted access resulting in further parking on the footpath in many cases with yet more damage and frustration of residents.

There is a general feeling among the residents of Bonnefin Road that Council has washed their hands of the street.  A complaint by a resident that he would phone Council to request trade vehicles be “booked” for inappropriate parking had the Project Manager on no. 39 call Council to find out the position.  He advised the residents that whoever he spoke to at Council said not to worry as everyone in Bonnefin Road parks on the footpath!

We do not wish to wait until there is a fatality on Bonnefin Road before Council does something about the conditions which have now gone on for at least 10 years and are still deteriorating.  Something needs to be done and urgently.  This could mean building parking bays on one side of the road; restricting parking on the two dangerous corners near nos. 24 and 50 to reduce the risk of head on collisions; reducing the speed limit and creating mixed pedestrian and vehicle use of the road, or limiting parking to one side of the road.  There are possibly other alternatives that a Traffic Study may

A.R & J Forster, H. Crane and  F.Love


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  1. Posted June 5, 2015 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    To the extent this posting refers to 57 Bonnefin Rd it is wrong. We had the Council as our certifier NOT a private one. Our development was required to conform with the natural topography and Council’s design criteria including a 50% garden area and it does. Accordingly, we had minimal excavation other than for the pool. The house sits lower on the block than the original dwelling. The construction at No:48 and the replacement of the termite infested power pole resulted in the damage to the footpath in front of 59-61. We renewed the entire footpath in front of our residence on completion and would have been happy to repair this if it had been damaged at that time. We could go on and on but what’s the point, you have already made up your minds without any facts. You should be embarrassed to publish misinformed and unsubstantiated gossip.
    We agree with your comments on the neglect of roads and footpaths by Council however while Council resists amalgamation residents will continue to suffer from an under resourced Council! By comparison, have you seen the relatively new and delightful footpath works carried out by Ryde Council on their side of Pittwater Rd? This is an embarrassment to the management team of Hunters Hill Council and anybody who supports the anti-merger campaign.
    Call Fred on 94112566 if you require any further facts.

  2. Posted June 9, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi Fred,
    It’s interesting that Helen, Ron, Jill and Frances wrote that comment 4 years ago. Since then, Ron Forster, who I think wrote the piece judging by the architectural references, has died and the traffic and parking problems in Bonnefin Road have not been resolved. As you and I well know, the police recently fined people for parking in the street despite the informal agreement with Council referred to in Ron’s post to allow people to continue to park on the footpath.
    The parking and traffic issues in Bonnefin Road are not exactly core issues for The Trust to take on. We have railed against some development in Bonnefin Road in regard to how it has impacted on the bushland character of the foreshores, which continues to be a concern particularly with the 10/50 Clearing Code allowing some properties to remove trees and undergrowth without approval or supervision.
    Please accept my apologies on behalf of The Trust for any misinformation in the 2011 post in relation to your place at No 57.

    Meanwhile, as they say in France – LA LUTTE CONTINUEE

    Tony Coote
    President HHT

  3. Posted October 8, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Well said Fred. You might find they aren’t underfunded but rather under-motivated. I contract to a government agency, the problem is endemic, sadly. Wastage and less then stellar proactive attitudes are to blame, people not valuing their jobs and accepting they are here to serve and keep life for tax paying residents, running smoothly, and efficiently. I hail from overseas originally, and amalgamation, if done properly, that’s the sticky bit…., can be better in many ways. In Canadian cities where the amalgamation has taken place, they have had a notable increase in services and customer satisfaction. Like I said, it has to be done well, and our public servants have to be treated well, while also being asked to sit for performance reviews – this would eradicate the lazier ones and hopefully push them out. Being a public servant is a little bit like being a religious figure, if you are there to give, wonderful, if you are there to take, well, perhaps the private sector would suit them better. The old adage of the fish rots from the head down…. hmm.

    Hope your issues in Bonnefin rd get cleared up, we down in Woolwich have our own battles with parking and noise and apathy of council maintenance and road safety to deal with. Most down our way are of the opinion council favour the local businesses over their long term residents.

    Take care.

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