Riverstone overpass site fuels fear

BUSINESS owners and Blacktown councillors fear the government's planned rail overpass on Garfield Road will "devastate" Riverstone town centre.

The plan also places the future of the council's $25 million shopping centre redevelopment in doubt.

Riverstone-Schofields Chamber of Commerce president Anthony Belcastro said he had already pulled his business from the area in anticipation of the overpass.

"An overpass would cut the town in half with an arterial road connecting Windsor and Richmond roads," he said.

"Our question is where does our future lay?

"At this point in time we want to know 'what does the plan look like, how will the town be changed by the proposal. We're getting no correspondence from the government."

Mr Belcastro said people wanted to know if they would be compensated or given an opportunity to relocate their business.

At last Wednesday's meeting councillors said the government had chosen the Garfield Road option without any consultation.

Cr Alan Pendleton said: "This would be a great travesty for Riverstone.

"It would take out all the shops on the southern side of Garfield Road and Riverstone town centre would be devastated".

The council decided to create a steering group of councillors and residents that would lobby the government for more information on its plans.

But despite the fears that the town centre will be bypassed with a major thoroughfare, the council is so far continuing with its shopping centre redevelopment.

Mayor Len Robinson said initial plans shown to the council would make Marketown a viable investment but he was not banking on it just yet.

"At this stage, it is important to note, that only an application for development consent has been made for Marketown," he said.

"There has been no resolution of council, as yet, to undertake the development. When this is decided, we will take into account the state government's decision on the overpass and review the access arrangements to the proposed Marketown redevelopment."

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