Keep Our Children Safe During the White City Development

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We are petitioning to express serious concerns in relation to some aspects of the proposed White City Development Application approved by Council in December 2015 and now being considered for modification, and to request Council to consider imposing additional conditions on the development in the interests of the boys attending the neighbouring Sydney Grammar School Edgecliff Preparatory School.
The boys, families and staff of the school will be significantly and negatively affected by the development, during the demolition and building phases of the development and following its completion.
We are not anti-development.  We accept that the site is in need of renovation and improvement and may well contribute to improved amenity in the local area when complete.  However, we do not believe that the Council has given sufficient consideration to the impact of the development on Sydney Grammar School and in particular on the young boys aged 4-12 who attend the school each day. 

Specific concerns are:
•  SAFETY (Health) - The existing buildings on the site contain significant quantities of asbestos containing material.  As is well known, exposure to just a single fibre of asbestos can have fatal consequences later in life.  Consequently there are significant health risks to the boys and staff at the school during the demolition phase for the project.  Parents are very frightened about the potential exposure risk for their children (and indeed for staff and themselves).  The Council should impose highly stringent conditions on the applicant during the demolition phase to require independent monitoring and sign off by appropriately qualified occupational hygienists appointed by the Council to ensure the safety of children and staff during all aspects of the demolition and transportation phases involving any asbestos containing material. 

•  NOISE - During the demolition and construction phases of the project, there will be significant noise, which will impact the quality of the learning environment and the conduct of the school music program, potentially over a number of years. 

The Council should impose the following conditions:
◦Trucks to enter the site before 7am and after 4:15pm only during school term (except as otherwise agreed in writing with the school). 
◦Use of equipment that generates noise above criteria for sensitive residential receivers and educational establishments should only occur outside of school hours during term time. 

•  CHILD SAFETY (Pedestrian Traffic) - The school has limited outside space for the boys on site.  Consequently boys aged from age 4 regularly walk to Weigall oval during lunchtime and for PE and sport lessons during the school day, after school and on weekends.  Weigall oval is diagonally opposite the school and requires the boys to cross the entrance to the development site.  This gives rise to significant concerns about the safety of the boys moving to and from Weigall during the demolition and construction phase, when there will be large numbers of heavy vehicles accessing and leaving the site, and following completion of the project.  The 321-space car park is likely to see up to 700 vehicles entering and exiting the site every day.  It is only a matter of time before one of our boys will be involved in a serious accident with the real risk of fatalities occurring.  Council should require the Applicant to build a tunnel or overpass to allow boys to access the school playing fields from the school gates with no risk. 
Please sign the petition to encourage the Woollahra Municipal Council to give serious consideration to the matters raised in this letter and to take the necessary action by imposing appropriate conditions of consent to address the above key issues.
Yours faithfully
Jeanine Prentice
President, Parents’ Association Sydney Grammar Edgecliff Preparatory School

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