Forrest clearing

RESIDENTS along Forrest Street are furious after a bush verge that dampened noise from Stirling Highway was flattened as part of the High Street upgrade.

Namesj Kins said he came home from work on Tuesday to discover he’s got a direct line-of-sight to the highway – and all the traffic noise that brings, which is making it difficult for his family to get to sleep.

Mr Kins told the Herald he believes Main Roads has breached its EPA clearing permit, though this is contested by the department which says it needs the verge as a temporary road while it builds a pedestrian underpass.

“The vegetation to which the complainant refers is planted, non-native vegetation within the development envelope and therefore its clearing is compliant with the EPA approval,” Main Roads media manager Dean Roberts said.

• Residents of Forrest Street came home to discover the green buffer between them and High Street had disappeared.

A quick scan of WA’s Environmental Protection Act backs the department’s stance, as “intentionally sown” natives aren’t given any protection.

Mr Kins says Main Roads also felled some trees its community consultation maps showed as being retained along another section of Stirling Highway heading towards the intersection with High Street where a large roundabout is to be constructed.

“Lights from large trucks and cars from Stirling Highway are now shining into our bedroom window,” Mr Kins said.

He’s worried the roadworks might take more than a year to complete and wants Main Roads to install a temporary noise barrier, then extend a permanent barrier which is currently planned to stop just before reaching the end of his street.

Mr Roberts said Main Roads intends to revegetate and landscape the verges on both sides of Stirling Highway once the underpass is completed.

“The underpasses were a request arising from early community consultation,” Mr Roberts said.

“It has been included in Main Roads’ communications to the community since it was incorporated as part of the project in late 2018.

by STEVE GRANT

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