Sydney Metro West line service facility under question

Sydney’s Inner West council is condemning a NSW government proposal to build a large ventilation stack for the Sydney Metro West line next to a community pool in Leichhardt.

The planned ventilation outlet is intended for a section of the rail line which runs through the tunnels between the Bays Precinct near Rozelle and Five Dock. It would be located adjacent to Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre as well as meters away from the popular Bay Run walking and cycling path.

“Leichhardt Pool had nearly 800,000 visits last year and the Bay Run is enjoyed by thousands of people daily. To propose a smokestack slap bang in the middle of this area is complete madness,” Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said.

While every train station along the metro line will have fresh-air ventilation, three standalone facilities will be built for parts of the mostly underground rail line where there are long distances between stations.

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) and the council have held initial discussions around the potential site for a ventilation facility, but are yet to decide on its location. Detailed design work will be undertaken once the site is confirmed.

“Services facilities, which are required to service the rail tunnels, are intended to be as unobtrusive as possible within their surrounding environment,” TfNSW said.

“Sydney Metro will aim to minimise impacts on the community wherever possible.”

However, the Inner West council says that it has received early advice that the air quality, noise and vibration impact from construction will force the pool to close “which will have a devastating effect on our learn to swim classes, hydrotherapy programs and local sporting clubs”.

Of the council’s five pools, two are already closed for refurbishments. The council has also already supported plans for a new landscaped water park with BBQ facilities and shaded recreation space at the site of the proposed ventilation stack.

Aside from the possibility of Leichhardt, the two other proposed sites are at Silverwater – on the corner of Silverwater Road and Derby Street – and at Clyde, near Parramatta, on a site occupied by Sydney Speedway and other businesses where a stabling yard for trains is planned.