Couple worried about highway through their lounge room
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
PHIL and Lyn Allan's lounge room stands in the direct path of a proposed route for the Woodburn to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.
The retired Pimlico couple are among 4000 residents who have been given less than a month to respond to 11 proposed routes for the new highway through canefields, rainforest, private properties and homes.
And, until two weeks ago, they had no idea their house may have to be knocked down for the road.
"We'd had a bit of mail about study areas but we thought they'd upgrade the existing highway," Mr Allan said.
"Then a fortnight ago we got a map with a big black line that goes right through our house."
The Allans, who live on Sartories Road in section 3 of the upgrade area, said they were more worried about the young families who could also lose their homes.
"We've been here 11 years but there are young couples with kids all around us who have just bought their properties and moved out here for some peace and quiet," Mr Allan said.
"They're all distraught."
One of the devastated residents Mr Allan referred to was Brent Leete, who bought a property on Sartories Road a year ago and is yet to move in.
"We had to sell our property in Lennox Head for much less than it was worth so we could move, and on the same day we sold our Lennox property we got the brochure in the mail with the proposed new highway routes," Mr Leete said.
"We're flabbergasted they'd even think about taking it off the existing high- way. It should be a matter of principle that wherever possible, the upgraded route should follow the existing highway."
The Allans and Mr Leete have joined the Whytes Lane West Action Group, which will act under the umbrella of the Blackwall Highway Action Group.
The groups' concerns include the destruction of homes, loss of amenity and wildlife habitat.
See Monday's Northern Star for how residents in Section 2 of the highway up- grade area will be affected.