At last, work is commencing on the Pennant Hills town centre master plan. The Trust has been pressing Hornsby Council for over 18 months to undertake this important work. The Trust believes the character and identity of the centre needs renewal and issues of traffic, parking and the creation of a “heart” or “community focal point” need to be addressed. Hornsby Council has plans to conduct a survey of residents later in 2016.
The history of town planning in Pennant Hills is more a history of missed opportunities than successful implementation. This time we hope there is the determination to improve local facilities and make Pennant Hills town centre a place to be proud of.
The Trust met with Council Planning staff recently and set out our expectation that the Pennant Hills Master Plan will describe:
- A vision of an ideal outcome for Pennant Hills town centre;
- Improvements to Pennant Hills as a transport hub;
- Improvements in local parking, and good access to an enhanced shopping/business precinct;
- An integrated housing strategy zoned such that there is a harmonious flow of density from medium density adjacent to transport facilities thorough to detached dwellings further out; and,
- Will take account of the community feedback.
NorthConnex works at the Wilson road compound are well on the way to digging the 90 metre shaft as the first stage of digging the tunnel under Pennant Hills. The sound proof shelter is completed and the shaft has been dug down 20 metres. Spoil is being removed with about 20 truck movements per week (rising to 150 trucks per week once tunnelling commences). The spoil is currently being taken to the Mulgoa Quarries site in Western Sydney. Spoil trucks have been using the approved route on Pennant Hills Road – ie going around Observatory Park to travel south on Pennant Hills Road and continuing onto the M2.
The Trust engaged with NorthConnex, RMS and local politicians earlier this year to ensure the spoil trucks used main roads and avoided local streets such as Victoria road. The Trust continues to work with NorthConnex to ensure minimum disruption to our local community during construction.