With the surge in infrastructure developments like NorthConnex and Metrolink North-West right on their doorstep, concerned Hornsby residents wanting to keep a track of their progress have banded together to form the Residents’ Infrastructure and Planning Alliance (RIPA).
“It started because a number of community groups were concerned about the growing number of developments in Hornsby Shire,” said spokesperson Jacqui Goddard, a former architect with a background in historic buildings.
“Each group was fighting individual spot fires, and inappropriate development was continuing unchecked. Road congestion, safety, school overcrowding, pressure on amenities and loss of rural lands came up repeatedly.”
She said that while planning for future communities is to be applauded, “it cannot be achieved by listening only to developers and failing to consult the present community. Ignoring communities is unacceptable.”
RIPA cites the example of government assurances that initiatives like Metrolink North-West and NorthConnex, designed to alleviate congestion, whilst also announcing urban consolidation measures to increase population densities, as the sort of issues the Alliance will tackle.
Goddard said: “Any benefit to traffic that a Metro may offer to areas such as Cherrybrook will be quickly negated by increased population particularly along arteries such as Castle Hill and New Line Roads. NorthConnex will have little effect on these roads and for areas like Beecroft and Cheltenham the metro offers no benefit.”
RIPA plans to have its sizeable voice heard – nine groups representing around 5,500 people – by setting up meetings with politicians and government departments on specific issues, as well as submission writing and Q and A forums. Community groups wanting to be involved should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.