Readers will recall that Hornsby Council invited over 6,000 landowners, business owners and community progress associations in Pennant Hills and Thornleigh to participate in an online survey late last year. Council received over 1100 responses, including a detailed submission from the Trust summarising the results from our membership.
A majority of respondents didn’t agree with a ‘significant’ increase in building height and density above current levels. Nevertheless, the community recognised that revitalisation of the town centre is needed provided the village character and tree canopy of the area are maintained. As well, more car parking, greater retail opportunities, improved landscaping and footpaths were identified as priority issues.
Council now intends to conduct an economic feasibility study to scope the scale of high rise development required to generate sufficient revenue to deliver the improvements required by our community.
The Trust agrees the town centre needs revitalisation, and reluctantly accepts there will be some degree of high rise development both to generate the revenues required for the community works and to meet a portion of the 97,000 new dwellings planned in the North District over the next 20 years. Of course increased housing density puts more strain on local infrastructure and we expect improvements in local infrastructure will proceed in parallel with new housing. The challenge for Council’s planners is to develop an imaginative plan for the long term which preserves our peaceful green neighbourhood and takes into account
- NSW Government’s 20 year housing targets
- NorthConnex benefits to local traffic along Pennant Hills Road
- Northwest Metro completion and improvements at Pennant Hills station.
The Trust sees a great opportunity for Council and RMS to cooperate, using the plan to improve road access to the shopping centre and deal with the “rat run” along Yarrara, Stevens, Bellamy and Boundary Roads which motorists use to avoid congestion on Pennant Hills Road. We look forward to continuing working with our Councillors to achieve a strategic plan which delivers what the community wants.
The PHD Civic Trust is a not for profit volunteer community organization to preserve and enhance the residential amenity of Pennant Hills and West Pennant Hills.