ROSS WALKER, PRESIDENT BEECROFT CHELTENHAM CIVIC TRUST
Our new Hornsby Councillors are settling in and discovering the substantial workload the role entails. I don’t envy them; it’s a full-time job if they’re prepared to serve the community effectively. I have had the opportunity to attend a number of council related meetings and what appears to be foremost on our Councillors’ minds, including the Mayor’s, is the State Government’s stalled amalgamation process.
Looking at the amalgamation process objectively, Hornsby Council is caught up in a half completed process. The loss of parts of Epping and Beecroft, both important generators of income from rates, has the potential to have substantial financial repercussions for Hornsby Council.
Council appears to have three options and they all involve the State Government: complete the amalgamation process and combine with Ku-ring-gai Council, reverse the first stage of the amalgamation and the former local government boundaries are reinstated, or thirdly, Hornsby Council request for an increase rates across the Shire by an order of 15%, a percentage that the Mayor has publicly indicated may be required if the status quo remains.
Council appears to be concentrating on the second option of reinstating the former boundaries. In the meantime the well-publicised furore over Hornsby Council’s obligation to transfer collected rates to Parramatta Council is bubbling away in the background.
Something has to happen. I understand Council is having serious discussions with the State Government to sort out this unresolved matter.
The recently opened Beecroft Place shopping centre is being well patronised by local residents, as well as people from outside the suburb. For many years Beecroft was well known across the northern suburbs as a village with boutique shops. The current shop owners are working together in trying to re-establish that same boutique atmosphere. Hopefully Beecroft will become the vibrant village shopping centre it once was. Their immediate focus is organising decorations for the Christmas period. I recommend that you check out the new shops.
In the meantime Hornsby Council has received numerous complaints from locals and the Trust, about the untidy structures on the roof of Beecroft Place. What appears to be the telecommunications tower, that is positioned adjacent to the heritage listed cottage on Beecroft Road, has been enclosed in white panels that now dominate the skyline. There’s also extensive metal structures extending along the roofline above Beecroft Road.
These structures, besides being visually intrusive from Beecroft Road, are also a public nuisance as the shiny metal often reflects the afternoon sun onto pedestrians and motorists below. In addition, above Hannah Street, dark panels have been placed on the roof, presumably as screens. As a result, they create additional overshadowing on the street and nearby shops.Hopefully these intrusive rooftop structures can be removed or relocated out of sight. They were not shown on the plans that were approved by Council so the Trust has asked Council whether they’re unauthorised additions.
Ross Walker is President of the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust. Please don’t hesitate to
get in touch with the Trust. Email him at email@example.com