Concerns have been raised that the State Government may increase the number of dwellings approved in the plans for Cherrybrook Precinct to meet housing needs.
In a Mayoral minute tabled last month Hills Mayor Dr Peter Gangemi called for residents to write to their local MP as well as the Premier Chris Minns and Planning Minister Paul Scully to voice their concerns if the heights and densities within the Cherrybrook Place Strategy are further lifted.
He said: “We’ve done our part in providing sufficient land for homes to be built. It is now time for the Government to look to other LGAs to deliver Sydney’s housing needs.”
Under the Place Strategy approved in December 2022, there will be 3,200 homes built in the village green area with approval for medium density housing of up to five storeys high.
An additional 410 homes will be constructed in the new town centre (next to Cherrybrook Metro station), along with cafes, shops, new open space, pathways and a library.
The land to be rezoned falls in both The Hills Shire and Hornsby Local Government Areas.
Hills Mayor Peter Gangemi said: “This Council is pleased with the progress towards achieving the goals outlined in the adopted Place Strategy. However, the second last paragraph of a correspondence received by Council last week from the Department of Planning and Environment does raise questions.
“The Government’s election commitments include investigating opportunities to increase housing supply, particularly around metro stations. The department will keep Council updated if there are any changes needed to the state-led rezoning to support delivery of this commitment.”
The Mayoral minute continued: “The correspondence on the Cherrybrook Precinct also follows the unveiling of a State Government initiative that would give developers an extra 30% height and density over local controls if they allocate a minimum of 15 % of their development to affordable housing for 15 years. Under the proposal, applicants would also be able to fasttrack their projects without council approval.
“The Hills community expects the Cherrybrook Place Strategy to be implemented as approved and as supported by Council.
“Any changes to the place strategy may result in excessive development beyond what has been deemed suitable and manageable for the area. It could also place a burden on local amenities, such as parks, sports fields, roads, schools, and hospitals, which are already overwhelmed.”
He said residents are battling traffic congestion every day, struggling to find schools and hospital beds, and driving long distances to access sporting fields.
“They blame this Council for contributing to over-development. Meanwhile, the NSW Government is blaming councils for the housing undersupply. Over the last ten years, more than 30,000 dwelling approvals have been given within our Council area but only 18,800 dwellings have been built – so it is certainly not a question of approvals.”
The plans for the Cherrybrook Precinct were put on public exhibition from 22nd July to 28th August 2022. Following the exhibition period there were 256 submissions, 52 per cent objecting to the proposals.
The most frequent comments raised throughout submissions relate to:
• The need to ensure adequate car parking in the area
• Potential impacts on the road network
• Proposed development controls, including heights and density
• Potential impacts on the environment and sustainability
• Need to ensure the provision of adequate infrastructure, including schools