The carpark, located at Shepherds Drive, and its surrounding roads have long been a bone of contention for residents of Cherrybrook. According to CBRE Retail Property Management, which manages Cherrybrook Village on behalf of the Singapore-based owners Sim Lian – Metro Capital (SLMC), there are 441 onsite spots for cars at the site, accessed via two entry points.
However, residents are concerned there are not enough car spots to serve the growing community and also that the carpark does not provide sufficient safety for both pedestrians and drivers alike, due to its inadequate design.
Resident Janz Reinecke, who has lived in Cherrybrook for more than 25 years, said the centre and the carpark had not changed dramatically, but that the shopping centre now serviced some “three times the amount of people”.
Parts of Cherrybrook Village and the carpark have been renovated over the years, with the last upgrade in 2018 in Stage One of a master planned redevelopment – these included a new car park entry and reconfiguration of the carpark.
At the time, the $36.9 million redevelopment had proposed an Aldi store, a second floor for office space, a gym, demolition of the existing childcare centre, and expansion of the retail floor space. Centre management at the time said it would assess the results of the then carpark upgrade before committing to any further works.
Residents say the plans were poorly thought out and have only exacerbated the situation for drivers, pedestrians and shoppers.
The centre is frequented not only by local residents, but also large numbers of high school students from nearby Cherrybrook Technology High School, and busloads of elderly residents from nearby retirement villages.
“I don’t feel like the carpark was actually expanded, if it was, then it wasn’t a noticeable amount of additional car spots. Instead, the area behind Woolworths was made delivery and staff parking, so that meant less customer parking,” Janz said.
“The underground parking is a complete waste of space. If they redesigned that space, taking into account the roof parking above it, they could put two carpark levels underground and two levels above ground. Leave the open parking as it is and redesign the delivery/staff parking area.
“Another couple of levels of carpark could surely fit in there. There is no off-street parking, you have no option but to use the carpark.”
“There are no safe road crossings near the roundabout at the entrance. We need traffic lights or a proper pedestrian crossing, particularly with the number of children and elderly in the area (with at least two schools and a retirement village nearby).”
Former Hornsby Shire Independent Councillor and long-time Cherrybrook resident Vince del Gallego said the Cherrybrook Village carpark was “the biggest safety hazard contributor to pedestrians and commuters, as cars enter and exit dangerously into an already congested Shepherds Drive, particularly during peak period and school hours”.
“If I was still in Council, I would have pursued arrangements with its General Manager to alleviate safety hazards along Shepherds Drive, including issuance of notices to major contributors, such as Cherrybrook Village car park to upgrade their facilities, thus, minimising the risk to Cherrybrook residents from potentially fatal accidents,” Mr del Gallego said.
A Hornsby Council spokeswoman said Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre had been the subject of several Development Applications over the years.
The most recent approval was granted by the Sydney North Planning Panel in September 2017 for alterations and additions to the Centre and reconfiguration and expansion of the existing car park.
Council said Stage 2 of the development, which would deliver additional parking, was yet to be undertaken.
“The approval is subject to conditions requiring driveway and parking areas to be designed and constructed in accordance with relevant Australian Standards.”
The spokeswoman said the carpark was not under the control or management of Council.
Sim Lian – Metro Capital purchased Cherrybrook Village for $132.8 million in 2021. The Dooral Roundup contacted CBRE for comment however centre management did not respond to requests.
The Roundup also offered Hornsby Shire Ward C Councillor and Cherrybrook resident Sreeni Pillamarri an opportunity to comment but he did not respond.