Critical Road Upgrades Needed

A plan to place an extra levy on developers to pay for vitally needed infrastructure in Norwest will be going on public exhibition.

Hills Shire Council has calculated that approximately $56.6 million worth of infrastructure, including road widening projects, new parks, cycleways and pedestrian links will be needed to support the future development of the Norwest Innovation Precinct.

By 2036, the broader Norwest Business Park is expected to accommodate approximately 23,900 additional jobs. There is $2 billion worth of development within the Precinct, which includes land along Lexington Drive, Elizabeth Macarthur Drive and Norbrik Drive in Norwest.

The top 10 list of of infrastructure needs are:
• Upgrade and widening of Lexington Drive;

• Upgrade and widening of Elizabeth Macarthur Drive;

• Installation of traffic signals at Lexington Drive and Norwest Boulevard;

• Intersection expansion works at Lexington Drive, Irvine Place and Woolworths Way;

• Intersection expansion works at Lexington Drive and Meridian Place;

• Pedestrian bridge over Norwest Boulevarde;

• Upgrade of left-turn lane from Old Windsor Road onto Norbrik Drive;

• Upgrade of right-turn lane from Elizabeth Macarthur Drive onto Norbrik Drive;

• Embellishment of a new urban plaza within Circa Commercial Precinct;

• A new local park and through-site link connecting Norbrik Drive to Bella Vista Farm;

Also on the list are:
• Cycleway and pedestrian connectivity improvements throughout the precinct; and

• Provision of 40 “smart poles” throughout the precinct featuring WIFI, CCTV, power outlets and signage.

Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne said this was a step in appropriately planning for the future.

“The planning outcomes make no sense if there isn’t a corresponding increase in the infrastructure that allows roads, open space and stormwater networks to function properly. That’s why this Council is planning for the future – to ensure that we understand the growth that is coming and what is needed to support this growth,” Mayor Byrne said.

“Norwest Business Park is expected to remain a destination of choice for employers to base their business. The COVID-19 Pandemic has shown us the resilience of our specialised centres and I encourage more businesses to base themselves in Norwest.

“The Park is a highly connected one-stop shop to foster education, boost innovation and drive employment, and we have a great local talent pool,” Mayor Byrne added.

Council is currently exhibiting a new contribution plan that focuses on the Innovation Sub-precinct of Norwest, called the Draft 7.12 Contributions Plan – Norwest Innovation Precinct. This new contributions plan will enable Council to levy monetary contributions from development within the Norwest Innovation Precinct to fund the projects listed above.

* The Norwest Innovation Precinct is one of three Precincts located in the Norwest Strategic Centre. The other two Precincts include Norwest Service (which covers the Castle Hill Employment Area along Victoria Avenue) and Norwest Central (which covers land around Norwest Station). These other Precincts will be subject to further precinct master planning to guide future changes to planning controls, and establish a plan for the delivery of additional jobs and infrastructure upgrades.

Got to council’s website www.thehills.nsw.gov. au and search for Current Plans on Exhibition.

The formal exhibition period will occur from Monday April 12 to Wednesday May 12.

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