In 2018, Hornsby Council commenced a Rural Lands Study to provide a new evidence base and recommendations for managing the rural areas of Hornsby shire into the future. The last comprehensive rural land study completed by Council was undertaken in 1995, some 23 years beforehand. Hornsby Council engaged SGS Economics and Planning to prepare the Study at a substantial cost for ratepayers. In 2019, Council undertook an extensive consultation with the community which included face to face workshops in Galston and Glenorie, drop-in sessions and an online survey.
One of the key recommendations of the SGS Rural Land Study was to apply an E4 zone investigation area around the rural village of Glenorie to allow for lot sizes ranging from 5,000 – 10,000 square metres to be considered over a relatively small area of land extending from Cairnes Road towards Harrisons Lane as shown in the blue hatched area below. The Rural Lands Study indicated that the recommendations would be implemented by the end of 2023.
A copy of the Rural Lands Study can be found at https://future.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/rural-lands-study/
On 8 June, 2022, Hornsby Council voted to publicly release the Rural Lands Study and to endorse some of the recommendations in the short term (Implementation Action Plan A – Short Term Recommendations) and other recommendations be pushed back for consideration in the longer term (Implementation Action Plan B – Long-Term Recommendations). The key recommendation regarding the investigation of smaller lot sizes around the rural villages was not included in the short-term plan, but rather included in the long-term plan. In particular, the Implementation Action Plan B – Long Term states that this particular matter is “not currently funded” and there is no timeframe indicated as to when it is likely to be finalised. This appears to be at odds with the recommendation of the actual Rural Lands Study which stated that the recommendations would be implemented by the end of 2023.
It is also worth noting that the Hills Shire Council undertook a detailed rural land strategy in 2019 which also recommended an expansion of the village centre with planning works to be completed by 2024. These planning studies have not commenced yet are will not be completed by 2024.
IMPLEMENTATION MILESTONES DATES
It is all well intentioned when Council’s spend large amounts of ratepayer’s monies on studies and use up so much of the Council and community resources to complete the studies. However, ratepayers become frustrated and disillusioned when these studies are not actioned and just end up as dust collectors.
In February 2023, Hornsby Council applied to the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a Special Rate Variation (SRV) seeking higher rates for ratepayers. Hornsby Council has also just released its draft 2023-2026 Delivery Program and Operational Plan 2023/24 which sets out its key funding initiatives planned for 2023/24. The Plan includes proposed funding of $1 million for public domain improvements in Galston and a further $1.6 million for the Galston Aquatic and Leisure Centre refurbishment. However, the Plan DOES NOT include any funding for the completion of the Glenorie Village planning work. Hornsby Council’s Draft 2023-2026 Delivery Program and Operational Plan 2023/24 is currently on public exhibition and can be viewed at https://yoursay.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/dpop
If you feel that Hornsby Council should be allocating some of its funding to other important initiatives in Glenorie, you could submit a formal submission to the Draft Delivery Plan. In your submission, you could suggest where the funding could be allocated such as finalising the Glenorie Village planning study or other ideas you may have such as improving parking beside Glenorie Preschool and the Memorial Hall, building a dog park, new footpaths or park upgrades in Glenorie.
The general public is open to make submissions on the Plan from Thursday, 13 April to Thursday, 15 May 2023. Submissions must be made in writing and must include your full name and postal or email address. Submissions can be made via email to [email protected] or by post to The General Manager, Hornsby Shire Council, PO Box 37, HORNSBY NSW 1630 and mark your submission ‘Delivery Program’.
All submissions are public documents and will be considered in a final report to Council in June 2023.