Hills and Hornsby councils clash over growth area plan

Concerned: Road Cuevas and Steve Russell inspect the future growth area, bounded by Old Northern Road. Picture: Gene Ramirez
Concerned: Road Cuevas and Steve Russell inspect the future growth area, bounded by Old Northern Road. Picture: Gene Ramirez

HORNSBY Council remains concerned The Hills Council has approved a mixed-use development at 488 Old Northern Road in Round Corner.

Dural and Round Corner Chamber of Commerce president Rod Cuevas shares the concern.

But it's not the 70-shop, 21-townhouse plan he opposes — it's the supermarket and business mix.

The Hills deputy mayor Andrew Jefferies said: "As a council, we can only assess and determine development applications based on guidelines such as zonings and local environment plans.

"The arguments put forward by Mr Cuevas, such as too many shops or a vista being taken away, are outside of these guidelines."

Whether The Hills Council should have waited before approving this development was the subject of Mr Cuevas' last chamber meeting.

Pat Clay, a representative of a new resident action group, continues to maintain The Hills Council should have waited until the results of a business plan to confirm the feasibility of rezoning the South Dural area was completed.

"I think the two councils should work together to get a centre that works instead of a fragmented one," Hornsby mayor Steve Russell said.

Councillor Robyn Preston said: "The zone change is about council creating a planning framework, not a specific development.

"This guides what council would like to see in the future and gives details to developers to use when designing buildings and seeking or selecting tenants - hence the notion of creating opportunities."

Studies show the future urban release area known as South Dural could accommodate 2500 to 3000 dwellings as well as educational and retail development.

In its submission — one of 114 received — Hornsby Council said of the Round Corner plan: "Expansion of the town centre prior to the completion of a Land Capability and Traffic Study as proposed by the Hills 2012-2013 Delivery Plan may diminish the opportunity for targeted revitalisation within the existing centre".

The two planned developments are adjacent to each other and both pre-empt traffic lights at Old Northern and Franlee roads for which the Round Corner developer promised to allocate land, but not foot the bill.

The South Dural developer will fund the feasibility plan giving Hornsby Council two years from March 7, 2014 to finalise its Local Environment Plan.