Council move gives rise to plans for more housing

HOUSING of medium to high density could be built next to Castle Hill Showground.

Last week the Hills Council announced it would relocate its chambers from Carrington Road, Castle Hill, its site for 30 years, to Norwest Business Park to ensure smooth operation while the rail link is built.

Mayor Greg Burnett said though there is no formal master plan, the site was likely to include some medium to high housing density to "obtain the best price and investment return for the community".

Castle Hill Showground Society president Peter Gooch said high-rise would destroy the showground's amenity.

"I understand the need for density around a train station [but] wouldn't a better place be in the old industrial area up Carrington Road?" Mr Gooch said. "I wouldn't want flats built right on top of the showground."

Under the draft Hills local environmental plan, land surrounding the showground would be zoned for residential, commercial and industrial uses.

Mr Gooch said the relocation created an opportunity to create a showground entrance at the site.

The entrance on Doran Drive will be taken away by the rail line. Mr Gooch said using Gilbert Drive would cut the showground in half.

"It could be a lovely vista coming down into the showground if planned properly," Mr Gooch said.

He said the site should become an extension of the showground or the chambers be a community facility.

Cr Burnett said an entrance on the site was a possibility but that using the site as an extension of the showground would not return the value of the site to the community.

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