Castle Towers expansion nearly a done deal

Progress: The design for Castle Towers will incorporate the historic Castle Hill Public School building.

Progress: The design for Castle Towers will incorporate the historic Castle Hill Public School building.

After seven years of negotiations, The Hills Council has reached an in principal agreement with Queensland Investment Corporation over land needed for the stage three extension of Castle Towers .

QIC owns Castle Towers.

The council's new deputy mayor Michelle Byrne said deliberations had taken longer than anyone would have wanted.

"But with the extension reliant on using public roads, we needed to get the best possible outcome for our residents and ratepayers," Cr Byrne said.

The brings QIC nearer its goal of increasing the Towers by 60,000 square metres, which would make it the biggest centre in NSW and third-largest in Australia.

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Managing director of QIC Global Real Estate, Steven Leigh said under the agreement — to be "formalised shortly" — QIC would contribute $15 million to the planned upgrade of Showground Road.

"Our contribution included an initial payment of $2 million to RMS for the detailed design of the upgrade, with the balance payable on the commencement of our planned Castle Towers development," Mr Leigh said.

New mayor, Andrew Jefferies said he was excited by the part of the agreement which would give council up to 200 square metres of space, adjacent to the proposed civic square on Castle Hill's Main Street.

The council would be put on a 99-year lease at $1 a year.

QIC would be able to use the following public land:

■ 4.696 square metres of land in Castle Street and Castle Place;

■ 930 square metres of land in Kentwell Avenue;

■ 284 square metres under Pennant Street for construction of a tunnel;

■ 906 square metres of airspace above Pennant Street.

The 99-year lease return would be based on 7 per cent of the agreed land valuation of $15,061,000.

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