Last month I men­tioned that Hornsby Coun­cil in­tends to “con­duct an eco­nomic fea­si­bil­ity study to scope the scale of high rise devel­op­ment in Pen­nant Hills re­quired to gen­er­ate suf­fi­cient rev­enue to de­liver the im­prove­ments in the town cen­tre”.

A well planned town cen­tre is many things- a place to shop, to dine, to meet with friends, and to have con­ve­nient ac­cess to a full range of per­sonal ser­vices (health, le­gal, fi­nan­cial, fit­ness, etc). But above all it is a place where we feel “at home”.

The Trust wants to work with Hornsby Coun­cil to en­sure the views of res­i­dents are put on the ta­ble and given high pri­or­ity. Af­ter all it’s our com­mu­nity; and our daily rou­tines are deeply en­riched by our beau­ti­ful bush­land en­vi­ron­ment. We all want to en­sure we pass on the peace­ful beauty we now en­joy in a world in­creas­ingly dom­i­nated by con­crete.

The Trust is keen that any opin­ions it puts to Coun­cil rep­re­sent the views of the ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents. We in­vite you, whether a Trust mem­ber or not, to put any views you have on the Town Cen­tre Plan to us via our email (sec­re­ or our Face­book page (https://www.face­ Penn ant Hills Trust /)

Over the next few months we’ll put out some thoughts to stim­u­late your think­ing and mo­ti­vate you to give us your opin­ions.

Our first com­ments are on the im­pact a re­de­vel­op­ment of Pen­nant Hills will have on lo­cal busi­nesses. As seen in Beecroft, ex­ist­ing busi­nesses will face an eco­nomic down­turn dur­ing town cen­tre re­con­struc­tion.

A lack of park­ing and avail­able com­mer­cial space re­sulted in some busi­nesses clos­ing, and many other busi­nesses strug­gling – par­tic­u­larly those that re­quire a reg­u­lar flow of cus­tomers or large amounts of space and park­ing nearby such as health pro­fes­sion­als.

Busi­nesses dis­placed by the re­de­vel­op­ment may find it dif­fi­cult to find a re­place­ment prop­erty for com­pa­ra­ble rent af­ter re­de­vel­op­ment. Some busi­nesses rely on cheap rent to sur­vive like the sec­ond hand book store and the Sri Lankan spe­cialty store to name a few. These busi­nesses will find it dif­fi­cult to sur­vive in a West­field type en­vi­ron­ment with high rents.

We en­cour­age you to con­tinue to sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses dur­ing any re­de­vel­op­ment. More im­por­tantly you can make sure our Coun­cil in­cor­po­rates op­por­tu­ni­ties for our well loved lo­cal busi­nesses in any plans by mak­ing your pref­er­ences known to the Trust or the Coun­cil .

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