Cher­ry­brook fu­ture in ques­tion

The fu­ture of Cher­ry­brook as a leafy gar­den sub­urb is in se­ri­ous doubt if the state gov­ern­ment has its way.

Monthly Chronicle - - Front Page - Jenny Bar­lass

That’s the ver­dict of Hornsby Deputy Mayor Vince del Gal­lego, a Cher­ry­brook res­i­dent of 35 years and ward coun­cil­lor.

In 2017 the state gov­ern­ment de­clared a Pri­or­ity Precinct a well-es­tab­lished por­tion of the sub­urb bor­dered by County Drive, John Road, Neal Av­enue, Ed­ward Ben­net Drive, Highs Road and Coonara Av­enue.

The Deputy Mayor’s fears are that if the Pri­or­ity Precinct re­mains, mass re­zon­ing will pave the way for the gar­den sub­urb to be dom­i­nated by medium and high den­sity dwellings, in­clud­ing high rise apart­ment blocks on open parcels of land and squeezed be­tween houses.

At a Hornsby coun­cil meet­ing in Au­gust he put for­ward a mo­tion to get coun­cil to lobby the gov­ern­ment to re­duce this foot­print of 187 hectares to just the 3.5 hectare par­cel of gov­ern­men­towned de­vel­opable land wrap­ping around Cher­ry­brook over­ground sta­tion, cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion.

“It’s a mis­take by the gov­ern­ment to make it a Pri­or­ity Precinct as it lays the sub­urb open to overde­vel­op­ment to re­cover costs associated with amal­ga­ma­tion of frag­mented land own­er­ship, widen­ing the road net­work and plac­ing re­quired in­fra­struc­ture to main­tain res­i­dents’ qual­ity of life,” said Coun­cil­lor del Gal­lego.

“The higher the costs, the higher the den­sity. It’s not rocket science!” he added.

Sig­nif­i­cant also is the pro­posed amend­ment to the State En­vi­ron­ment Plan­ning Pol­icy 2011 which “ap­pears to pro­vide a way for the gov­ern­ment to progress fu­ture de­vel­op­ment on gov­ern­men­towned land in iso­la­tion to the over­all precinct,” he said.

“Whilst we still don’t know ex­actly what their plan is, I think the state gov­ern­ment is go­ing to fo­cus on the gov­ern­ment-owned land now and then pos­si­bly later the larger area.

“Cher­ry­brook is an es­tab­lished, beau­ti­ful, low den­sity sub­urb, sit­u­ated in a leafy en­vi­ron­ment. Any pro­posed medium to high den­sity res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment is ab­so­lutely in­ap­pro­pri­ate and out of char­ac­ter for the area and must be re­jected.”

Coun­cil voted to get the full in­fra­struc­ture and plan­ning blue­print for the area on the table be­fore they de­cide what to do about the is­sue.

Philip Rud­dock told Plan­ning Min­is­ter An­thony Roberts in a let­ter in Au­gust that the Coun­cil was con­cerned about plans to ‘pro­ceed with the plan­ning for Gov­ern­men­towned land un­der a sep­a­rate process to the agreed 'whole of Precinct' ap­proach. The ‘whole of Precinct' ap­proach is crit­i­cal in de­liv­er­ing an in­te­grated land use and trans­port strat­egy that ad­dresses the re­gional in­fra­struc­ture is­sues cur­rently fac­ing Cher­ry­brook and the wider com­mu­nity.’

The Mayor wants an ur­gent up­date from the Plan­ning Min­is­ter An­thony Roberts on the tech­ni­cal stud­ies to in­form plan­ning for the Cher­ry­brook Sta­tion Precinct, in­clud­ing trans­port and land use plans.

Cher­ry­brook Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion spoksper­son Charles Ad­der­ley said: “Feedback from the lo­cal com­mu­nity in­di­cates that a sig­nif­i­cant ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents want the land out­side the Gov­ern­ment-owned land im­me­di­ately ad­ja­cent to the sta­tion to be re­tained for low res­i­den­tial hous­ing.

“Even within the Gov­ern­ment-owned land their wish is for any de­vel­op­ment to be no higher than three storeys, which does not un­der­mine the leafy char­ac­ter of the area.”

Cllr Vince del Gal­lego sur­veys build­ing work on Cher­ry­brook's new sta­tion com­plex

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