Towers, Trains, Cars and Wide Open Spaces
Love it or hate it, Castle Hill’s new iconic apartment tower complex, ‘Atmosphere’, is standing, radiant and splendid, without its construction scaffolding. This landmark building, visible for kilometres, stands as a symbol of the transformation of the Shire from an ordinary outer suburb to a centre of economic and social vibrancy, connected by a world class metro system to the other economic engine rooms of this great city.
A number of councillors and senior staff recently had a close look at two of the metro stations, the Cudgegong Road marshalling yards and control centre and the beautiful new trains themselves.
Everything about this project is staggering and it is a credit to the State Government for its foresight, to the engineers and architects who produced the design and the thousands of people who have built a magnificent piece of infrastructure which will transform the lives of the Shire’s residents.
Council spends a lot of time addressing parking issues which is not surprising given that the number of passenger vehicles on Australia’s roads has increased a staggering 43% since the turn of this century.
On-street parking is often a source of complaint but we need to remember that roads are a public domain available for all to legally use and, on the occasions when both sides of a road are occupied with parked cars and feel a little hemmed in, we simply have to slow down and drive to the conditions.
As our population continues to grow at more than 5000 residents annually, the Shire’s semi-rural fringes will face more demand as a desirable place to build a family home on larger blocks.
Our planners are frequently challenged by these development applications in finding the right balance between sometimes questionable environmental legislation and the inalienable rights inherent in the ownership of private property.
We are fortunate in having enormous tracts of native forest in national parks and crown land and we do not need to be over zealous in constraining a property owner in the reasonable use and occupation of their land. We are, after all, living at the perimeter of a world city.