Council Planning Policies Given The Green Light

Published on 17 December 2015

Mayor Byrne at Castle Hill Construction Site.jpg

Pictured: Hills Shire Mayor Dr Michelle Byrne near the construction site for two 20-storey residential towers in Castle Hill.


Hills Shire Mayor Dr Michelle Byrne has hailed the adoption of The Hills Corridor Strategy and Castle Hill North Precinct Plan as a positive step forward for the future character of the Garden Shire.

On Tuesday night, Council voted against a motion to rescind an earlier decision of Council to adopt the Corridor Strategy. The failure of the rescission motion means the Corridor Strategy and Castle Hill North Precinct Plan are now official Council policies which will guide future planning controls.

“Over the last week-and-a-half, I’ve been voicing my strong opposition to the NSW Department of Planning’s Priority Precinct plans for Showground, Kellyville and Bella Vista. The dwellings permitted in their controls go above and beyond what we believe is appropriate,” Mayor Byrne said.  

“For the Showground residential precinct, the Department’s plan does not encourage a master planning outcome and will not deliver the housing required for our family dominated community.  The limp development standards to accompany the densities that really are not seen anywhere in a suburban context, will not produce the outcome presented in the Department’s glossy models.” 

“I have more confidence in the Government-owned corridor of Bella Vista to Kellyville, but the delivery model needs to be the same as the model that delivered Rouse Hill Regional Centre –a collaborative approach with Council being regarded as an important stakeholder.”

“That is why it’s so important for this Council to have our own Strategy which we’ve been working on for years. It is a detailed vision for the future planning around those Sydney Metro Northwest sites and the Castle Hill North Precinct.”

“Our documents outline what this Council believes is appropriate, in terms of the number of dwellings, their impact on our infrastructure like roads and parks and protecting the character of our Shire.”

Mayor Byrne said the two documents were Council’s best weapon against the NSW Department of Planning’s over-the-top densities for the Showground precinct.

“The Department of Planning say that they envisage 5000 dwellings at the Showground, but the planning controls allow for just under 11000 dwellings. If they want Council and the community to believe them – their development controls have to match what they’re saying in their press releases and public statements.” 

“If their true intent is 11000 dwellings (around 25000 people), then the plans to support that population have to be started now, not leave it for another 20 years when it will be another Council and Government’s problem.”

“Council’s Corridor Strategy clearly outlines that 3500-4000 dwellings is the best outcome for the Showground – not the 11000 permitted under the Department of Planning’s controls.”

“The decisions we make now will affect generations of Hills residents for decades to come. They won’t just affect the residents living in and around the precincts now.”

“I’m happy the Hills Corridor Strategy and Castle Hill North Precinct Plan are Council policies and I’ll be referencing them in the arguments I make against the  Department of Planning’s Priority Precincts.”