SAVE THE FOREST FROM DESTRUCTION at IBM SITE, 55 COONARA  AVE, WPH

Click on the following links:

Read the submissions from WPHVPA  and  Hornsby Shire Council  and 



or scroll down for the history of this proposal

 
 
 


IBM Site, 55 Coonara Avenue, WPH (currently owned by Mirvac)

A concerned WPHVPA committee member wrote " .....(development of) the bottom one third of the site would destroy what is the last vestige of the original pre-settlement forest within the West Pennant Hills Valley. ....This area contains flora which is superior to most of the Cumberland Forest and is relatively untouched. No buildings or roads are in this area and the only improvements are a wooden bridge over the creeks and some man-made tracks that IBM staff use of a lunchtime.  It is a major roosting place for the powerful owl of which there are only 60 pairs within Sydney. It has excellent stands of Sydney Blue Gums and is mainly a weed-free area....."  See photos above.

 
  A satellite image of the site is available here
  
   As at Feb 2017, the site is zoned B7 Business Park - see map 

31 May 2019
Submissions closed.  Read the submission from WPHVPA  Hornsby Council also opposed the rezoning.  Read the submission from Hornsby Council
30 April 2019
The updated planning proposal, VPA, and associated documents went on exhibition for public comment until 31st May. 
Click here to make a submission
07 Feb 2019 
Council says 'in a few weeks'
29 November 2018
NSW DPE approved the amended planning proposal for exhibition.  Latest advice from Council is 'end of January"
15 October 2018
Council sent the amended planning proposal to NSW Dept of Planning & Environment and is awaiting endorsement prior to public exhibition.
5 October 2018
The Progress Association joined with other local groups to send an open letter to the Department of Planning & Environment, concerning the shortcomings in Mirvac's proposal.  You can read the letter here.  It is a long letter, but worth reading because it highlights many problems with the current proposal.
October 2018
The Dept of Planning & Environment updated information on its website about the Cherrybrook Precinct.  Information about future plans now refers only to government owned land.  There is a revised map for Cherrybrook Station Precinct and the Mirvac site is no longer included in the precinct plan.

September 2018
A revised proposal was voted on at the Council meeting on Tuesday, 25th September.  The proposal was approved by 8 votes to 5.  Click on the following links for details:
June 2018
The Department of Planning has issued an alteration to the Gateway Determination.  Most of Council's requests to amend the original Determination have been rejected.  In particular, Council is requested to seek the highest level of environmental protection for relevant portions of the site and the Department is satisfied that rezoning of land to E2 does not give rise to the need to compensate a landholder.  Also, there is no alteration to the requirement to consider and propose the RE1 Public Recreation Zone.
Read the Gateway Alteration and Letter to Council dated 13-06-2018.

March 2018
Several WPHVPA committee members met with Julian Leeser, MP,  at a meet and greet session at Coonara shops.  Julian agreed to make representations on our behalf because the Commonwealth Government has identified the remnant forest on the Mirvac site within the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 List of Critically Endangered Ecological Communities.  Read our letter to Julian Leeser.

January 2018
An open letter objecting to Council's request to amend the Gateway Determination was sent to NSW Planning,various other levels of government and media..  The letter was signed by several local community groups including WPHVPA.

December 2017
Council voted on a revised rezoning plan at its meeting on 12th December.  The new zoning proposal was approved by 8 votes to 4.
Read the full report on the Council agenda for this meeting, or just read the important bits : Executive Summary & Land Use Zones & Map   Far from protecting the forested parts of the site with an E2 zoning, Council is supporting E3 which would allow residential development on the land.  Read the Council Minutes for this item.  On 15th December 2017, Council sent a letter to Dept of Planning requesting an alteration to the Gateway Determination to reflect the new zoning proposal.

November 2017
The Department of Planning has made a determination to allow the Mirvac development to proceed subject to Council meeting a number of conditions. To advance the matter, The Hills Shire Council is required to specify which parts of the Mirvac property it wishes to rezone as High Density residential development and which parts are to be reserved for environmental protection. This need for transparency is a significant step forward. More information is required now in relation to transport and infrastructure. Council is also required to consult other bodies such as the Rural Fire Service.
View the Gateway Determination & Letter to Council.

 August 2017

The Mirvac  proposal was lodged with NSW Dept. of Planning and Environment on 14th August 2017 for Gateway determination.  If approved, it will be available for public comment in October 2017.

Click on the link for more information:


July 2017

A revised proposal for 600 dwellings was put to Council at the meeting on 25th July 2017.  The proposal includes a mix of high and medium density housing, a community building and a sports field.  Council agreed by 5 votes to 3 to support the proposal and forward it to the Department of Land and Environment for Gateway Determination.  The Gateway process allows for consultation with the NSW government and the public to occur.

Click on one of the following links for more information:





March 2017

The planning proposal (20/2016/PLP) for high density residential development of 55 Coonara Ave was put to Council at the meeting on 28th March 2017.  The report included in the meeting agenda recommended rejecting the planning proposal in favour of retaining the current business park zoning.  A motion to adopt the recommendation in the report (and reject the proposal for high density residential development) was put to the meeting and carried.

Click on the following links for more information:
    


February 2017

Currently, land around Cherrybrook Station and the IBM/Mirvac site has not been rezoned.  Council will be considering development proposals and if a satisfactory plan is submitted, Council will propose rezoning the land.  Plans for rezoning will be on display for 28 days and available for public comment; Council will then make a decision.

  • Housing development at the IBM site is not a foregone conclusion because the Department of Planning may not wish to change the important business park/employment zoning that currently exists on the site. If this is the case then no high density residential will be permitted. 
  • The first proposal by Mirvac was for 1200 residential units up to 25 storeys.  This was rejected by Council as was a second proposal for 1000 residential units.
  • The current proposal being considered by Council is for 800 units up to 8 storeys high.  This proposal includes converting current open space to a sports ground, retaining the treed area in the southern part of the site and retaining a treed buffer between the Cumberland Forest and new buildings.  The existing multi-storey carpark would be retained but the current office buildings would be removed.
  • As a business park, there is already potential for a large number of vehicles using local roads to access the site.  Mirvac has suggested that changing the site to residential would not increase traffic.  However the site would be a point of origin rather than a destination so it is likely that traffic flows would be affected.
  • The northern part of the site is within 800m of Cherrybrook Station, but the southern part of the site is 1.7km away.  It is state policy that any land within 800m of the new station, approximately 10 mins walk, will be considered for rezoning to R4 (High Density Residential)