‘’Are we going to be rezoned?’’ someone asked Hornsby Shire councillors at the recent Cherrybrook Community Forum.

The resident was referring to anxiety locals are feeling toward the development of the Cherrybrook Station Precinct, the plan (2013 Cherrybrook Station Structure Plan) which was created six years ago.

Mayor, Cr Phillip Ruddock, Cr Emma Heyde, Cr Vince del Gallego, Cr Mick Marr and Cr Janelle McIntosh shared the residents’ worries at the forum. ‘’I feel just like you’’ Cr Heyde said. ‘’This wall of silence is impenetrable. ‘’We know the state government has plans, of course they do.’’ Among residents’ frustrations raised at the forum was the lack of information about how many new apartments will be built, how high the towers will be; grace periods for parking fines and the effectiveness of the local Traffic Committee.

Cr del Gallego was less anxious about the government’s proposed plans on density and dwellings; and was more focused on keeping all private land outside of the government – owned land surrounding the train station as low density. ‘People moved to Cherrybrook because it is leafy, serene and beautiful – it is up to us, to keep it that way,’’ he said. ‘’We need to band together and work with our politicians to ensure that our demands are heard.’’ Ray Sloss of the Residents’ Infrastructure and Planning Alliance presented a report the alliance authored with help from heritage architect Jacqui Goddard.

The report said the station needs an effective ventilation system. “To date there has been little commitment to vegetation on the Cherrybrook site and a huge number of mature trees have been removed to allow construction,’’ the report said.

The trees retained on the site are dying as a result of neglect and removal of soil on one side, and new saplings planted along Castle Hill Road have also died and been removed. The report said 550 semi-mature trees will not be able to filter pollutant emissions from the train station. In a statement to the Dooral Roundup from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, a spokesperson said the department is working with Landcom and Sydney Metro to progress planning for Cherrybrook Station Precinct (government land).

The statement said the 2013 Cherrybrook Station Structure Plan could be used by councils to ‘’prepare zonings in the area.’’ ‘’Both Hornsby and The Hills Councils will have an important role to play in setting the planning for these lands,’’ the statement said. ‘’Of course, the department would welcome the opportunity to keep talking about planning in the broader precinct with these two local councils and will continue to assist the councils in future rezoning of lands outside of the government land surrounding Cherrybrook Metro Station.’’

For more information visit http://www.planning.nsw. gov.au/Plans-for-your-area/Priority-Growth-Areas-and- Precincts/Cherrybrook-Station-Precinct.

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