$2.5M from the State Government to Hornsby Shire for planning. Circa $150,000 to be spent on developing an accelerated Rural Lands Vision for the Hornsby Shire.
Finally, Hornsby Shire has the funding to undertake a truly evidence-based plan for Glenorie and the wider rural surrounds. Our community appears to be at a juncture where in the coming months decisions will be made that will determine how we in Glenorie will live. To date a lack of funding and action by Hornsby Council (the last plan was done 20 years ago) has meant very little development in the Hornsby Shire area of Glenorie which has had its own pros and cons. This is despite various action groups and parties with vested interests pushing very hard for smaller lots, even down to 1 acre.
What is your vision for your community and how do you want to live in the area? The Government has 2 plans for Glenorie. One for the west side (https:// www.greater.sydney/ central-city-district-plan/) and one for the east side (https://www.greater.sydney/ north-district-plan). Again, Glenorie is split by Shire, by State and Federal Electorates and by Greater Sydney plans. The opportunity may exist however during the planning, for dialogue between Hills and Hornsby to get some cohesive outcomes for Glenorie. This is one of the goals of Glenorie Progress Association.
Rather than simply continue the urban sprawl and squeeze in more houses on smaller lot sizes, the opportunity exists to increase the various villages to create a mix of housing whilst preserving the green surrounds of our villages that we all enjoy. At the same time the few local stone fruit growers left are struggling to make ends meet. Many are in the process of or have already simply shut up shop and are now sitting on significant land holdings unable to earn an income from the land. Others would love to sell a portion of their land to reinvest into more intense operations requiring more infrastructure. This is the difficult position Hornsby Shire Council will find themselves in when looking at the evidence and finding the balance between a farmer who wants to get a return from their property and maintaining lot sizes that preserve the rural setting if the district.
The district has the unique advantage of being a “playground” for Sydney within 1 hour of the CBD. Surely, we can capitalise on this advantage. The unique features include the Hawkesbury River, endless national parks and forest, farming and agricultural experiences and produce, dining, camps and youth activities, equine and small businesses of every sort. Some entrepreneurs have worked really hard to capitalise on these features such as Canoelands Orchard http:// www.canoelandsorchard. com/, who continue to evolve their business to meet the market. However, regulations and red tape prevent some businesses from evolving to meet the local needs. For example, there is hardly a guest house in the area and when a larger function is run locally friends and relatives are forced to stay in Castle Hill. This is where council needs a plan.
If larger lot sizes are to continue and if the residents are relying on running a business from the land, then the business needs to be viable. Otherwise the push will continue for more sub division as it is an obvious path to a return on investment. Council needs to support a wide range of businesses that return viability to the land.
At the Glenorie Progress Association the consensus from a widely canvased review was that we are keen to see a thriving village with a housing mix that supports different people and families at different stages in life, local retail and services, transport and the critical mass of population to make those shops and services viable. This may mean that the village needs to expand, but that should be done to a plan that is widely accepted by the community. We are also keen to see the natural and rural surrounds of Glenorie and the district preserved. This means that it should be easy for hard working locals to run their business from their properties. There should be council support rather than red tape, and local enterprise should be encouraged. Every home business means one less person commuting to the city for work, it can also mean more local employment for residents.
Hornsby Council are committed to accelerating their Rural Lands Vision, why not make your voice heard and contribute to that plan via the GPA. It’s easy to join and all residents are welcome.
Glenorie Community Christmas Carols
On the grounds of Glenorie RSL Bring your blanket.
Saturday 15th December 6PM
Gloria Giuffre and Jazmyn Gillies
Sydney Youth Jazz Band
SPEAKER: Hilton Edwards
SPECIAL GUEST: Santa
Come along and enjoy singing your favourite carols.