Hornsby RSL Club Hotel Expansion All Set

Annette Madjarian
Hornsby RSL Club’s plan to build a 12-storey hotel and six-storey retirement village is back on the agenda, thanks to Hornsby Council progressing its development application at the 13 July Council meeting.

The RSL Club’s planning proposal is the first development to be given the green light as part of Hornsby Council’s recently endorsed Town Centre Masterplan (see separate story on page 08), which is set to create 5,000 new jobs and see 4,500 new homes built in Hornsby’s hub.

The Club’s proposal consists of 110 retirement village units to be built on RSL land on the corner of Ashley St and Webb Avenue and the development of a 114-room hotel on the current Hornsby RSL Club site.

Hornsby RSL Club Chief Executive Officer Mario Machado said the proposed extension would also expand the courtyard dining area, car parking facilities and a future family entertainment centre. Mr Machado said there were no plans to increase or include gaming facilities as part of the proposal.

Plans for expansion and development have been on the cards for several years. In 2019 the Club withdrew its development plans following an array of concerns from Council and local residents.

Mr Machado said the current development proposal would bring benefits “not just for the community but specifically for the business community”.

“Considering the scale of the Hornsby Town Centre Masterplan (4,500 units), this is a very small development but significantly important as it offers a community benefit for older residents, unlike most if not all other proposed residential developments,”

Mr Machado told The Galston, Glenorie & Hills Rural Community News. He reiterated that the proposal fed into the Hornsby Town Centre Masterplan and the Hornsby Local Housing Strategy, which the RSL was in favour of.

“There was a need to stop looking at the Hornsby West Side – or East Side in isolation, and combine both West and East precincts. It’s finally reassuring to see such a comprehensive study completed on the overall Hornsby Town Centre. This is a great outcome for the future of Hornsby, to become a thriving metropolis,” he said.

“Some may suggest that Hornsby is becoming another Chatswood or St Leonards and speak against the proposed developments, but the reality is that what Hornsby has to offer is totally different,” Mr Machado added.

He said the benefits would include increased employment; collaborative opportunities for local businesses; a tourism boost; better family entertainment facilities; and support of the area’s ageing community with better facilities and better access to vital services.

Hornsby RSL – which opened in 1956 – has some 33,500 members and is one of the biggest clubs between North Sydney and the Central Coast.

According to a Hotel Feasibility Study presented to Council, the hotel would generate close to $6 million per annum at an 80 per cent occupancy rate.

The proposal will now progress to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for a Gateway Determination. Subject to this, it will be displayed for public exhibition and feedback

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