Have Your Say – HSC Community Strategic Plan

Hurry – Limited Time Offer – Submissions close October 15th !

If you have any good ideas on where Hornsby Council can make improvements in Pennant Hills, let them know and make a submission.

Or even better – join our Pennant Hills District Civic Trust committee now and make a group submission. Details on our Become a Member page. 🙂

Have Your Say

Hornsby Shire Council wants to know what kind of community you want Hornsby Shire to be by 2032 – complete the survey in the link below to have your say considered. Your survey submission will be used to review our ten-year Community Strategic Plan, along with other community and stakeholder engagement. Tell us about your aspirations and priorities for our local government area. Find details of the Community Strategic Plan and the survey form at https://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/…/Community-Strategic….The survey closes Friday, 15 October 2021.

Pennant Hills (birds eye view)
Pennant Hills. Source: http://www.visitsydneyaustralia.com.au/pennant-hills.html

2021 Annual General Meeting

AGM - what will you change ?

Note – zoom details have changes. Please see your emails.

This is your official invitation for the PHDCT Annual General Meeting 2021.

Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic is still enduring, and we are still restricted from meeting up face to face in larger groups in indoor settings. Hence it is my pleasure to invite you join our virtual AGM for Thursday October 14th, 7:30pm. The Agenda for the meeting is included below.

We anticipate the duration of the meeting to be approximately one hour.
Agenda
1) Welcome message and housekeeping rules for the virtual meeting
2) President’s Report
3) Treasurer’s Report
4) Election of the Executive Committee
5) Any further business
7) Meeting closes
Due to Covid-19 concerns and restrictions, the PHDCT 2021 AGM meeting will be held via Zoom.us, an online video conferencing platform. You will need to use the Zoom app on your electronic device, this can be obtained from the zoom website. You will need a password to join the meeting.

An invitation will be sent shortly to all members.

All members and supporters of the Pennant Hills District Civic Trust are welcome and invited to join the meeting. However, it is important to know that you will need to have paid your annual membership fee prior to the meeting in order to be able to vote. If you have not yet done that, you can renew your membership here.

We are looking for new committee members and have exciting open positions (unpaid, of course) for you to join, if you wish to actively contribute to the continuous improvement of the amenity in Pennant Hills. 
With kind regards,

Otte Homan
President

End of an era

After working as a physiotherapist in Pennant Hills since 1988, David Young is now retiring from his practice on Pennant Hills Rd, closing the door on March 31st 2021, after more than 30 years.

As one Pennant Hills resident put it: “I have been going to David for 30 years and he is a very good physiotherapist who thinks outside the square when it’s needed for some difficult muscle or bone problem. He has been gentle and would give you good exercises to assist in your recovery. All the staff in David’s practice have been exceptional.”

Paul Taylor, physiotherapist at Taylormade Physio says about David:

“David Young has been a leader in physiotherapy for almost 4 decades and will be missed as he retires from regular practice. David has been a health practitioner first and a business man second, always putting the needs of his patients beyond profits.

David has had a love of passing on his knowledge and experience to students over the years. I am sure he has been instrumental in educating and inspiring many physios who are currently practicing.

David will continue to be involved in the Australian Physiotherapy Association and a consultant for various insurance agencies after he retires from regular practice and therefore continue to make a positive difference to physiotherapy into the future.

As a direct competitor of David over the last 15 years, I have nothing but the utmost respect for David and his team. I have appreciated our relationship over the years and I wish him all the best for the future”

We wish David well in his retirement, and hope that he can take up his passion for traveling again as soon as the International borders open. Fare well David!

Pennant Hills Past and Present

Two excellent articles in the Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai Post this week about some very special history in Pennant Hills.

First, NSW Astronomy Photographer James Short and his observatory on Redhill, now known as Observatory Park.

Then, another great story about the history of Hotel Pennant Hills, Pennant Hills Road, and the impacts it had on the scientific work mentioned above in the James Short story.

With many thanks to Pat Dewey of Pennant Hills and Esme Mathis of Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai Post.

Pennant Hills Rd and the impact of NorthConnex

It’s been just over a month since the NorthConnex tunnel has opened up, and it is noticeably quieter along Pennant Hills Rd. Some people are even lamenting that their weekly semi-trailer run is not the same anymore 😉

So what are the numbers? We’ve had a look at the Transport for NSW OpenData Traffic Volume Counts dataset, and pulled up the stats for Pennant Hills Rd.

Transport for NSW uses different types of traffic counters. There are tubes across the asphalt, loops inside the road surface, there are cameras, and several other types as well. They all work in different ways to count the traffic volumes. Some of these are temporary, some are permanent, some do classify vehicles by size, others don’t.

There are currently 3 so-called axle pair counters in operation in our area, one near Mt St Benedicts school East of Loftus Rd, one just East of Beecroft Rd, and one just West of The Crescent. The Loftus Rd one counts traffic in both eastern (towards the M1 near Hornsby) and western (towards the M2 near Beecroft) directions, the one near Beecroft Rd counts westwards traffic only, and for the one near the Crescent it is not clear which direction it goes to.

The westward counters for East of Loftus and West of The Crescent do match quite well. The data from the East of Beecroft counter is a little harder to work with, it seems to be compiled from two separate counters and one needs to do a bit of manual labour to add the numbers for each day We’ll leave that for later.

Looking at the numbers, and looking at the first of November, the day the tunnel opened at 0:00am midnight, we can see a huge jump in counts. From an average count of around 28’120 counted axle pairs in October, it dropped down to 21’183 in November (26 days of data). That is a reduction of 25%! Assuming one axle pair per car, 1.5 pairs for a small truck, 2.5-3 for a truck and trailer, and 3.5-4.5 for a B-Double semi, it equates to approx. 6940 axle pairs less, or approximately 2’530 trucks less. And that is only in the westward direction! Eastwards, we can see a very similar reduction, so we can estimate that the total number of trucks removed is indeed approx. 5’000 per day.

The counter East of Loftus Rd seems to have a little bug – the eastward count is about 2/3 of the westward count. As it is unlikely that 33% of the traffic to the M2 does not ever return, or always returns via a different route, one can reasonably suspect that one out of the 3 Eastward loops is not counting anything at all, so we’re missing one of three lanes here. The total daily count for East of Loftus Rd is therefor close to twice the westward count.

We can also see that there is significantly less traffic on the Sundays, around 30% less than on Fridays.

Filling Pennant Hills Rd Potholes

Woohoo! More good news on Pennant Hills Road !

We’ve asked our local Member Matt Kean about the potholes in Pennant Hills Rd and what was going to happen with these now that 5000 trucks are no longer hammering through these anymore. So today we’ve received news Matt Kean’s office that a large part of Pennant Hills Rd will be resurfaced, removing significant risk as well as noise.

Works will be carried out over the next four weeks until December 17th (depending on the weather conditions) in two sections – between Nelson St and Huddart Ave in Normanhurst, as well as between Loch Maree Ave and the Comenarra Parkway in Thornleigh.

That’s 1.1km of new, quiet surface, in both directions!

The work aims to provide a smoother road surface, prevent or minimise damage to roads from weather and wear and tear, increase safety, provide consistent driving conditions and reduce maintenance costs.

Civic Trust Submissions

Over the past month the Civic Trust has had the opportunity to comment on a number of State and Council proposals.

First there is the NSW State Government’s Draft State Strategic Plan for Crown Land – although this is mostly focussed on rural and regional Crown Lands (e.g. surrounding Orange, Bathurst, Toowoomba, etc.) where large swaths of Crown Land are a target for either agricultural use or for development of new Estates, we do have a very long list of small bits and pieces of Crown Land in the Hornsby Shire. Observatory Park in Pennant Hills is an example of this.

We’ve submitted to protect these Crown Jewels in our area, as they are highly valuable pockets of green space in our suburb, important both as local wildlife canopy corridors and as recreational space. You can read our submission here.

Next there is the related NSW Government Draft Greener Spaces Design Guide. It overlaps to a fairly large extent with the Crown Land in our area, as these are mostly our green spaces. Apart from protecting these green islands in our suburb, we’ve argued to maintain or increase local canopy, as well as ensuring our residents will have good access to a variety of high quality recreation areas. You can read our submission here.

Finally, we have made a submission to Hornsby Council’s Local Housing Strategy consultation. We have argued to improve access for residents to large open spaces in our area, such as e.g. fenced off School Grounds, improved supply of medium density and affordable housing, making efficient use of the calmed down Pennant Hills Road corridor once NorthConnex opens up, and enabling (through Council input at the State Level) options for people to downsize and free up larger homes to families. We’re also arguing for a better regulation for Granny Flats instead of the current “filling in backyards with mini homes” approach. You can read our submission here.

We’re keen to hear your comments. Send us a message on our e-mail account, or comment on our facebook page.

Do you have ideas on how to improve our local living environment, and want to contribute to submissions? Join the Trust Executive and tell us what you think should happen! Contact us to find out how.

Improving Pennant Hills CBD

Pennant Hills CBD – Proposed 40km/h High Pedestrian Activity Area (HPAA) and Public Domain Improvements

Council, in partnership with Transport for NSW, has identified Pennant Hills CBD as a location that requires traffic improvements to ensure the safety of pedestrians. These works will also incorporate tree plantings which will provide the benefits of cooler places and improved street appeal.

The proposed treatment is aimed at improving pedestrian amenity by providing a self-enforcing low speed environment consisting of the following devices:

  • 40km/h High Pedestrian Activity Area in parts of Yarrara Road, Shields Lane, Ramsay Road, Hillcrest Road, Fisher Avenue and Railway Parade
  • Raised Threshold Entries with landscaped blister islands in Yarrara Road, Ramsay Road, Hillcrest Road and Fisher Avenue
  • Median traffic island in Yarrara Road at Hillcrest Road
  • Pedestrian refuge islands in Ramsay Road
  • Landscaped kerb blister islands in Hillcrest Road
  • Pedestrian refuge islands in Fisher Avenue near Pennant Hills Road
  • Associated pavement delineation and traffic signs

More information on the proposed intersection improvements can be found on Hornsby Council’s website, see this link. Detailed plans are available here.

Hornsby Council is investing approximately $650’000 in this project, which comes from NSW Government grant which was received last year.

The Civic Trust supports the proposal in principle, with minor amendments, and we are liaising with Council traffic safety engineers. The proposal will improve the road safety of pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers in the Pennant Hills Town Centre, which will likely improve the amenity.

Hornsby Council is inviting your feedback on this proposal, until March 4th, 2020. So go on, and have your say!

2019 AGM report

On Thursday, October 17th, the Trust held it’s AGM in the Pennant Hills Bowling club. Around 30 members attended, and engaged in discussions.

The evening started with a presentation by Dr Michael Easson of EG Group, about how to enable development projects that can achieve significant support in the local community, presenting some examples of good urban design.

We were pleased to have Hornsby Councillors Joe Nicita, Robert Brown, and deputy-mayor Michael Hutchence in the audience. They engaged in a lively Q&A session with the members at the end of the AGM.

President’s report

Who are the community of Pennant Hills and are we connecting with them all?

In 2016,

  • There are 7827 people in Pennant Hills
  • Median age 40 years old
  • 1984 families
  • 2704 private dwellings
  • 62% with a bachelor’s degree or above diplomas and certificates
  • Country of birth Australia 59.3, China6.6%, India 4%, England 3.4%, South Korea 2.5%
  • Religion 28.5% no religion, 21.9% catholic, 14.4% Anglican 4.5% Hinduism and 7.2 % not stated
  • Employment 59.9 % fulltime employment and 30.3% part time
  • Dwelling 93% occupied private dwellings, 11.4% Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse and apartment 12.8%.
  • 30 aboriginal and Terre Strait Islands with average age 15

Trust activities

We met with Matt Kean concerning the Pennant Hills Master Plan Bike path and North Connex bringing the streets back to the local community. We had mayoral meetings and meetings with individual councillors.

Regular attendance to the council meetings and addresses where appropriate on the second Wednesday of the month and attendance to IHAP meetings on the last Wednesday of the month.

We have supported local Environmental Issues through the good work of committee member Monika Ball such as a clean-up of a creek in Cherrybrook.

Made representations to council concerning a proposed local pre-school centre.

Made submissions to council over issues, where they sought public input, such as the such as the Hornsby Draft Local Strategic Planning Statement.

Made proposals to the council for local initiatives, one being public access to Pennant Hills High ovals, the water quality of the creek at the end of Bellamy Street and the proposal of the Six Places Bushland Walk modelled in the 5 Lands walk on the central coast.

Communications

We try to reach all people in the community by a combination of methods. In relation to communication with members we have relied on word of mouth, monthly email updates, Monthly Chronicle community items, the webpage and regular updates on our Face book page.

Thank you

Special thanks go to:

  • Noel Oxley thanks for his strategic focus, work on communicating to key stakeholders, his strategic vision and keeping us on track.
  • David Thomas for your attention to detail in his role as Treasurer, good humour and for your work in compliance and policy.
  • Norman Parris thanks for his expertise on policy, submissions in relation to the Greater Sydney Commission and you focus on the Pennant Hills Master Plan

We are a voluntary organisation, so thanks to all those who have contributed in 2018-2019 including the Hornsby Historical Society for access to their premises for our meeting.

Finally, thankyou you to the Trust Committee members. We are a divergent group and I can confidently say we represent the different interest groups in the community.  Also, thank you to you the members who are engaged in the community and are trying to make a difference to the community in which we live.

To wrap up I guess we can say in relation to the Pennant Hills Community “we cannot connect with them all, but we can connect with more”.

The 2019/2020 Executive Committee consists of Otte Homan (President), Andrew Wilson (VP), Martin Plüss (VP), Julian Rego (Treasurer), Judy Vincent (Secretary) and members Monika Ball, Paul Bryant, Annemarie Diepenbroek, Michael Rosettenstein and Paul Taylor.

Martin Pluss
Vice President