Charge your EV while you shop

Pennant Hills Market Place now has two electric vehicle chargers installed – charge your EV while you shop for groceries 🙂 Two new Ocular 22kW chargers have been installed, one each for the two dedicated electric vehicle car parking spots at the Pennant Hills Post Office. You can find the units using the Exploren app on your Android or Apple phone, login with your Exploren account, and start charging. Together with the recently installed solar panels on the roof of the Pennant Hills Market Place, this is a great initiative.

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.

Hornsby Council 2020-2022 Delivery Program

The draft 2020-2022 Delivery Program including the Operational Plan 2020/21 outlines the Services, Key Initiatives and Capital Projects Council has planned to move towards the community vision in the Community Strategic Plan. The Annual Budget and other financial details including Council’s resourcing information, information on rating and domestic waste management are also included.

The Trust has made a submission, covering the focus areas of Liveability, Sustainability, Productivity and Collaboration.

We have contributed suggestions regarding Water management, Waste management, a Place Plan for Pennant Hills, business viability, tree canopy, traffic and more.

You can read the submission here.

Want to contribute to future submissions? Join the Trust, for only $20 a year per household.

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 

March update

Dear Members,

Here is an update of the work the Trust executive has been doing over the past few months.

Meeting with Hornsby State Member Matt Kean

On Friday March 1 at 4:30pm the President and two vice Presidents had a meeting with our local state member Mr Matt Kean. Only the night before the government was placed in caretaker mode. He no longer had ministerial responsibilities and was very much enjoying being able to spend more time in the Hornsby community. If you have been following him on social media he has been busy “Running for Hornsby” – he suggested you find and watch the video clip and you will see what I mean by this.

Matt was very generous with his time allowing us to continue the conversation from 30-45 minutes before he had to attend a function in Parramatta.

Our discussions on North Connex revolved around returning the street to the local community. He complemented to the work of a past President of the Trust and the thoughtfulness, details and the analysis of his written submission to his office. Matt agreed to hold the relevant authorities accountable to their commitment to returning the streets to the local community.

Though most of the Pennant Hills to Epping cycle path is in the seat of Epping, the discussion about the flow on effects to Pennant Hills was informative. It was particularly interesting to learn how best to work with different arms of government organisations, the processes involved and how far $5 million actually goes. Lessons that we hope we can adopt if we can get a Pennant Hills to Hornsby to cycle path.

The Pennant Hills place plan is a project of perpetual motion. We discussed the interrelationship between the local council and the state government, the strategic implications of the Greater Sydney Commission and the North District Plan. At the local council level there is the use of the terminology “place” which is the contemporary language and the focus of what the local council is planning to do.

We hope to hear more about this place plan in 2019. In relation to the bigger picture it seems we have or will meet our shires housing requirements, any future higher density development, if it happens, is most likely to be in the area of Hornsby CBD and the future does depend on the government of the day.

On another topic, here is a summary of the key items we have discussed at the February and March Trust committee meetings.

Committee Meeting Discussion Points

This month we would like to share with you four of many issues we have discussed at committee meetings and for which we don’t have the answers.

  1. We have had several discussions about the need a plan for Pennant Hills. A good plan recognises that some areas are not suitable for commercial use, there is the heritage aspect to consider, the natural amenity of the area and the Councils soon to be released place plan concept.
  2. North Connex is always a point of discussion particularly the giving the streets back to the community but like many people how this is achieved is a different discussion
  3. Communication with and between members is a question we continue to work with. We have tried emails, Facebook, revamped the web site. We work hard to provide information for the membership but would like ideas on how we can get constructive feedback from members.
  4. Aligned with the communication we often discuss what service can we provide to the community? Do you have any ideas? Let us know!

Noel Oxley, President

Keen to do something for the community in Pennant Hills? Join the Trust as a Member for only $20 per household per year. Or join the Executive and engage in discussions about topic such as above. Contact us if you want to know more.

HSC February update for Pennant Hills

At the beginning of each year Hornsby Council’s Agenda Item 1 is the Performance Report for 2018. For those who don’t have the time here is a summary.

Pennant Hills is one community in a shire of several suburbs and reading the report was most interesting for what was present and absent in relation to Pennant Hills. Here is a summary of some of the information in Item 1 for the council meeting on February 13, 2019.

Continue reading “HSC February update for Pennant Hills”