NEW South Wales Planning Minister Pru Goward last week announced that the State Government will partner with The Hills Shire Council to create three new vibrant centres for homes and jobs along the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link, as part of a major urban renewal program.
The NSW Government will undertake detailed planning, investigations and consultation for three precincts around the new Bella Vista, Kellyville and Showground railway stations, which were nominated as Urban Activation Precincts by The Hills Shire Council.
The further investigations follow the release of the North West Rail Link Corridor Strategy last year. Broad plans outlined the vision for each precinct and identified the potential across the three precincts for up to 19,000 jobs and 12,000 homes, with a mix of housing types including townhouses, detached homes and apartments.
"These precincts will receive up to $15 million in NSW Government funding for local infrastructure, as well as millions of dollars of private sector investment, which will benefit both existing residents and those who will make the neighbourhoods home in the future," Ms Goward said.
"Under a new government initiative, the local community will be in the driver's seat in deciding which local infrastructure projects are delivered, with up to $5 million of NSW Government infrastructure funding made available for each precinct.
"This is a really exciting opportunity for the community to be at the heart of decision making about the future of their neighbourhood."
Ms Goward said recently-released figures showed that more than 100,000 additional people are projected to live in the Hills area by 2031.
According to the government, key features of the vision for the three new Urban Activation Precincts are:
- Bella Vista: A mixed employment and residential precinct with capacity for up to 4,400 additional homes and 10,500 jobs across 472 hectares. The precinct will build on existing office and warehouse space with shops, cafes and restaurants near the new station. Public parks and streets will be improved and Bella Vista Farm will remain a key conservation and heritage area.
- Kellyville: A vibrant, active centre focused around the new station providing greater choice for people with different housing needs. The precinct has capacity for up to 4,400 new homes and 800 jobs with the majority of new development proposed to be concentrated close to the new station. The precinct will feature conservation areas to protect endangered species, and enhanced walkways and cycle routes between the station and nearby centres.
- Showground: A vibrant mixed use precinct with shops, cafes, restaurants and new office buildings centred around the new station. The precinct has capacity for up to 3,600 new homes and 7,700 jobs across 271 hectares. A green corridor will be maintained around Cattai Creek and Castle Hill Showground will be upgraded as an essential recreational space for the community.
Hills Shire Council Mayor Michelle Byrne said council had recognised the importance of the plans to the area by voting unanimously for inclusion in the Government's Urban Activation Precinct program.
"The rezoning of these three precincts will pave the way for the investment the north-west has been crying out for, delivering modern facilities for the benefit of the entire community and allowing young families to live and work in the area they have grown up in," Cr Byrne said.
Experts will be engaged to carry out detailed studies into particular aspects of the investigations, such as traffic and parking, flooding and drainage, ecology and heritage.
The new Bella Vista, Kellyville and Showground railway stations are being developed as part of the $8.3 billion, 23-kilomtre North West Rail Link that will connect Epping to Rouse Hill. It is expected to be operational before the end of 2019.
More information is available from the Department of Planning and Environment's Urban Activation Precincts website at <http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/urbanactivation>.