Hills Shire Times
MORE than a dozen homes in Castle Hill could be knocked down and 12-storey towers built in their place, under plans submitted with the council.
Private company Merck Property is proposing to develop five buildings with 424 apartments and 4000sq m of commercial floor space at Cecil Ave, Castle Hill.
The planning proposal seeks to change the zoning from partly general residential to mixed use to allow residential flat buildings, office and business premises and cafe/restaurants on the site.
It also proposes increasing the maximum permissible building height from part 16m and part 9m to 47m.
The site is mostly made up of existing residential houses from 93-107 Cecil Ave and 9-10 Roger Ave with a combined area of 17,610sq m.
It is located about 550m from the under construction railway station and is within the Castle Hill Major Centre, identified by the NSW Government’s North West Rail Link Corridor Strategy.
The proposed development is in excess of the state government’s plan for Castle Hill, which allows potential development up to three to six storeys on the site.
The proposal is also inconsistent with the council’s draft corridor strategy, which earmarks the land for “businesses and offices”.
However, the developer argues there is a strong logic for increased height and density around the Castle Hill town centre.
According to documents submitted to the council, the two taller 12-storey buildings would be concentrated in the centre of the site and to the north, closer to the core of the station precinct where high density development is expected in the future.
There would then be a “stepping down” of the development to the south to reduce the impact on the lower scale built form to the south.
In addition, the proposed development would have positive social and economic impacts including boosting housing stock and variety in the area and creating employment for people.
In regards to car parking, the proposal suggests a total of 1072 car spaces.
The proposal states a detailed traffic study will be carried out at the development application stage.