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Forest in Danger - From Inappropriate Development

A public meeting held at the Hillside Hotel in Castle Hill on the 5th of September in 2017 attracted over 50 people who voiced outrage at a Mirvac development proposal for 600 apartments and homes on the former IBM site which covers 24 hectares in West Pennant Hills. The site contains remnant forest of critically endangered Blue Gum High Forest adjacent to the Cumberland State Forest and is home to the threatened Powerful Owl.


Speakers informed the residents that there is no environmental protection zoning at all planned for the site. With most of the site further than 800 metres from the planned Cherrybrook station, residents voiced traffic, infrastructure and environmental concerns. Andrew Harrington from RIPA (Residents Infrastructure and Planning Alliance) called for a school as an alternate use with protection of the forest. The local school has over 2000 students with more large residential development in the pipeline for Cherrybrook Priority Precinct.


Residents feel that if Mirvac is "looking to restock its pipeline" of apartments (The Australian August 3) it should look elsewhere and not target this ecologically sensitive site for such inappropriate development. Speakers at the forum also included Carol Flanagan (West Pennant Hills Valley Progress Association), Corinne Fisher (Total Environment Centre) and David Shoebridge (NSW Greens MLC). Councillors Tracey and Haselden from the East Ward along with Clr Byrne from the West Ward had attempted to block the contentious development application for the former IBM site when it was presented council the third time on the 25th July 2017. However the proposal passed with the support of another 5 councillors from both Labor and Liberal and has progressed to the NSW State Government for Gateway approval.


The forum ended with a coalition of residents forming to fight the development and a call to action for people to make objections NOW to the Department of Planning. The Department is still considering whether it will support this Gateway Proposal. It is understood that the decision will be made later this month.

Objections can be made to -

Minister for Planning                                        Anthony Roberts MP       


                                                                         Ph:  (02) 8574 5600

Shadow Minister for Planning                          Michael Daley MP           


Greens Spokesperson for Planning                 David Shoebridge MLC   


Dept of Planning - Sydney West Director         Catherine Van Laeren


Dept of Planning - Sydney West Region          Adrian Hohenzollern       



Local Member for Baulkham Hills                     David Elliott MP              


                                                                          Ph:  (02) 8574 6290

The Hills Shire Council Mayor                           Dr Michelle Byrne


The Hills Shire Council General Manager         Michael Edgar                  


                                                                          Ph:  (02) 9843 0555

Mirvac - Head of Culture & Reputation   

                                                                          Ph:  (02) 9080 8000

Mirvac - Development Director - Apartments

                                                                          Ph:  (02) 9080 8632

Mirvac - Head of Residential                  

Mirvac - Residential Development Gen Mger

Copy us in                                               

Other speakers at the Community Forum

Malcolm (West Pennant Hills Valley Progress Association -WPHVA)

Beth Mott (Birdlife Australia - Powerful Owl Project Officer)

Dr Catherine Woolnough (Greens for East Ward)


Representatives from Resident groups who attended the Community Forum

West Pennant Hills Valley Progress Association -WPHVA

Residents Infrastructure and Planning Alliance - RIPA

Protecting Your Suburban Environment - PYSE

Friends of Ku-ring-gai Environment - FOKE

Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust - BCCT

Byles Creek Valley Union - BCVU

How the Hills Shire Councillors voted on the proposal when it went before Council in 2017


Clr Y D Keane

Clr R A Preston

Clr R K Harty OAM

Clr Dr J N Lowe

Clr Dr P J Gangemi


Clr R M Tracey

Clr Dr M R Byrne

Clr A N Haselden

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