Frequently Asked Questions
Council is working on transforming the former Hornsby Quarry site and adjoining lands into what will be Hornsby’s premier new parkland.
NorthConnex is currently in possession of the Hornsby Quarry lands and the adjoining Old Mans Valley. The NorthConnex tunnel project, which links the M1 with the M2 motorways, is providing Excavated Natural Material to partially fill the quarry void. This fill will go a long way to creating a safe and accessible landform for a range of recreation and leisure opportunities.
NorthConnex has advised that it plans to hand back the lands to Council in the first half of 2019.
Council is currently finalising the preparation of a development application (DA) and supporting environmental impact statement (EIS) for earthworks that will include reshaping to create the final landform for the future development of the new parkland. The EIS is being prepared by GHD to ensure the environmental, social and economic impacts of the project are considered.
In 2017, Council called for ideas from our community about what sort of park it may be in the future.
Our initial engagement campaign, ‘Plan Your Parkland’, called for your high-level ideas on the activities, uses and attractions you’d like to see once the quarry site has been transformed.
Since then, work has been continuing to refine geotechnical and landform questions. Later this year we propose to explain the adopted landform for the new park and explore, with you, specific recreation and leisure solutions for the new landform. We expect that this engagement will carry through to 2019.
A community information and feedback ‘Swing By’ session is planned for Hornsby Mall on:
- Saturday 3 November 2018, 11 am – 2 pm
This website will continue to be updated to capture your feedback and to inform you of opportunities for further engagement in relation to the project.
Council has established a Community Deliberative Forum (CDF), consisting of randomly selected residents from across Hornsby Shire, who have offered to be involved periodically to participate in workshops and provide opinion and guidance for teams working on the project.
An important role of the Community Deliberative Forum is to anchor the engagement process in the opinions of the community. The group will review ideas put forward by the broader community and help Council select the best ideas that can be developed into a design for the new park. The CDF will provide local knowledge, skills and input that will help to ensure that Hornsby Park is designed, owned, used and loved by residents.
Once broad design parameters have been developed, we will again seek community feedback before finalising designs.
The development of Hornsby Park is a major project that will take many years to fully realise. Council will further consult with the community right up until the park opens in 2023. Stay up to date with the conversation via our website and social media pages.
Stage 1 – NorthConnex Quarry filling
Excavated material from the NorthConnex tunnel project has been delivered to site to partially fill the old quarry void and begin its transformation to a parkland. The NorthConnex filling operation is nearing completion, anticipated in early 2019. NorthConnex will demobilise from the site and are expected to hand the site back to Council by mid-2019.
Stage 2 – Rehabilitation works
Council is currently preparing a Development Application (DA) and associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The DA is proposed to be lodged in December 2018. Concurrent with the assessment and approval process, Council will prepare documentation for a major earthworks contract to landform the park. Earthworks are expected to take approximately two years and be completed by the end of 2021.
Stage 3 – Park development
During this stage, development of the parkland will take place, including infrastructure such as roads, paths, trails, all services and park facilities, and landscape works to meet desired planting, ecology, water management and recreation goals. Park developments will occur between 2021 and 2023.
The Quarry is in a process of transformation. Once the final fill has been delivered, a new landform will be developed.
To see the site before any fill was received, check out the videos in the Document Library.
NorthConnex fill has raised the floor of the quarry by 50 metres and the lake is now below the surface, but don’t worry. A lake will re-emerge when sufficient rainfall and groundwater inflow brings the water back to the new surface.
It is proposed that water will form a feature of the finished quarry landform. At this stage, proposals are seeking to incorporate a lake and associated water treatment solutions that will maintain a high level of water quality, promote wildlife and potentially incorporate water-based recreation (see Concept Plan).
The proposed graded landform will ensure that the site can be easily accessed and various vantage points enjoyed. The new landform will retain some of the former quarried cliff faces, including a cross section through the geological volcanic diatreme which will form a dramatic backdrop to the proposed lake. The works aim to deliver a dramatic and interesting landform, which will also preserve a sense of connection with the history of mining that occurred at the site.
See the About Hornsby Park page for information about what is currently available at Hornsby Park.
- Large open space asset close to the CBD
- Rehabilitation of a degraded site
- Interesting geology
- Valuable heritage and natural resources
- Variety of spaces that can provide for formal and informal recreation
The Old Mans Valley Cemetery on the south eastern side of the quarry is State heritage-listed.
The following elements are listed as locally significant heritage items: The Crown land portion of Hornsby Park, a stone receptacle and cool room, the Depression Steps and the Hornsby Quarry Diatreme.
The parklands also contain Endangered Ecological Communities including the rare Blue Gum High Diatreme Forest Ecological Community. This forest is similar in structure as Blue Gum High Forest but is distinguished at this site, since it occurs on soils derived from the volcanic diatreme.
Although much of the land within Hornsby Park has been subject to modification and is degraded by weed infestation, remnant and good quality bushland is found on surrounding upslopes within the park, including good quality Blue Gum High and Blackbutt Gully Forest in particular. For forest areas, it is planned that most will be subject to ongoing regeneration and rehabilitation as part of the project and into the future.
An opportunity to create a wonderful new park has been improved through the recent provision of $50 million dollars from the State Government. Council will provide additional funding once the scope of works is finalised.
Checkout the document library to see what reports have been prepared to date.
NorthConnex will remain on site until mid-2019 and can be contacted via the following methods:
• Project information line: 1800 997 057.
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Website: www.northconnex.com.au
CSR Ltd owned Hornsby Quarry which was zoned Open Space A. Under the Hornsby Shire Local Environment Plan 1994 (LEP), owners of land which was zoned Open Space A could require that the taxpayer acquire the land. In accordance with its rights under the LEP, on 22 March 2001 CSR Ltd (CSR) notified the Hornsby Shire Council that it required the Council to acquire the quarry.
Council initially resisted the request; but after an action was taken by CSR in the Land and Environment Court, a notice pursuant to s19 of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (NSW) was published in the Gazette. The effect of the notice was that the land was vested in Council. Under s37 of that Act, CSR became entitled to be paid compensation.
Council paid to CSR a total of $26,508,771.28 by way of compensation. This figure was derived by the Valuer General by calculating the land value for development less a sum for remediation of the quarry. Council has always considered these figures unrealistic and after a lengthy appeals process Council was able to recoup over $6M. Subsequent to this decision by the Land and Environment Court the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (NSW) has been changed so that Councils can no longer be forced to purchase land under this legislation.