Frequently Asked Questions
- Environmental Impact Statement and Development Application
- Project Information
- The Park
Council has committed to engaging with the community from day 1 of this project. Following on from the initial ‘Plan Your Parkland’ engagement in 2017 and pre-EIS engagement in 2018, Council is continuing to keep the community involved in influencing the outcomes and remaining engaged with the project.
Council established this dedicated website, which is updated as works progress. Come back to remain engaged throughout the project towards the opening of the parkland in 2023.
In 2017 Council engaged the community to ‘Plan Your Parkland’ and provide their high-level ideas on the activities, uses and attractions for the quarry site once it has been transformed. Council also set up a forum of randomly selected local residents to help consider the engagement outcomes.
Council engaged the community again in 2018 around the development of the Development Application and Environmental Impact Statement required to create a landform to support the range of recreational facilities identified by the community during the ‘Plan Your Parkland’ engagement.
Council established a dedicated website, which is updated as works progress. Go to hornsbypark.com.au to remain engaged throughout the project towards the opening of the parkland in 2023.
To view and make comments on the EIS, go to the Hornsby Shire Council website and search for Development Application number DA/101/2019 or go to the dedicated website for the Hornsby Park and Quarry Redevelopment Project at hornsbypark.com.au where a direct link is provided.
The EIS is available for viewing and for receiving of submissions up until Friday 17 May 2019.
The project is being delivered in stages:
Stage 1: The delivery of fill from NorthConnex to partially fill the old quarry void and begin its transformation to a parkland. This stage, including NorthConnex demobilisation from the site, is expected to draw to a close in mid-2019.
Stage 2: The Development Application and accompanying Environmental Impact Statement will be assessed by independent planners and determined by the Sydney North Planning Panel. The Panel’s assessment is required before the earthworks needed to rehabilitate the site can begin. The earthworks are expected to take around two years and be completed by the end of 2021.
This DA is currently on exhibition and Council is engaging with the community and stakeholders to seek their input.
Stage 3: Development of the parklands. This will include 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 community will be involved through engagement activities this year and next 2019-2020 to help determine recreation uses.
Stage 4 Park Opening. The parklands will open in 2023.
NB: It is likely that not all facilities will be delivered by 2023 and that a staged implementation for some elements of the overall design will follow as additional funding becomes available.
This DA seeks to deliver a safe and flexible landform and set the basis for future regeneration, particularly of the degraded quarry site. The landform DA does not restrict future works to embellish or amend the broader landform to suit environmental and user needs, which remain subject to detailed design and future and separate processes of engagement and approval.
While the DA and EIS are being assessed, work on the project continues.
Council and consultants will be exploring design options for different parts of the site and preparing a Masterplan to assist with ongoing community engagement.
The EIS and DA set out how the impacts on the community should be managed including: noise and vibration, traffic, transport and parking, the visual impact of the project, health, air quality and other hazards and risks.
Neighbours and others potentially impacted by the works will be notified as the works progress and updates posted to the project website.
No works will be permitted to occur outside of standard construction hours of Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm and Saturday 7am to 1pm.
NB: It has been stipulated that no blasting will occur in the project, where only mechanical excavation techniques will be used.
The project has been developed as far as possible to minimise direct impact on heritage items.
The EIS sets out how any potential heritage impacts should be managed. Management of the site’s heritage is examined in the project’s EIS and a Statement of Heritage Impact has been prepared.
The project will not have any direct physical impact on the State heritage-listed Higgins Family Cemetery or any of the locally listed items such as the Depression Steps.
NB: Future works, not subject of this DA or EIS, will seek to highlight and restore heritage items and include interpretation of indigenous and non-indigenous significance and history of the site.
The works will retain the ‘Quarriness’ of the site including the dramatic and rugged landscape of the quarried cliff faces and a groundwater-fed freshwater lake which has occupied the base of the quarry for many years.
Surrounding forests on the upslopes will also be preserved and restored, retaining a beautiful natural backdrop.
Broadly, the landform within the former quarry pit will deliver a gently sloping landform, which will highlight the special feature of the volcanic diatreme, which is expressed in the eastern quarry cliff faces.
The EIS provides guidance on managing potential impacts on the environment during construction, including such as soil, water, air quality, erosion, contamination, waste management, biodiversity, heritage and the protection of vegetation.
An EIS is a publicly available document that provides information on a project, in this case, the proposal to create a landform for the future parkland.
The EIS addresses environmental impacts, details the impact mitigation measures for the proposal and supports the Development Application.
The DA and EIS will guide landform developments and provide important recommendations about how to stabilise the site and minimise impacts during construction.
The DA for this stage of the parkland transformation will be assessed by independent planners and determined by the Sydney North Planning Panel before Council can begin the earthworks.
Existing mountain bike trails and jump track facilities in Old Mans Valley will be retained. Temporary interruptions may be required to enact minor trail modifications.
At the very core of these works is the need to make the site safe and accessible for the community and deliver a landform that can accommodate a range of future recreation facilities and activities.
These are the earthworks required to create a safe, accessible and flexible landform that can accommodate the various activities the community has identified for the parklands.
This stage of the project involves undertaking earthworks to create a landform that addresses the safety issues raised by geotechnical engineers and creates opportunities to accommodate a variety of recreation opportunities across the site.
The earthworks are intended to involve a balanced cut and fill operation across the site, meaning that fill will not be brought to the site from elsewhere and material cut from one portion of the site will be used as fill in other portions of the site.
The works include stabilising the quarry, particularly on the northern steep slope where unwanted spoil was placed during mining operations. The leftover spoil now presents potential for a landslip to occur.
NorthConnex has finished delivery of fill material to Hornsby Quarry and are now demobilising from the site. Over the last year, Council with consultants prepared and lodged a Development Application (DA) with an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the next stage of works.
The landform works involve re-shaping and stabilising the site to enable delivery of a safe landform that can be used for many different parkland activities and are underpinned by the objective of mitigating against impact on the environment and on any remnant and valuable vegetation.
The Development Application for this stage of the parkland transformation will be assessed by independent planners and determined by the Sydney North Planning Panel before the earthworks to rehabilitate the site can begin. The earthworks are expected to take around two years and be completed by the end of 2021.
The EIS for the landform earthworks is currently on public exhibition and will remain open for comment until Friday, 17 May 2019.
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.
Environmental Impact Statement on Exhibition
The Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be on public exhibition in early 2019.
A community information and feedback ‘Swing By’ session was held in Hornsby Mall on Saturday 3 November 2018 where the role of the Environmental Impact Statement and its implications for transforming the site was presented to the public.
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.