The town centre of Hornsby is set to become a thriving heartland with 4,500 new homes and 5,000 new jobs, in ambitious plans by Hornsby Council to make it a brand new strategic centre.

The Hornsby Town Centre Masterplan is set to create “a sustainable, healthy and liveable town centre” and will offer much-needed revitalisation to the area.

Council’s Masterplan includes building residential towers which will provide 470 affordable homes (of the mooted 4,500 new homes); a multi-purpose community facility with a library; and a network of green and connected public spaces that “reinforce the Bushland Shire identity”.

There has already been some conjecture from residents about Council only providing “470 affordable homes”. According to Council’s Town Centre Recommendations Report, affordable housing “is defined as housing that can be rented for no more than 30 per cent of the median income of people” in the town.

The plans feature a new square next to Hornsby Mall (near the existing water fountain); an open space park on the corner of Burdett and George Street; an expanded and reconfigured Cenotaph Park; and a plaza on rail land in Jersey Street.

Also included is a revamped transport hub which Council said would improve traffic and parking and a second pedestrian link across the rail corridor.

The Plans also include a hotel and seniors housing to be developed by Hornsby RSL Club (see separate story on page 20).

Hornsby Shire Mayor Philip Ruddock said the Masterplan reflected Council’s vision to create a thriving town centre that reflects its bushland setting, is economically diverse, excellently designed, liveable and sustainable.

“Hornsby is the heart of the Shire, where thousands of people live, work, learn, shop, and relax. It’s our major transport hub. We’re excited that our new masterplan outlines a framework to revitalise and elevate its town centre, transforming it into a thriving destination,” Mayor Ruddock said.

“By concentrating future development in the Hornsby Town centre, we can revitalise it and meet our long-term dwelling targets set by the state government which in turn makes sure we can better protect our local neighbourhoods and the bushland setting of our Shire,” he said.

Council would also develop better connections for walking and cycling to support active transport, including improved links to Hornsby Park. The town centre’s current residential population of 463 is expected to increase to some 11,000 people by 2036.

At its 13 July meeting, Council voted to put the Masterplan on public exhibition from 20 July – 30 September 2022, and encouraged the community to feed back.

The Masterplan was prepared by a multidisciplinary consultant team led by Cox Architecture. Council said that since commencement of the project in 2019, various technical studies and preliminary consultation had been undertaken.

Changing demographics and an increased resident, worker and student population within the Town Centre would have significant requirements for housing diversity and affordability, cultural and community infrastructure, retail and recreation opportunities and economic development within the Town Centre.

“We’re now looking forward to hearing what the community thinks. I encourage everyone to read the masterplan on our website, attend a drop-in session at Hornsby Library, ask us questions and give us your feedback,” the Mayor said.