Hornsby could have had its first tallest building that is made up of glass solar energy panels. It would seem as if this plan to build an $80 million hi-tech apartment complex would no longer come to fruition. The structure, which was supposed to be 25 storey high, was rejected by the Hornsby Council. It would have been built on the west side of Hornsby at Peats Ferry Road and Station Street.
The Council rejected the plan last year, which prompted the developers to file an appeal in the Land and Environment Court. However, the developers still failed to get their desired decision because the court still rejected it. The project covers a site in triangular form from LJ Hooker Hornsby on to a store in 240 Peats Ferry Road and 23 Station Street. It would have included a 400-seat basement theater opening on to Station Steet, which is also home to 220 apartments.
The court ruled that the proposed structure was “not in the public interest.” It “provided an overwhelming bulk and scale to the street” and was “inconsistent with the desired future character envisaged by the planning controls.” According to The Daily Telegraph, the Hornsby-based architects Ian and Nola Ezzy decided to go to court because they were frustrated. The council has failed to provide them with a recommendation in more than four months. Ezzy also said they made changes to the design of the project. They cut down the number of units and the effects of overshadowing. They also made a plan as to how they would resolve traffic and access issues.
Both professionals said the decision could put off potential investors. Their proposal was the first and the only application that could have revived the Hornsby Westside. In addition to that, it was the only the second building in the country that would have featured the new solar glass technology. The first one is found in Barangaroo. Ezzy said at the time when the plan was unveiled that the project would be iconic. He added that the structure would rise at the heart of Hornsby. It will add to all the positive things that are happening in the area after the Station St, the extension of the cenotaph park and rail access, was closed down. He expected the structure to help revive the area’s streetscape.
Hornsby Mayor Steve Russell recognized the value that the site would provide. However, he also said that although it would have been “one of the jewels in our shire,” it is necessary to make sure that everything is done right. Cr Russell also said that the Council wishes for Hornsby to achieve its full potential. But, it is also important to make certain that all new developments matches the council’s vision for the area and fits the character of the community as a whole. He added that they are open to discussions with the developer now that the court has released its decision.