The Hills District Bowling Club, also known as The Hills Club, has escalated its $50 million residential and clubhouse redevelopment plans to the Sydney Central Planning Panel after its latest rejection by the Hills Shire Council.
The western Sydney bowling club, established in 1936, has submitted plans to council for a mixed-use redevelopment of the site, on Jenner St, Baulkham Hills, on three occasions.
“Our site is zoned for recreation and therefore to enable residential apartments to be built it is necessary to have a Planning Proposal endorsed by the Hills Council and approved by NSW Planning,” chairperson of the Hills Club Ken Carroll told members prior to the latest rejection.
“This has proven to be a long and difficult process as there have been many things to consider including overall design, environment, traffic, heritage, etc.
“We have just submitted the third version of the Planning Proposal which includes everything the Council has requested, and much more.”
But Hills Shire Council has refused to endorse the project, which sits between heritage sites Creasy’s on Old Northern Rd and the old Baulkham Hills Tramway Cutting, on each occasion.
The Hills Club now hopes the Sydney Central Planning Panel will decide on the latest version of its redevelopment plans by the end of April.
The most recently submitted plans, by Arden Clubs, aim to retain two playing greens, build a new 3100sqm clubhouse and 196 apartments, plus 32 senior-living units, on its 1.34ha site. Spread across four buildings – a main tower and three smaller buildings – the ground floor towner plans also feature 152sqm of commercial and retail floor space.
The original plans have already been amended, reducing the main tower from 21 storeys to 16, and the number of residential units dropping by 43. The clubhouse has also been reduced from three floors to two.
The Hills Shire Council rejected the plans based on the main building’s height and setbacks, in addition to traffic and transport concerns.
“The proposal is inconsistent with the policy position articulated within council’s LSPS (Local Strategic Planning Statement), which specifically identifies that council will ‘discourage commercial and residential uplift in Baulkham Hills town centre until transport and traffic issues are resolved’,” stated a report submitted to council.