Advocacy News

Make a submission on the DA

The DA has been created and will be reviewed by the Sydney City North Planning Panel (SCNPP).

The only thing that can influence the impact and the scale of this development is the COMMUNITY GETTING INVOLVED. We need submissions! Please make time for this important issue that will impact on the Westleigh community and our quality of life. NOW is the time to have your say!

Below is a special edition of the Westleigh Progress Association’s Avacare newsletter highlighting their concerns.

On 13 September 2023 Council resolved to provide owner’s consent for the lodgement of a Development Application (DA) for Westleigh Park.

The application has now been lodged.

Residents must make a submission with regard to the DA.

The Westleigh Progress Association have created a special edition of Avacare and this is the content of that edition.

The Westleigh Progress Association has a number of concerns about this development. We hope that Westleigh residents carefully consider the impact Westleigh Park is going to have on the amenity of our peaceful, bushland suburb.

The main concerns of the WPA are:


  • Sefton Rd – a limited-access road?
  • Increased traffic on Duffy Ave and Quarter Sessions Rd
  • Construction vehicles on our suburban streets – for years!
  • All Stage 1 construction traffic will use Quarter Sessions Rd & the blind hill exit near Corang Rd


  • Estimated cost: $ 82,836,600
  • Construction has to be staged as money isn’t available for the whole project. Council is prioritising Hornsby Park over Westleigh Park
  • It will be many years before the Park is complete; an athletics field won’t be constructed for at least 10 years

Environmental Impact

  • Mountain bike tracks are being permitted through critically endangered ecological areas
  • Contaminated soil is being disturbed to use as fill behind an 8-metre high wall to create a playing field
  • Synthetic turf being used on the fields
  • Road being built over Sydney Water’s critical infrastructure
  • Floodlighting & noise impact

A solution to most of these problems is to revise the scale of the project!

Is Westleigh really the right location for a regional sporting facility?

Why can’t Westleigh Park be a smaller, local facility?


Send your submission to:
Subject: Development Application Enquiry: DA/975/2023 – Westleigh Park – Sporting Facility – Staged Construction – PAN-368184
by 20/11/2023

(Please cc: so the WPA can understand what residents are most concerned about.)


Council Approve Lodgement of DA

On Wednesday 13th September 2023 the Hornsby Shire Council voted to approve the following item:

On 14 June 2023, Council adopted the revised draft Westleigh Park Master Plan (MP) and draft Westleigh Park Plan of Management (PoM).
• Following adoption of the MP and PoM in June 2023, the immediate goal for Council’s Westleigh Park Redevelopment was to prepare a comprehensive and coordinated set of documents to submit with our Development Application.

  • The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and supporting documentation is now developed to a stage that will enable lodgement of a Development Application by the end of the calendar year.
  • The Development Application will seek assessment and determination from the appropriate planning authority for the entire scope of works identified in the adopted Master Plan over stages, with Stage 1 split further to accommodate the potential for differing delivery timeframes:
  • Stage 1a: Southern sports platform; mountain bike trails; carparks 3 & 4; Sefton Road extension – west section; and shared way to Ruddock Park.
  • Stage 1b: Sefton Road extension – North and east sections around Reservoir.
  • Stage 2: Centre and northern sports platforms, carparks 1 & 2; and Warrigal Drive upgrades.
  • Owners Consent is required to lodge a Development Application and given the public interest in the development of Westleigh Park this is sought via a formal resolution of Council.
  • Should Owners Consent be resolved, instruction will be given to Council’s consultant planner to submit the Development Application on Council’s behalf via the online NSW Planning Portal. Once lodged, the assessment process will commence and be publicly exhibited.

The item was passed with only 2 Greens (Tania Salitra and Monika Ball) voting to oppose.

Hornsby Shire Council now has the dubious honour of approving the unauthorised building of mountain bike trails through large areas of critically endangered Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest and endangered Duffys Forest. This is very sad as the council in almost every other instance has sought to protect these precious areas.

This is a lost opportunity to alter the trajectory of another threatened ecological community. Political pressure has forced on the community a poor and ecologically ignorant decision.


Media Coverage

Hornsby Shire Council’s recent decision to proceed with their plans for Westleigh Park has generated some media articles.

ABC News

Synthetic turf fields ‘lack standards’, but no moratorium as chief scientist recommends more research

North Shore Times, Hornsby Advocate, Hills Shire Time

Forest vs mountain bike: Delayed park proposal sparks war of words

Hawkesbury Post

Synthetic Turf Warning Bells in Landmark Report


Hornsby Shire Council Decides

14 June 2023 Council voted 7 (6 libs + 1 Labor) to 3 (Greens) to approve the Master Plan and Plan of Management.

Thank you to everyone who spoke out for the environment, and called out this appalling development. The next step is for the development to go to the District Planning Panel.

Environmental Education News

Westleigh Park Must Be Saved

Such a beautiful video on this gorgeous forest that is on the threshold, will common sense prevail to save it?

Advocacy News

What an unfunny joke!

Hornsby Shire Council held their mandatory public meeting on Tues 4th April concerning the Draft Plan of Management for Westleigh Park. Many residents, community groups and concerned citizens attended.

It was very pleasing to hear the community raise the same concerns we have been raising for over a year now.

We also received the following email from a local which expresses more than we can the dismay felt regarding Council’s meeting.

“I attended last night’s meeting at Hornsby RSL. What an unfunny joke!

We were treated like kindergarten children.

We were allowed to ask one question at a time but not allowed to question the answers in reply.

(The resident felt) those answers (could be considered as being):

  • sometimes so brief and curt as to be disrespectful of the questioner
  • often waffling and vague
  • frequently only one response to a two part question.

This was no open and frank discussion. Ratepayers were effectively muzzled from expressing their opinion.

It was a “tick the box” exercise on the part of Council.

Imagine the irony when I saw the Council’s notices this morning on a thin border area of bush (we believe this is an area of the endangered Duffys Forest) near Westleigh.

So Council thinks it’s OK for Mountain Bikers to trail for miles through endangered bushland at the proposed Westleigh Park, but unacceptable to do the same on an area down the road because it  “damages the native plants and habitat for animals.”

What hypocrisy! What contradiction! What an admission! What double standards!

The notice goes on to say that “building trails or jumps is a fun and great way to spend time outdoors but just not here”.

How can Council say that when the trail builders don’t own the land, and in the case of Westleigh Park never had permission?”


Council Votes for Master Plan

Thank you to all of you who attended Wednesday’s Hornsby Shire Council meeting, particularly those of you that spoke and to the many more of you who watched online.

While the outcome to exhibit the Draft Master Plan for Westleigh Park as published was disappointing, it is by no means the end of the story. That was just the first skirmish in what will be a more protracted battle to protect the ecologically sensitive bushland at Westleigh Park and to preserve local residents’ amenity.

Save Westleigh Park will continue to fight for the bushland, the native fauna and for residents and there are many hurdles at which Council’s concepts can fall.

The next step in this battle for biodiversity is the Master Plan and Plan of Management will go on exhibition for one month for public submissions. This is when we all need to make a BIG noise and inundate Council with objecting submissions.

Save Westleigh Park will send you all a submission guide shortly to assist you with the most important points, together with links to the documents and who to send your submission to.

Again, thank you for your support to Save Westleigh Park. We will be here for the duration to support YOU in getting the best and fairest outcomes.


Westleigh Park Master Plan Ready

Council are about to put the Westleigh Park Master Plan on public exhibition. See the Council Business Papers.

There are still 7km of tracks through the the sensitive bushland and an unacceptable amount of tracks through the Critically Endangered Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest and the Endangered Duffys Forest.  These tracks apart from 2 are not shared so only available to mountain bikers who are destroying the forest. Council will not release the fauna reports so that the public can see the fauna being disturbed by their illegal activity.


Regional Sporting Venue Coming to Westleigh

Council are bringing a regional sporting venue to Westleigh, when fully developed there will be three platforms with sporting fields for Football, AFL, Cricket, Rugby and an Athletics field.


Is Hornsby Shire Council Ignoring it’s Own Signage

The survival of the Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest depends on all of us. Yet Hornsby Shire Council is not listening to its own advice.