Plans for 553-unit development in Thornton still alive

An artist’s impression of the Thornton Central proposal.
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The developers behind a plan for 553 units across two soaring towers in Thornton are confident the project will go ahead, despite recent speed bumps.

A Planning Panel recently rejected the $200 million development, but it is currently subject to a Peer Review.

It is understood the community infrastructure spend associated with the development and other technical issues, not the buildings themselves, are the key issues behind the recent rejection.

An additional issue arose last week when the construction arm of St Hilliers fell into administration.

St Hilliers and First Point Property are partners in the Thornton Central towers but the former’s property development and investment division is not impacted.

First Point Property Executive Director, Deborah Landes, said she was confident issues around the approval of the Development Application could be resolved.

“We had lots of different options when the Planning Panel decision came down,” she told the Weekender on Monday.

“We looked at our options and we decided there were only some really technical issues that stopped the approval so we opted to lodge a Division 8.2 Review, which is in essence a Peer Review.

“We are starting our meetings with the Planning Panel and Council next Monday.”

An artist’s impression of the development.

Landes said she was keen to resolve issues raised in the rejection and “get the job done”.

“Perhaps we weren’t clear enough on some elements. We’ve gone to a lot of trouble now to be perfectly clear on everything,” she said.

“I really believe we’re heading in the right direction. This has been a long time coming.”

The overall plan for the development incorporates not only 553 units across various housing styles, but a childcare centre, medical facility and supermarket – as well as additional retail tenancies and restaurants.

It is seen by many as the final piece of the puzzle in Thornton, which has become a major community on the northern side of Penrith Station.

St Hilliers remains First Point’s partner in the project and is not impacted by the construction arm of its business going into Voluntary Administration last week.

With the property and investment arm not impacted, it’s business as usual for the partnership moving forward.

“We needed to make sure and we made very sure it wasn’t our business partner,” Landes said.

“Once we satisfied ourselves it wasn’t, and once we got over the shock, we’re on a mission to get this done and there is no reason why it wouldn’t be done.

“They’re independently run businesses… it’s run totally separately.”

A decision on the future of the project following the review process is expected within six months.

Troy Dodds

Troy Dodds is the Weekender's Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia's leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.

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