THOUGHTS FOR THE FUTURE 1980’s by Mary Newlinds


Given Mary Newlinds extraordinary service to our community, it is fitting to consider her prescient thoughts from 4 decades ago.

Duffys Forest and Terrey Hills are located on a peninsula of freehold and Crown land extending west from Mona Vale Road to a point very close to the upper reach of Cowan Creek, a distance of 6 kms. The area is bounded on three sides by the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. There are some postal addresses of Terrey Hills located on the eastern side of Mona Vale Road and they are on the boundary of Garigal National Park. The area was once described as being “a dagger in the heart of Ku-ring-gai Chase”. The Terrey Hills residential area has a population of approximately 3,000 residents. They live in a delightful suburb with a minimum size quarter acre blocks mostly bungalows with attractive gardens and trees. In the last few years residents have tended to add another story or extend their houses in order to remain in the locality.

There is a small industrial area located in Terrey Hills close to the residential area. Also located in the residential area is a small block of retirement units, a nursing home and aged hostel accommodation. The northern part of the rural and residential areas has delightful views over Ku-ring-gai Chase and is seen as a very desirable place to live.

Thoughts for the future

The physical characteristics of the area are attractive but there are problems with slopes, clay soil etc. There is small branch sewerage line from the Warriewood Sewerage Treatment Works which has been put in to service the area. The general ambience of the locality is most desirable and most people seem to want to remain in the area as mentioned before.

The shopping centre, community centre, library, kindergarten, tennis club, rugby club, scouts and guides are all located close to each other near the large playing field. There is also a large community hall which is in general use as well as the Senior Citizens Centre and the Headquarters of the Bushfire Brigade and a branch of the local Police Station. People find this Community development most convenient and comment on it often. The Local School is located nearby and is within walking distance of all these amenities. People describe the locality as being rural and close to extensive bushland with all the interesting recreation possibilities such as bush walking, horse riding, camping etc. There is generally a very good community spirit and a number of local organisations continue to flourish.

Duffys Forest and the rural part of Terrey Hills consist mainly of residential 2ha blocks intermingled with some commercial developments and educational establishments. There are a number of surviving rural establishments such as nurseries, horse stables and dog kennels. Situated on Myoora Road, Terrey Hills there is an area zoned “Urban Support”. At the present time there are complaints that the zoning there is not wide enough but such developments as schools, a golf driving range, bus depot, storage spaces, a hotel and motel and other institutional developments are located there. 

Residents over the years have fought many battles against unwanted developments in the rural areas. It became apparent that properties were changing hands and a distinctive residential character was emerging so in the early 1980s the Duffys Forest Progress Association became involved in discussions with Council regarding replanning and rezoning of Duffys Forest, Terrey Hills and Ingleside. The LEP 1993 for Duffys Forest and Terrey Hills was finally gazetted and in it the Rural Residential zoning became much more limited, the aim being to fully reflect the emerging amenity of the area. Now as properties change hands it is residential not commercial developments that ensue. It can now be said that the character of Duffys Forest in particular is rural-residential. The properties are large, most people keep horses, the houses vary in design and on the whole are most attractively presented. This area hopefully will remain as a mix of rural-residential and rural industries, even if the minimum size allotment is to be altered at a later date.

I understand that a further study of the non urban area is being planned by Council in the not too distant future.

The negative characteristics of Terrey Hills and Duffys Forest at present are:

Transport problems such as inadequate and busy roads.

Roseville Bridge congestion.

Lack of public transport.

Thoughts for the future

Bushfire problems. Lack of local employment in the Warringah area although this is improving.

Inadequate access roads within the locality.

Lack of footpaths in the residential area.

Runoff and weed problems in the adjoining National Park.

Lack of access for properties to Mona Vale Road.

Lack of cycleways particularly along Booralie and Myoora Roads.

I have discussed the future possibilities for the locality with many residents and most agree that Terrey Hills/Duffys Forest is a delightful isolated location with a strong community spirit and so far a low crime rate. If there were to be any redevelopment in the residential area then it is suggested that the present residential lots should be retained with no alteration to the size of the subdivision. It would appear that an increase of population of up to 1500 people could be a possibility if some non urban land on the periphery of the residential area is made available for residential development similar to the present minimum size. As far as mixed residential development is concerned, the most appropriate area for this would be in association with the present shopping centre and the along the southern side of Yulong Avenue. This would entail a major plan for redevelopment but could be most appropriate. Such a plan for Yulong Avenue in association with a small release <would make the> locality more viable with regard to shopping facilities and other community needs.

However the infrastructure development in Warringah needs upgrading before suggested future developments could reasonably be considered.

As far as the rural acreages are concerned the one thing that nobody seems to want and certainly I don’t would be to think that in thirty years time there will be residential development, either garden blocks or medium density, extending all the way down to Duffys Forest. There are many reasons for this not being a good idea including bush fire hazard, drainage from slopes into Ku-ring-gai National Park and general access problems. I feel that there is also a positive aspect in looking at rural areas. It should be the task of present and future Councils and State Planning Departments that Sydney retains the benefits and diversity of rural areas both for residential purposes, rural industries and the urban support needs of the City and the region.


I would like to summarise by saying that I personally feel that we can’t stand still and that a limited increase in the population of the Terrey Hills residential area could be beneficial. I feel very strongly, as do most people in the locality, that the whole area needs to be planned very, very carefully because of the surrounding National Park and the problem of the Cowan Creek catchment. These days we are much more conscious of the management of waterways and again this area is a high plateau with steep slopes surrounded by a very beautiful and important bushland area. Future development needs to be limited and carefully planned to protect the amenity of the locality and the high conservation value of its surrounds.