Please note: The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing between 30th January 2023 to 27th March 2023.
Some of the information on this page has since changed.
This page has been kept published for historical records.
Fact checking Greenwich Community Association email dated 27th March 2023
Fact checking the incorrect "Call to Action Flyer" - 22nd March 2023
Mythbusting incorrect statements made in submissions to Sydney North Planning Panel - 30th January 2023
Below is a summary of answers to various questions I have received about the proposed Sport & Recreation Facility at 180 River Road, Lane Cove West (DA147/2022).
Please note, this is my own work and any opinions expressed below are my own.
If you have any further questions from the below, please contact me directly at [email protected] or 0411 894 788.
The update provided to Council at the Ordinary Council meeting on 8th December 2022 states:
“Council has also commenced planning for the 18 month period which the golf course will be impacted during the construction programme.” (Page 19)
“As previously reported to Council, this grant program requires construction to commence by 1 July 2023 and be completed by December 2025. The project timetable outlined above provides a pathway for this to occur, with an estimated construction time of 18 months commencing in June 2023.” (Page 21)
(Link to Agenda https://lanecove.infocouncil.biz/Open/2022/12/CNL_08122022_AGN_AT.PDF):
I can confirm there have NEVER been plans nor discussions to close the golf course for three (3) years.
Personally, I am keen to see that Council maintains operation of golf on the course during construction. It is correct that the 8th and/or the 9th fairways may be impacted during construction. The full extent of this impact will be clarified after Council seeks tenders for construction.
The proposed plans in DA147/2022
- Provide a larger bistro area compared to what is currently available in the existing Lane Cove Golf Clubhouse.
- Provide a larger outdoor seating area compared to what is currently available in the existing Lane Cove Golf Clubhouse.
- Provide 654 square metres of multipurpose space shared across four rooms which will be designed to cater for all functions currently provided in the existing Lane Cove Golf Clubhouse including dancing, community functions and other passive recreational activities. At present – there is 220 square metres available for functions in the current venue.
- Has capacity to provide opportunities for new emerging sports such as Pickle Ball.
The below is a comparison of square meterage of the current Lane Cove Golf Club and the proposed Sport & Recreation Facility (DA147/2022)
Summary of room schedule / spatial design:
- Four (4) indoor multi-sport courts including two (2) show courts.
- Four (4) outdoor multi-sport courts (tennis / netball) including terraced seating.
- Five (5) flexible program spaces totalling more than 700m2for recreation and leisure, activities, functions and events (Approximately 400m² on level 2 including 3 x 95m² multipurpose rooms and 1 x “golfer’s lounge” at 118m2 and provision for dance floor / green room + 1 x multipurpose room 365m² on level 3)
Per above summary, the current Lane Cove Golf Club provides:
- Upper auditorium 12m x 12m = 144 square metres
- Lower auditorium 13m x 6m = 78 square metres
- Per above summary, the current Lane Cove Golf Club provides:
- 65m2performance stage with 500-person retractable seating located for one show court (nearest the stage)
- 56m2meeting room (In comparison, current meeting room in Lane Cove Golf Club is 9m x 5m = 45 square metres)
- Kitchen (68m2) and bar (31m2)
- Indoor dining at the bistro (227m2) and outdoor dining terrace (204m2) (In comparison, current Lane Cove Golf Club outdoor terrace is 15m x 5m = 75 square metres)
- 88m2reception, office and administration
- 180m2golf and tennis pro-shop
- Accessible toilets, changing place and male / female change rooms
- 246 space underground (naturally ventilated) car park.
- Enhanced pedestrian and bicycle access via a Shared User path connecting River Road safely to the site
Lane Cove Golf Club *
* Drawings of Lane Cove Golf Club and Level 2 (DA147/2022) are not of same scale
Sport & Recreation Centre (DA147/2022) – Level 2 *
* Drawings of Lane Cove Golf Club and Level 2 (DA147/2022) are not of same scale
Sport & Recreation Centre (DA147/2022) – Level 3 (Multi-purpose Room – 365 square metres)
Sport & Recreation Centre (DA147/2022) – Level 1
The below shows the location of the proposed Golf/Tennis Pro Shop (180 square metres)
A summary of feedback from the Community Workshop with answers can be found on pages 19 to 26 of the September Council Meeting Agenda. (Link to Agenda - https://lanecove.infocouncil.biz/Open/2022/09/CNL_29092022_AGN_AT.PDF)
This includes commentary on comparing the current Golf Clubhouse building to the proposed design of the new centre.
The report provided to Council at the Ordinary Council meeting on 8th December 2022 states the proposed area in square meters for recreational facilities. This area is considerable larger than what is currently available in the current Lane Cove Golf Club House (Link to Agenda https://lanecove.infocouncil.biz/Open/2022/12/CNL_08122022_AGN_AT.PDF - Refer to page 20):
The below summarises comparisons between the current venue and the proposed venue in the DA:
- Note: Outdoor dining and seating: The current outdoor seating area is 78 square metres. The proposed new facility would provide 204 square metres of outdoor seating/dining.
- Note: Recreation space: The proposed DA provide 654 square metres of multipurpose space shared across four rooms which will be designed to cater for all functions currently provided in the existing Lane Cove Golf Clubhouse including dancing, community functions and other passive recreational activities. At present – there is 220 square metres available for functions in the current venue.
Council has engaged suitable Acoustic specialists to provide advice on noise abatements between the sport and recreational spaces within the building.
Provision for a Dance Floor
Please note that access is now via traffic signals on River Road at the current main entrance to the Lane Cove Golf Club carpark.
In the updated design the following changes have been made:
- Stevenson St nor the acquisition of the property in question needs to be acquired. Access to the site will now be from River Road with traffic lights installed at the current entrance intersection
- The arrival plaza has been removed. Similarly, drop off/pick up and bus movements will be along River Road.
- The proposed Northwood roundabout is no longer required for the project.
- Alteration in the location of the external sports courts, moving them south and west closer to the existing tennis court location.
- The facility has been reduced by 1 indoor court. It is now an 8-court multipurpose facility (4 indoor + 4 outdoor)
- It includes significant recreation/function space.
The sequence of changes from DA 64 into the recommended Option 2 design were presented at a community workshop at the Golf Course and at Councils September Meeting (Refer to Attachment 1, page 29 of meeting on 29th September 2022.
In terms of bus services to the facility, it will be by the current bus stop on River Rd as busses are too large to traverse the facility entrance/drop-off point. The cancellation of the previous DA64 removed the ability of buses to drop-off/pick-up residents onsite when the Stevenson Street access road was determined not to proceed.
Coaster buses will have full access.
Council remains confident to expect TfNSW will consider an increase in bus services to meet expected demand.
Council has previously had success in advocating for increased bus services to:
- Lane Cove North
- Lane Cove interchange via Epping Road
- Lane Cove West industrial area
The August 18 Council Meeting Agenda included a study of the proposed traffic lights on the river road entrance intersection by TTW (pp 16 and 17 and AT-9). It concluded that the traffic lights river road would still be a Class A or B intersection.
Attachment 9 on Page 33 of the August Ordinary Council Meeting provides the revises traffic scheme analysis. (Link to Agenda - https://lanecove.infocouncil.biz/Open/2022/08/CNL_18082022_AGN_AT.PDF)
Attachment 10 on Page 33 of the August Ordinary Council Meeting provides the Noise Impact Assessment. (Link to Agenda - https://lanecove.infocouncil.biz/Open/2022/08/CNL_18082022_AGN_AT.PDF)
Council confirmed in the answers to feedback from the community workshop that further advice has been sought from suitably qualified acoustic specialists to assist with detailed design.
In the 2022 August Council Meeting Agenda, (pp 17 and 18) it refers to the Noise Impact Assessment report undertaken as part of the original DA 64 (withdrawn) to predict operational noise emissions to the nearest residential receivers…
The report also recommends noise controls that would benefit wildlife.
The Noise Impact Assessment reports are AT-10 and AT-11.
Council is very cognisant of the need to manage light spill and resolved earlier to look at standards that we may adopt to reduce and manage its effects on fauna. At the Local Government NSW Conference on Monday 24 October 2022 the conference passed a Lane Cove Motion to advocate to the State Government for the creation of a light spill standard in bushland. Despite this, I have had many discussions with Council staff about the need to design a facility the reduces the impacts of light spill on neighbouring bushland.
The democratic process was followed in Dec 2021 to elect a new council. 3 previous serving Councillors were returned (Out of 4 seeking re-election), 6 new Councillors were elected. 6 out of the 9 Councillor’s elected specifically mentioned in their campaign materials that they are committed to providing a Sport & Recreation Facility in Lane Cove. Of the remaining 3 Councillor’s elected, none had any election commitment to stop the project.
The new Council withdrew DA 64 at an EGM on 28 February 2022 to review the masterplan, perform due diligence and look at other alternative options.
Since then, after looking at a multitude of alternatives council at the August Meeting was presented with the following summary (pp 8 to 16):
Please note, in addition to Option 2 above, Council resolved to adopt a higher degree of sustainable initiatives in the building. This has added approx. $10 million to the budget. Thus, resulting in an approved budget of $75 million (Resolved at 29th August Extra-Ordinary Meeting).
The comparison of Option 3c which including both an identified site in Lane Cove West plus the knock-down-rebuild of the current Lane Cove Golf Clubhouse would be approx. $89 million if the same budget is applied for sustainable initiatives. This comparison for option 3c did not include funding for additional parking that would be required at 180 River Road should the existing tennis courts be converted to multi-purpose courts alongside a new Clubhouse.
In my personal opinion, it is clear that a ‘hybrid’ option would be more expensive than the current proposed location at 180 River Road.
I have also received questions as to why Lane Cove Council and Willoughby Council will not pursue a joint facility at Gore Hill Oval.
The below are extracts from the Willoughby Council meeting on 8th March 2021.
The below table explains why the larger 8 court option (Option 3) was not deemed economically viable by Willoughby Council:
The below table summarises servicing costs if Willoughby were to obtain debt to complete the project at Gore Hill.
Page 21 of the December report to Council advises:
“Landscaping works including extensive tree planting, which exceeds councils 2:1 tree replacement commitment. A total of 226 trees are proposed to be planted to compensate canopy loss (79 trees to be removed) and enhance biodiversity of the proposed development.”
(Link to Agenda https://lanecove.infocouncil.biz/Open/2022/12/CNL_08122022_AGN_AT.PDF - refer to Page 21):
- Please refer to:
- Attachment 12 (Page 33 of Council Meeting on 18 August 2022 for the “Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Proposed Sports and Recreation Facility - 180 River Road, Lane Cove - DA64/2021”
- Attachment 14 (Page 33 of Council Meeting on 18 August 2022 for the “Eco Logical - Addendum to DA64/2021 Flora and Fauna Impacts”
- Attachment 15 (Page 33 of Council Meeting on 18 August 2022 for the “Summary Ecology Cumulative Impacts Review - Lane Cove Sport and Recreation Precinct Revised Scheme”
In the 2022 August Council Meeting Agenda, (pp 20 and 21) the conclusion is ‘There is no expectation that the DSI Stage 2 would identify any issues that cannot be addressed or that contamination cannot be adequately removed and rehabilitated’. Refer to the report AT-16 (pp 32 and 33)
Also note the statement from the Remediation Action Plan (RAP) concludes ‘…that the site can be rendered for the proposed development subject to appropriate remediation, management and validation...’
Note also that the reports were reviewed by ‘Jason Clay, Accredited Site Auditor’ who concurred with the recommendations and approach…
There are no indigenous or heritage items within the Sport and Recreation Precinct.
Various reports provided to Lane Cove Council and neighbouring Councils estimate that our area is currently 21 to 25 courts short of demand. Between Lane Cove Council providing 8 multi-purpose courts and Willoughby Council 6 indoor multi-purpose courts, our area is still 7 courts short of current demand.
Even if we look at our immediate LGA’s of North Sydney, Mosman, Willoughby and Lane Cove, the assessed demand is an immediate shortage of 9 courts and 4 courts for future demand.
Below is a summary of eight various reports and/or strategies both internal and external to Lane Cove Council that demonstrates demand for such a facility.
Other sources to be relied upon
Not a comprehensive list. The below serves as a high-level summary of all references to demand for indoor sport facilities from the below cited sources.
Other Source 2: Maria Nordstrom (CEO Basketball NSW) - (3rd May 2022 Community Workshop on S&RC Business Case)
Provided data that demonstrated current lack of courts to meet demand.
The below shows the demand for additional courts in our area.
Other Source 3: Belinda Bernstein (President Northern Suburbs Netball Association) - (3rd May 2022 Community Workshop on S&RC Business Case)
Provided data that demonstrated current lack of courts to meet demand.
The below shows the massive shortage of Courts for netball in our area relative to other metro regions of Sydney.
Based on both the Gore Hill and the Council’s projects proceeding and the addition of a court at the North Sydney Indoor Sports Centre; the area would have up to 19 courts, leaving a gap of 4 courts in 2036. (OCM Aug 2022)
Specific engagement was undertaken with:
- Lane Cove Golf Club,
- Basketball NSW,
- North Suburbs Basketball Association,
- Northern Suburbs Netball Association (and associated local clubs),
- Football NSW (Futsal),
- Sydney North Volleyball,
- Golf NSW,
- Tennis NSW.
The large, accumulated demand arises from the fact that no additional capacity has been added to the Lower North Shore Region for more than 25 years, despite the area’s increase in population
Action item 15 is currently being addressed by NSROC.
The Clearinghouse brings together Australia’s leading sport and active recreation agencies—using the Australian Sports Commission as the principal information coordination point—to share news, evidence and insights about sport, human performance, and physical activity.
The business case has referenced data from this source.
Page 20 – Re Netball:
As a 2008 and plan, I note this plan is almost 15 years old.
The only new courts provided in the Lane Cove LGA has been:
- Basketball court at Kingsford Smith Oval (2018)
Conversion of Norton Lane tennis court to provide basketball hoops (Note: Council receives MANY complaints about noise).
The proposed Sport and Recreation Facility will be available for everyone to use, not gender specific. Both men, women, trans or others will have access to the facilities featured. The sports facilities proposed, but not limited to are given in the original report below AT-4:
In relation to the sharing of court time between the sports, Council resolved on 29 August 2022 to ensure that balanced access is given between all the competing sports at the facility (p10, dot point 16)
The assessment of the sporting demand in the area is summarized (pp 8 and 9) of the August Council Meeting 2022 (AT-3 and AT-4)
A copy of the updated business case can be found at Attachment 4 on page 29 of the September Council Meeting Agenda. (Link to Agenda - https://lanecove.infocouncil.biz/Open/2022/09/CNL_29092022_AGN_AT.PDF)
The business case for DA 64 (withdrawn) was completed in May 2021 by Xypher and was presented to the February 2022 Council meeting.
Since then, an update on the Business Case was presented in May 2022
And in September 2022 a revised business case based on the 8 Court design was presented:
Along with details on achieving a High Sustainability Building Design Outcome:
A peer review of the business case (p 16) has been completed for consideration at October’s Council meeting: Refer to AT-4.
Key points from the review of the business case are outlined below:
The available funding sources were provided in Council’s August Meeting (p 26):
- There are many similarities in how Council operates compared to a Businesses, but with one fundamental difference: Government bodies, Local, State or Federal a responsible for providing community infrastructure, whereas businesses are driven by the need to make profit. Thus, while the financial models between the two are very similar, business cases in government institutions can be founded on more than simply financial returns. Ideally for a government asset, it needs to at least break even, where any potential return is a bonus. A key objective of this project is that the facility will be able to cover its own operating costs and not rely on any cross-subsidization from other Council facilities and revenue for its ongoing operations.
Council confirmed that any debt servicing will be partially offset by income from its commercial property portfolio (Note: Willoughby Council found a similar level of cross subsidy would be required if debt is used for the Gore Hill facility. Importantly, both projects would be cash flow positive after debt is repaid – i.e. neither project is forecasted to require cross-subsidisation to operate in the long-term).
- Council has used funds from the Sustainability Levy in the past to assist with new Council projects and renovations of existing Council facilities.
- Council acquires and pays for the expertise of others that are well versed in their selected disciplines. The business case review when read in its entirety, while praising and criticizing the original report in some areas, fundamentally in principle agrees with the original assessment.
- All projects require their business cases and plans by Councils to be submitted for a Capital Expenditure Review and approved by the NSW Office of Local Government. (Please refer to below from page 17 of Councils October Meeting Agenda.
Further, Council’s business case, debt funding under Council’s Long-Term Financial Plan and overall proposed project has been reviewed by the Office of Local Government (As advised to the October Council Meeting):
This is a significant expenditure on a project of this scale but as the above documentation shows, Council has shown due diligence in moving forward with this project.
Council’s Major Projects Plan and Community Strategic Plan has prepared for this facility for over 15 years now. Thus, Council has been saving and allocating funds specifically for this project.
In preparing the cost estimates of the project, Council has considered:
- A high quality fit out of fixture and fittings.
- 12.5% contingency costs.
- A further 6% escalation of costs assuming construction commences in July 2023.
- All forecasted project management costs are included.
- The costs of the proposed traffic signals is included (The previous DA64/2021 did not include the forecasted costs for the now cancelled Stephenson Street extension).