Australian Unity, please do not build units on playfields at Lane Cove

No Justification to build Seniors units on playfields

Lane Cove has a scarcity of finite open spaces and there are 3 other significant proposals for seniors living from just 30m -1.8km from this site. There is no justification to build Seniors living on open space recreation land in Lane Cove.  

The image above is the Open Space provision map of Lane Cove (section 4.1 p11 of Lane Cove Council Open Space Plan August 2016). It shows Sports grounds and general open space in green. Overlayed are; 266 Longueville road in red, a service area oval in yellow and 3 other seniors living proposal sites within 30m - 1.8km of this site in blue. The large green near 266 Longueville rd, is the golf course, which has been striped out, as it has no general recreational use during daylight hours.

The map shows that if the golf course is not considered, there is an alarming scarcity of sports grounds and general open space sporting facilities provisioned in the area. This site is ideal to serve North wood and Riverview that do not have any facilities, the sliver of medium / high-density apartments and 3 primary / middle schools along Longueville rd.

Section 4.1 of the Plan states,

“However, the availability of some types of open space could be problematic. For example, there is evidence that formal and informal sports grounds provision will be under stress (applying the previous British standard of 1.62ha/1,000 people for sportsfields) as the existing 10 sportsfields are unlikely to increase in number given high land values and competition for any land becoming available through changes in use.”

highlighting both the shortage and finite nature of open space land in Lane Cove.

The council Recreation Action Plan dated December 2008 considered this site for a playground (p33) and a junior sports field (p38). This highlights the need for junior sporting fields and playgrounds in the area and the suitability of the site for this purpose. This is further corroborated in the Public Hearing Report for re-zoning by Commissioner Eric Armstrong, which refers to the Currumbeena school community submission and states,

“They claim it is used by the school for PE, soccer, hocky, athletics, football etc.” (section 11.2.1 p25)

It should be noted that the council shut down this public hearing, when the commissioner deferred his determination requesting more information. The 1st item being

“an assessment is made as to whether the whole of the site is needed for future recreation use,”  (section 17.2 p55)

The NSW Department of Planning Site Compatibility Certificate Report dated May 2020 refers to 3 other proposals for development of significant seniors housing facilities within proximity. (Northwood Seniors, Greenwich hospital and 40A Cope st; a distance of 30m, 975m and 1.8km away from this site.

Lane Cove has 1 netball / basketball court (netball is the most popular womens sport in Australia), and this area has no facilities other than tennis. There is a significant need for open space sporting facilities.

There is a far greater need to preserve the scarce finite open space fields and utilise it for Junior sports fields and sports facilities, than the need to build seniors apartments on recreation land in Lane Cove. There are 3 other proposals on appropriate land types, that will fulfill Lane Cove seniors housing needs. There is no justification to build seniors units on open space play fields. This is clearly reflected in the community submissions throughout the gateway process.