Neighbours Concerned about Lane Cove Council Aged Care Development Plans

    The Lane Cove Council has recently issued local residents with a notification of revised plant for their Senior Housing Development at the old cultural centre and bowling green at 266 Longueville Road Lane Cove.

    The Development will comprise 82 one and two bedroom independent living units, 70 aged care beds and 122 parking spots (for employees, residents and visitors).  To find out more search DA117/2017.

    Local residents are very concerned about the traffic issues that will arise due to this development.  This is in addition to their concerns about overdevelopment and alienation of public land.  They also note the site has been vacant for many years because there has been limited community use and secondly it is a difficult redevelopment site (according to Lane Cove Council’s Executive Manager Environmental Services at a public meeting on the proposal).

    One Local resident told In the Cove that the report by the traffic consultant on the development only comments on the impact of traffic in the immediate area of Longueville Road.  They have undertaken their own traffic analsysis and believe there are implications for the broader area during construction and the operation of this very large proposed facility.

    Their concerns are as follows:

    • The site is heavily sloping. A Preliminary Environmental Site Assessment revealed that there are varying degrees of contamination in selected areas of imported fill within the site. As such, any development will require substantial site works and presumably the removal of considerable volumes of contaminated soil.  During construction, there will be a large number of vehicles movements involving heavy trucks and low loaders with heavy equipment, cement mixers and related equipment and other vehicles.
    • Potential access to the site is restricted to Longueville Road on a bend close to the junction with River Road West. This junction is already highly problematic and the scene of frequent accidents. There is no direct access to River Road West and vehicles heading in that direction either travel along residential roads in Longueville (Kenneth Street, New Street and William Edward Street), execute dangerous manoeuvres through busy service station forecourts in Northwood Road or very occasionally make illegal right turns into River Road West.
    • Longueville Road is already very busy on school days. There are two schools within 500 metres of the development (Currambena and St Michaels). Around school drop off time and when the schools have evening events, there is significant congestion, the area is parked out sometimes leading to dangerous driving and parking behaviours. It is a major bus route as well as being used by other heavy vehicles.
    • Available street parking in the area is already very limited at all times due to cars associated with teachers at the schools (there is no off-street parking for the schools mentioned above).
    • Additionally, at this time, some of these issues are significantly exacerbated by the level of other development underway in Lane Cove and developments subject to appeal. Another proposal for a mixed retail/aged care facility at 10 Northwood Road previously rejected by Council is subject to appeal. It has to be recognised that there is a potential risk that some form of major development at that site may be undertaken at the same time of the proposed development.
    • In a letter to Lane Cove Council dated 1 November 2017, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) raised a number of major objections in relation to the proposal that had to be addressed in amended plans before it “would review and provide a response accordingly.”  RMS stated that any proposed access to the site shall be relocated to the far north western extent of the property further away from the traffic signals of Longueville Road/River Road West. In the plans sighted by a Local Resident at Lane Cove Council on 29 May, all vehicular access remains at the extreme south of the site (other than some access for cars dropping residents under a canopy towards the south of the site. The amended plans do address the RMS requirement to the site be “left in, left out” from the southward lanes of Longueville Road.
    • The reports prepared by the traffic planning consultant mainly focus on mechanical calculations based on traffic in Longueville Road. No comment is made by the traffic planning consultant on how those estimated vehicles in peak periods (and the many other vehicles accessing the site at day and night) will access development site and traverse the immediate area.
    • Most vehicles including trucks making deliveries leaving the development would come up a steep incline on a roadway between the development and Timbertops across a very narrow pavement with poor visibility of pedestrians – including many unaccompanied school children and elderly residents – walking north on Longueville Road.
    • Vehicles leaving the development to the west along River Road West, will drive into traffic going south on Longueville Road and then turn right into Kenneth Street and follow the tortuous route via New Street and William Edward Street described in the context section above (or perform manoeuvres through service station forecourts).  This creates the very same issue that Lane Cove Council cited as a concern when rejecting the aged care proposal in Northwood.
    • Based on traffic access to the site being left in and left out only (as specified in the development proposal and correctly required by RMS) traffic leaving the development going to the north on Longueville Road will need to take the following route from the proposed exit. Left into the middle lane of Longueville Road very close to the traffic lights, turning right at the traffic lights at the top of Kenneth Street, left into Woodford Street, left into Arabella Street and left into Northwood Road before continuing forward through two sets of lights (which have already been passed in the opposite direction). Alternatively, vehicles may seek to perform manoeuvres through service station forecourts.
    • Vehicles coming into the site from River Road West and Northwood Road will need to drive past the development on the opposite side of Longueville Road and (presumably) execute U turns in Longueville Road or Richardson Street West, before returning south down Longueville Road to the development. This is an extremely convoluted set of road conditions and involves diverting significant traffic volumes into small residential streets. This will be a serious issue with cars and trucks following a completion of the development. These serious issues are not addressed in any way by the traffic consultant and this complex and dangerous set of circumstances are seriously at odds with the consultant’s simplistic assessment restricted to additional traffic on Longueville Road.
    • If the Vehicles do not do a U-turn as described above then a vehicle coming from Greenwich via River road they would need to turn right into Austin Street then right into Alpha Road and right onto Longueville Rd. A vehicle coming from Lane Cove West would turn left onto Austin Street, right turn into Alpha Road, then right into Longueville.  This creates extra traffic near St Michaels School.

    Based on the problematic access arrangements described in detail above and the existing issues with congestion on Longueville Road, this will inevitably cause a dangerous set of circumstances for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists using Longueville Road and residential roads in the immediate area during the construction period.

    The above concerns could be amplified if ultimately the rejected development proposal subject to appeal at 10 Northwood Road is constructed in some form in a similar timeframe to the proposed development at 266 Longueville Road.

    The notification from Lane Cove Council sets a two-week deadline for submissions to the Planning panel on the development at 266 Longueville Road starting from 25 May 2018. You can submit your application via email service@lanecove.nsw.gov.au.

    You can view the notification notice here 20180525 Notification of Amended Plans DA117-2017.


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