Lane Cove Council Area Major Developments Update May 2020

We might be in the middle of a pandemic, but development applications and planning proposals are still being progressed.

On 28 April 2020, the NSW Government announced 24 projects to undergo a fast-tracked assessment process as part of the NSW Government’s new Planning System Acceleration Program.

The purpose of the Program is to redirect resources within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to accelerate the assessment and determination of projects that inject investment into the NSW economy and keep people in jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aged Care Facility Northwood Road

There is one Lane Cove planning proposal on the first fast track list and was approved by NSW Planning on 20 May 2020.  As the site has been rezoned to mixed used and aged care, a DA will now be lodged.

The Pathways Property Group (“Pathways”) residential aged care facility at 274 and 274a Longueville Road and 4-18 Northwood Road, Lane Cove (“Northwood Shops Planning Proposal”) is on the list.

This site is currently occupied by six buildings (including the Metro Service Station aka Speedway Petrol Station and the Riverview Vet).  It is also located at the notorious Longueville Road/Kenneth Street and River Road West intersection.

The proposed development will include:

  • 130-bed residential aged care facility;
  • Allied Health and community well-being services and neighbourhood shops;
  • A Senior Day Care Centre for Local Residents.

Background information here.

Seniors Living – 2 Greenwich Road Greenwich

A new Seniors Living Apartment Complex (40 apartments) is planned for Greenwich Road.  The site was a former private hospital. The hospital closed in 2018 and has relocated to a new facility at 2 Frederick Street, St Leonards.

The proposed development will include:

  • 40 Apartments (23 will be 3 Bedroom Apartments);
  • Cinema Room;
  • Terrace Area; and
  • Ground floor level will have a café and gallery/library which front Greenwich Road as well as a wellness centre and commercial suite situated at the rear of the building.

In addition to the above two senior/aged care developments, there are another four aged care/senior’s living development applications being considered by Lane Cove Council or the Planning Department in the Lane Cove Council Area.

Boarding House – 382 Pacific Highway Lane Cove

A new generation board house is proposed for this site.  The site is currently the home of 99 Bikes (who will continue to trade while the DA is being assessed).

The site includes:

  • 54 Single Rooms (all incl. ensuite & kitchenette;
  • There will be a maximum of 95 boarders; and
  • All existing structures will be demolished.

New generation boarding houses continue to be contentious in residential areas.  The Local Planning Panel recently rejected a boarding house in Mindarie Street Lane Cove North.  Read more here.

Towers – 166 Epping Road Lane Cove

The Sydney North Planning Panel (“the panel”) has rejected a rezoning review proposal for this site.

In August 2019, Lane Cove Council received a Planning Proposal to amend the Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan 2009 to rezone 166 Epping Road, Lane Cove West, from Industrial to B4 Mixed Use.  This zoning change would allow residential towers to be constructed.

The current site is part of the Lane Cove West Light Industrial Area and currently, there is a 3 storey commercial building on the site. Adjoining the site to the east is the Lane Cove Bushwalk and public pedestrian network including the Great Northern Walk.

The Developer was planning to build two residential towers (a South and North tower), twenty-21 storeys and 14 storeys respectively, above the three (3) storey existing building. This equates to about 316 apartments in both towers.

The Lane Cove Council rejected the rezoning which resulted in the rezoning proposal being referred to the Panel.

The Panel unanimously rejected the rezoning and agreed with the Lane Cove Council that the proposal failed the strategic merit test.

The panel also considered it failed a site specific merit test as the site rezoning comprises potential future light industrial uses and would likely result in land use conflicts with surrounding industrial properties.  The site is isolated from social and community infrastructure (both existing and planned).  The proposal also failed from a transport perspective as it did not demonstrate achievable safe vehicular access.

The panel noted that it was hesitant to approve  the Merition development on Epping Road without a strategic direction for this Epping Road corridor. Since that time the North District plan has been developed and this plan clearly acknowledges the need for retaining and managing industrial and urban service land.  Read about the background here.

St Leonards South Plan (or East Greenwich)

The Lane Cove Council met on Monday 11th May 2020 and progressed the St Leonards South Planning Proposal.  Councillors Palmer, Strassberg, Brent, Bennison and Brooks-Horn voted for progressing the proposal.  This was despite Councillors Zbik asking for a deferment until the matter could be discussed with a public gallery and public submissions could be heard.  Councillors Zbik, Morris and Vissel did not vote for the planning proposal.

There was also debate about whether or not the public should have a chance to make submissions on the revised plan

The Lane Cove Council obtained legal advice which concluded they were not permitted to undertake further community consultation.  The Greenwich Community Association does not agree with this legal advice.  They say that while there is no obligation to put the plan out for community consultation, it is not prohibited. Background information here.

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