Sydney North Planning Panel Gives a Green Light to the Lane Cove Sport and Rec Facility at 180 River Road Northwood

    On 5 May 2023, the Sydney North Planning Panel approved a development application by Lane Cove Council to build a Sports and Recreational Facility with eight courts (4 indoor and four multipurpose outdoor courts) at 180 River Road Lane Cove. It will cost around $75 million to design and construct the facility.

    Where Will the Sport and Recreational Facility Be Located?

    It will be located at the Lane Cove Golf Course at 180 River Road Lane Cove. The building will be located where the existing Lane Cove Golf Club and River Road Tennis Centre are located. The golf course will remain as is (during construction, the golf course layout will be reconfigured).

    Development Consent

    The Development Consent includes the following:

    • Demolition of existing structures and improvements;
    • Lot consolidation and re-subdivision;
    • Construction of a two and part three-storey/mezzanine multipurpose sports facility comprising 6,235m2 of GFA apportioned as:
      • 3,221m2 of indoor sports hall;
      • 277m2 Bistro (including servery and golf trophy display area);
      • 204m2 Outdoor Dining Terrace;654m2 of multipurpose space shared between 4 rooms;
      • 118m2 of lounge space, 64m2 of office space and a meeting room of 56m
    • Construction of four new outdoor multipurpose courts (3,665m2 GFA);
    • Cut, fill, re-levelling and construct lower ground parking level with 248 parking spaces, including six accessible parking spaces, ten bicycle parking spaces and 16 motorbike parking spaces;
    • Landscaping works, including extensive tree planting.

    What Will the Sports and Recreational Facility Look Like?

    Lane Cove Council has prepared the following flyover video.


    How Will Patrons Access the Site?

    The site will be accessed via River Road.

    The existing Lane Cove Golf Course access will be upgraded to a signalised intersection to be constructed before the operation of the new facility.

    The plans for the intersection did not form part of the development consent and are subject to separate approval under Part 5 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act, 1979.

    The proposed intersection works will include the following:

    • a pedestrian crossing over River Road (ITC note there is only a footpath on River Road Golf Course side)
    • an extension of the left turn lane out of the site from 15m to 35m and new signage and line marking.
    • A dedicated right-hand lane turn into the facility if you are approaching the facility from Greenwich.
    Source: Council Assessment Report Dated 3 May 2023

    What Will be the Hours of Operation?

    The following operating hours are proposed for the facility:

    • Outdoor Multi-courts: – Monday to Sunday (7 days a week): 7 am to 10 pm
    • Bistro – Monday to Thursday: 7 am to 10:00 pm – Friday to Sunday: 7 am to Midnight
    • Multipurpose sports halls – General operating, Monday to Sunday (7 days a week): 6 am to 10 pm
    • Function rooms – Monday to Thursday: 6 am to 10 pm – Thursday to Sunday: 6 am to Midnight
    Source: Statement of Environmental Effects Prepared by Ethos Urban Dated 1 December 2022

    Who Will Manage the Sports and Recreational Facility?

    This has not been finalised; however, during the council meetings, the operating model was described as the “Bluefit Model” (i.e. the same model that is used at the Lane Cove Aquatic and Leisure Centre where an external contractor manages the public pool)

    How Are The Construction Costs Funded?

    Below is an extract from the Lane Cove Council’s Business Papers. Lane Cove Council was successful in obtaining the grant mentioned below.

    When Will Construction Start and Finish?

    Lane Cove Council has a $5 million grant for the facility under the NSW Government Multi-Sport Community Facility grants program. This program requires construction to commence by 1 July 2023 and be completed by December 2025. An estimated construction time of 18 months beginning in June 2023, with the existing facilities being demolished.

    Source: Statement of Environmental Effects Prepared by Ethos Urban Dated 1 December 2022

    Which Construciton Firm Will be Building the Sport and Rec Facility?

    At the April 2023 Lane Cove Council meeting, Councillors were advised that  ADCO Constructions, AW Edwards, Grindley Construction, Prime Constructions, and Richard Crookes Constructions will be invited to tender.

    ADCO built The Canopy – so Lane Cove Council has a good working relationship with ADCO.

    Richard Crookes built the Quartet Apartments situated next to the Canopy.

    Icon Co, which rebuilt the Lane Cove Pool and the grandstand, is not one of the five listed as being invited to tender.

    Will the Golf Course Still Operate During Construction?

    The Lane Cove Golf Club has prepared a revised 9-hole course layout which does not include the current 9th hole and a modified 1st tee and 7th Green. During construction, Lane Cove Council has indicated that they will seek to minimise the impact on all holes as far as possible.  After the facility is constructed, the course will be as per the current layout.

    Source: Lane Cove Council April 2023 Meeting Business Papers

    Where Will Golfers Park?

    There will be no onsite parking.

    Residents from streets that adjoin the golf course are concerned about extra traffic and the limited off-street parking used by golfers.   Lane Cove Council and the pro shop operator have agreed to provide an on-demand shuttle service from the Little Street Car Park for a trial period of six weeks. The on-demand service will only be on the weekend.

    Mayor Andrew Zbik told ITC:  “Mid-week participation is such that we think existing parking arrangements on local streets may be sufficient… the idea is the working group will monitor and consider solutions if warranted.”

    The Lane Cove Council resolved to address the parking issue as follows:

    1. Establishes a working group to oversee the golf course operations (access and  amenity) during construction of the Sport & Recreation Facility comprising of:
      • Two (2) community representatives from the Gamma Road Precinct (Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma and Zeta Roads and Richardson St West).
      • Two (2) community representatives from the Third Avenue Precinct (First, Second, Third and Fourth Avenues, Campbell Avenue, Osborne Road, and Richardson St East).
      • East Ward Councillors.
      • Two (2) representatives from Lane Cove Golf Club.
      • Two (2) Council Officers as determined by the General Manager.
      • Golf Course Operator.
    2. Resolves to keep the Golf Course fully operational with a modified nine-hole layout during construction of the Sport & Recreation Facility relying on existing on-street parking arrangements (i.e. no changes) adjacent to the Golf Course.
    3. Accept the offer of the course operator to trial for six weeks, promotion of the Little Street Car Park as a suitable park and ride location to access the Golf Course, with a shuttle service provided in the morning (4 hours) on weekends and during the trial Council waive the car parking fees in the Little Street Car Park for the 4 hours.

    Under this option, it is envisaged that a shuttle bus will take golfers to and from the pro shop located near Gamma Rd.

    Will the New Facility Include Tennis Courts?

    There will be no dedicated tennis courts at the facility. The outside courts are multi-function courts and will include line marking for activities such as netball, basketball and tennis courts.

    What is the next step?

    Lane Cove Councillors are to be provided with a 80% detailed design for the facility.  This will be endorsed design for inclusion in tender documents and all supporting report documentation prepared for tender.  Lane Cove Council can not invite the recommended contractors to tender or issue any tender documentation to them until the Councillors have received the 80% design plan. It was noted in the April 2023 Lane Cove Council meeting:

    “This will enable Council, as the governing body, to minimise risks, including those associated with potential Project cost overruns, by ensuring that the tender process is not commenced until detailed and accurate 80% design documentation has been completed.”

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