Over the past five years the Lane Cove community has noticed an increase of new developments with many long-term residents having to cast their minds back to the 1970s to recall an equivalent level of growth. So why is Lane Cove growing?
The State Government's Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney sets a framework for growth in Sydney by 2031. Within the Strategy was a target of 27,500 new homes across the city each year – Lane Cove's contribution to this process was set at 3,900 new dwellings by 2031.
To assist in maintaining the village atmosphere, in 2009 Council applied a range of sustainability criteria that helped identify the best locations for these developments. Criteria addressed areas such as transport, traffic, walking and gradient to shops, conservation, loss of area's character/interface with adjacent areas and the overall quality of the site. It is no surprise that Lane Cove's proximity to the city, village atmosphere and natural amenity has proven attractive to developers and buyers alike. Council has already approved over 3,000 units for construction, with a large number currently under construction.
The State Government has recently released 'A Plan for a Growing Sydney' which is an update of the Metro Strategy. Whilst not yet finalised, Lane Cove's contribution is likely to be some 6,000 units (up from 3,900).This scale is similar to the projection for neighbouring councils.
Council has been planning for this amended target with apartments being located in Lane Cove North and West, as well as increased interest at St Leonards where proximity to the rail and bus network continues to grow. Council has also been ensuring this area is able to service future communities by developing a St Leonards South Masterplan and the St Leonards Public Domain Master Plan, with a bus/rail interchange at St Leonards that will provide open space over the railway line; local retail; community space; and essential transport connections.
Council has already delivered a range of infrastructure improvements over the past 18 months with a number of other facilities being delivered over the coming year. This has been made possible by the increase in ratepayers and also in the section 94 contributions (paid by developers to address the increased demand on infrastructure from each new dwelling).
In addition to this Council has also locked in Voluntary Planning Agreement funds which are provided where developers can demonstrate public benefit from a modification to the existing planning restrictions (such as height).
These funds contribute significantly to strategic projects where open space, traffic infrastructure and better connectivity can be realised.
Recent Projects Completed
• New synthetic sportsfields at Blackman Park (new Scout Hall and amenities building now under construction)
• Upgrade to Lane Cove Aquatic Leisure Centre and Gymnasium;
• Upgrade to Lane Cove Plaza;
• New road at 304-314 Burns Bay Road
• New traffic lights at Rosenthal Avenue/Longueville Road intersection
• New Community Centre at 314 Burns Bay Road (due 2015)
• New Park at 314 Burns Bay Road (due 2015)
• New 200 space carpark to replace 84 spaces at Little Lane (due 2015)
• New Community Centre at Little Lane
• New pedestrian footbridge linking the Little Lane Carpark to the Aquatic Centre
• Bus/rail interchange at St Leonards
• Rosenthal Carpark to be replaced with a large open space, additional shops and parking for approx. 500 vehicles
• Open space in the Mowbray Road Precinct
• Seniors Living at 266 Longueville Road
• Recreation Precinct at Golf Course