Newsletter 19 – Luna Park Lavender Green Development Application
- Posted by IanMuttonAdmin
- On April 21, 2020
- Lavender Bay Lavender Green
- Residents are NOT “killjoys”, residents support Luna Park
- Lavender Green is NOT part of the historic Luna Park as claimed in the DA. Lavender Green was added in 1997
- Lavender Green is located in one of the most densely populated areas of Sydney
- North Sydney is acutely short of green space with more residents per hectare than other North Shore Councils and the City of Sydney
- Lavender Green was always intended to be green space
- The Act prohibits permanent structures (other than landscape structures)
- Lavender Green has been used by Luna Park as a prestigious events area NOT an amusement area as claimed in the DA
- Lavender Green was excluded from the 2018 SEPP which expanded the building envelopes and height restrictions in Luna Park to ensure it remained green
- Expanding Luna Park westward into Lavender Bay would have a significant impact on the amenity of thousands of residents in Milsons Point, Lavender Bay and McMahons Point
- This DA is contrary to NSW Government Policy to secure green space whenever the opportunity arises
1. The Lavender Bay Development Application
Multiplex’s Luna Park has submitted a Development Application to the Department of Planning.
• If successful, rides/activities will be installed on Lavender Green. See http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=10196
The NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure (not North Sydney Council) has the power to accept or reject the Application.
2. Misrepresentation of residents by Luna Park
Luna Park, as we know it, is an important part of the Lavender Bay ambience.
Along with the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, the much-loved amusement park is a Sydney icon and viewed as such by Milsons Point residents.
3. Lavender Green is not part of the historic Luna Park
Multiplex’s Luna Park, in its Statement of Environmental Effects (dated 31 January 2020), asserts that Lavender Green is part of the historic Luna Park.
• This is incorrect.
Up to 1997, Lavender Green was public open space maintained by North Sydney Council. In 1997 the Carr Government took Lavender Green away from North Sydney Council and added it to Luna Park.
• We’ve never understood why it did this.
The Government then legislated to prohibit the erection of any permanent structure on Lavender Green.
The lease of Luna Park to Multiplex’s Luna Park reflects the legislation; it:
prohibits the erection of any permanent structure (other than structures in the nature of landscaping) on that part of the premises comprised in lot 1247 on deposited plan 48514.
The clear intention was that this area of land be green space. Indeed, Luna Park recognising this intention named it Lavender Green.
4. Shortage of green space in densely populated area
Lavender Bay is surrounded by the densely populated residential areas of Milsons Point, Lavender Bay and McMahons Point. Milsons Point is one of the most densely populated suburbs in Sydney.
North Sydney is acutely short of green space. It has 557 people per hectare. More people per hectare than other Councils on the north shore, and even more than the densely populated City of Sydney.
5. Prohibition of permanent structures on Lavender Green
It came as a surprise when in 2017 a permanent structure (a “rigid marquee”) appeared.
Permanent because the “rigid marquee”:
• has purpose-built concrete foundations;
• is connected to power and water;
• is capable of withstanding a category 4 cyclone.
The Government was asked in 2017 to advise why it allowed the “rigid marquee” to be erected and then remain. It advised :
We have inspected the marquee on Lavender Green. It is not strictly speaking a permanent structure as it appears to be a removable gazebo albeit bolted to the ground.
The view is questionable – see 7 below for more.
6. Role of Lavender Green in the operation of Luna Park
The Statement of Environmental Effects states the functionality of Lavender Green within Luna Park is primarily a children’s and family area and accommodates minor rides, marquees, and activities such as a petting zoo and inflatables.
• This is incorrect.
Lavender Green is predominantly used by Luna Park as a prestigious events venue.
In October 2017, following the establishment of the “rigid marquee” structure, Luna Park promoted Lavender Green as an updated outdoor venue positioned as a prestigious events and venue host.
An article titled “Luna Park Sydney reveals updated outdoor venue”, published in the Australasian Management Magazine on 20 October 2017, advised
“… Sydney’s Luna Park Venues has unveiled a new look for its outdoor venue, Lavender Green, in advance of the summer months…
The multi-purpose venue can be used to host a wide range of activities and functions including outdoor BBQ style parties, family days, lunches or outdoor cocktail events. The updated venue space now has the capacity to cater for 1000-guest cocktail events, while the capacity of the marquee is 600 guests standing and 250-300 for a seated buffet.
Luna Park promotes Lavender Green on its website as a corporate and social venue.
Indeed, in 2018, Lavender Green, with its purpose-built new “rigid marquee” and kitchen facilities, helped Luna Park to win the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia’s annual award for excellence for the BEST NEW INITIATIVE – LARGE SCALE VENUE
7. State Environmental Planning Policy (State Significant Precincts) – removal of planning controls in Luna Park
In 2017, Multiplex’s Luna Park argued that, unlike everyone else in NSW, Luna Park should not have to comply with the planning laws.
• The NSW Government disagreed.
• Multiplex’s Luna Park took the NSW Government to the Land & Environment Court claiming it was not required to obtain a construction certificate for any building or structure it wished to construct.
• The Court dismissed the claim and awarded costs against Multiplex.
Inexplicably, the then NSW Planning Minister, The Hon Anthony Roberts MP (with the support of our local state member), announced the NSW Government would amend the law to reverse its victory in Court.
So, there you have it. The Planning Minister, having won the case moved to change the law to negate the victory.
8. The Lavender Green Development Application – WHY?
Now just over a year later, Multiplex’s Luna Park has submitted a Development Application to allow other rides, amusements and facilities to be installed on Lavender Green.
An internet search has revealed that Luna Park has procured a rollercoaster – an SC2000 Coaster.
Also, recent markings in Maloneys Corner (the area between Coney Island and Lavender Green) indicate that a survey of underground services, including electrical, communications, storm water etc has been undertaken.
The Development Application advises that Lavender Green has historically been used for children’s activities and families.
• This is incorrect.
Lavender Green has predominantly been used by Luna Park as a prestigious events venue.
If Luna Park’s intention is to install a rollercoaster in Maloney’s Corner, is the motive for this Development Application the relocation of the Children’s Rides from Maloney’s Corner to Lavender Green?
9. Expansion of Luna Park into Lavender Bay
This Development Application seeks to expand the amusement area of Luna Park into Lavender Green and install rides, amusements and facilities up to a height of RL14 on Lavender Green. This represents a significant expansion of Luna Park into Lavender Bay.
Lavender Bay is surrounded by the densely populated residential areas of Milsons Point, Lavender Bay and McMahons Point. If approved, this Development Application would have a significant impact on the amenity of thousands of residents.
It is notable, in this regard, that the 1995 decision by Hodgson J in the case of SEIDLER and Ors v LUNA PARK RESERVE TRUST and Anor made the statement that “…the area [i.e., in the neighbourhood of Luna Park] is now, to a significant extent, a residential area, and is becoming more so; and that it should not be assumed that Luna Park would be allowed to operate in ways that unreasonably interfere with the residential amenity of the area…”.
10. NSW Government Policy and green space
In April 2018, the NSW Government, recognising the importance of green space announced that it was investing in more green open space in Sydney and announced the dedication of $290m for this purpose. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, “… We appreciate that local communities just don’t need the transport links and schools and hospitals, they also want livability. They want the open space… We are looking at every single suburb across greater Sydney — wherever there’s an opportunity for us to acquire a piece of land…”
Alienating parkland in the context of
• Premier Berejiklian’s stated objective of securing green space wherever there’s an opportunity; and
• in one of the most densely populated areas of Sydney with a demonstrable shortage of green space
is both irresponsible and bad public policy.
Returning Lavender Green to public green space and securing its future as green space would be good public policy and one step towards redressing the increasing shortage of green space in North Sydney, one of the most urbanised local government areas in Australia.
It would also help to compensate for the inevitable loss of green space due to the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade project.
11. Request to the Minister
i) Deny the Lavender Green Development Application; and
ii) Secure Lavender Green as public green space.
The Hon. Rob Stokes MP
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces
GPO Box 5341
SYDNEY NSW 2001
or submit electronically:
The closing date for submissions is 7 May 2020
Councillor Ian Mutton
19 April 2020