Community Association opposes Lyneham Oval Development

Community Association opposes Lyneham Oval Development

The Lyneham Community Association advises that a community petition with 1553 signatures opposed to the proposal by Brindabella Christian College to sub-lease and develop a portion of Lyneham Neighbourhood Oval was lodged in the ACT Legislative Assembly recently. (See petition no. 9-15).

After consideration of the petition, and noting that approximately 90% of those asked to sign, did so, the Lyneham Community Association (LCA) has adopted a clearer position, consistent with the petition, opposing the sub-leasing and development proposal, and released the following media statement and position statement:

Media Statement 19 August 2015

Lyneham Community stands up for its Neighbourhood Oval

Lyneham Community Association is calling on the Brindabella Christian College and the ACT Government to abandon plans to sub-­‐lease and develop a portion of the Lyneham Neighbourhood Oval.

The call follows a petition of over 1500 residents opposed to the proposal by Brindabella College to take over part of the oval to construct an indoor sports facility.

“I’m not surprised so many people signed the petition”, said one petitioner. “At almost no cost he College wants to get access to over 10,000 m2 of land. That’s far more than the 7200 m2 of the nearby Lyneham Motor Inn site which is worth millions of dollars”.

Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Sport and Recreation, has previously stated support from the community would be a major factor in whether the proposal continued.

Given the clear voice of the community against the proposal, one has to wonder why Mr Rattenbury’s department continues to proceed.

“We invited about 1700 residents to sign the petition against the proposal”, said petition organiser, Trevor Vickers. “And over 1550 of them signed. How much clearer does the community voice need to be for the College and the Government to abandon the proposal?”

The Lyneham Community Association stands clearly and firmly with its community against the proposal.

“The Association calls on Mr Rattenbury to listen to his constituents, and step in to prevent the unwanted sub-­‐leasing and development of our oval”, said Mr Vickers, who is also the association’s spokesman on the issue.

Further details about the Lyneham Community Association’s objections to the proposal can be found on its website at

Lyneham Community Association

Statement of Position


Brindabella Christian Education Ltd (BCEL) development proposal for Lyneham Neighbourhood Oval.


The proposal by Brindabella Christian Education Ltd (BCEL) being considered by the Sports & Recreation Services Directorate (S&RS) and Minister Rattenbury under his portfolio is opposed by the Lyneham Community Association.


The aim of the Lyneham Community Association is to protect, promote and enhance the economic, cultural, social and environmental wellbeing of the Lyneham community that has easy access to a wide variety of excellent and appropriate community facilities, accordingly we will continue to seek outcomes that are beneficial to current and future residents over the longer term.

There are many pressures facing Loveable, Liveable Lyneham which have a bearing on the future of not just the Lyneham Neighbourhood Oval but also the wider suburb. Any decisions made, need to consider the significant change in demographics and densification proposed along the Northbourne corridor.

The approach by the ACT Government seems to be primarily responsive to developers submitting a DA and assessing it against a Territory Plan that in the case of the Metro Corridor is clearly out of date. The Axis Apartments got in early, now BCEL are trying to get their proposal accepted before proper master-planning is undertaken.

We seek a community inclusive planning process in collaboration with ACT Government directorates and other stakeholders that considers the impacts of population densification, urban planning and transport changes which meet the needs of a growing, vibrant, city that follows best practice in the re-development of its older suburbs.

Reasons for Opposition

  1. The LCA strongly objects to the sub leasing of public recreation land (PRZ1) to a private developer. The recent petition provides substantial evidence that the Lyneham community opposes the proposal. The 1553 signatures on the petition, collected by a few volunteers over a few weeks represents around one third of the population of Lyneham. The message is clear and comprehensively representative of the community opposition to the proposal.
  2. The proposal does not take into consideration the current and future population increase impacts on the suburb including:
  3. Increased population from recent developments such as the Axis apartments and multi-story apartments along Northbourne Avenue, Deburg St and Wattle St.
  4. Projected significant population increases from proposals such as the multi-story apartments proposed on the Lyneham Motor Inn site.
  5. The Metro and its associated population increase along Northbourne Avenue and the area east of Sullivans Creek and, in time further west into Lyneham. Whilst much of the land between Northbourne Avenue and Sullivans creek is currently RZ 3 & 4 this area is likely to become multi-story apartments similar to the Axis apartments. The Axis apartments accommodate over 20 times the population density of the existing RZ1 land in Lyneham. We note that Mr Carmichael stated in the Select Committee on Estimates on June 23 2015 that ‘There is a kilometre each side of Northbourne we are looking at potential intensification’.
  6. There are numerous studies undertaken in Australia and the world that identify the need for adequate outdoor recreation green space if quality living environments are to be achieved, particularly when population densities increase.
  7. The expansion of Lyneham primary school. At the presentation in June 2015 the ACT government indicated that 48% of the LNO will be subsumed by the Lyneham Primary School (inevitably fenced), to accommodate the population increase.
  8. Traffic movements will inevitably increase with population increase. Lyneham already suffers from rat-running pressure; particularly in the Brigalow St area.
  9. Lack of planning for the future.
  10. The development of multi-story units in Lyneham follow a pattern of developers building on the easiest obtainable land such as the Axis apartments (old motel site) and the proposed Lyneham Motor Inn proposal, followed by the amalgamation of a few existing residential blocks for smaller development. BCEL is also making a grab for adjacent land that has not had any attention paid to it for many years. This is understandable from the developer’s point of view but is definitely not the ideal outcome for the community who live in the suburb. The apartment developers seem not to be required to provide any parks or park improvements. We seem to be bumbling headlong into the worst of the past residential developments of other cities around the world. These cities are now tearing down their past urban planning mistakes and creating people friendly living environments. Forward thinking planners such as Jan Gehl are leading the process.
  11. If the BCEL proposal is approved the future for Lyneham residents is a significant loss of public open space as follows
  12. Nearly 1⁄4 (23%) to a private developer (BCEL)
  13. Nearly 1/2 (48%) to Lyneham Primary School. This leaves just over 1/4 (29%) that is proposed to become an irrigated multi-sports field primarily for school use and booked for sports clubs around Canberra. We acknowledge that we will be able to time share the remaining 29%. This scenario is appalling for the current population and an unmitigated disaster for a loveable, liveable Lyneham as the population increases.
  14. BCEL and ACT S&R have consistently resisted expanding the scope of the proposal assessment to take into account the significant current and future impacts on Lyneham. Limiting the consultation to the current proposal is at the heart of the community mistrust and failure of the process to date.
  15. BCEL commissioned a parking report that clearly attempts to justify the need for a large carpark. The carpark is neither required nor desired, and the design does not achieve any improved traffic movement.
  16. The latest BCEL proposal provides no facilities for small local community use.
  17. The BCEL proposal, the leasing of the land, and its’ proposed ‘ancillary’ carpark, are potentially all in contravention of PRZ1 planning legislation, without a lease variation.
  18. The nature of progression, both of the original car parking lease to BCEL in 2009 and the broad community perception of subversion to any real community consultation process in the 2014 DA submission has diminished trust in both BCEL and SR&S to effectively and transparently manage future negotiations.


The LCA community has been observing the open space provided in the newer suburbs of Canberra such as Franklin, Wright and Crace. We presume that the LDA assesses the provision of parks and the excellent facilities they contain as attractive to the buyers of the blocks and dwellings.

At the same time, the ACT Government seems not to see the provision of parks to inner, future higher density suburbs as important. Indeed they seem content to see the existing parks such as the Lyneham Neighbourhood Oval to be sold off to developers and fenced off with school expansion. The result; the 29% left over to be shared between the schools, booked sports clubs (mostly out of suburb) and when not in otherwise use the local community for casual recreation. No CRIPs, playgrounds, or even park benches. (Schools can grow upwards just as medium/high density residential does.)

Allowing developers to subsume public land, when the general public need for open green space is clearly on the rise due to imminent population increase is a dereliction of the duty of care by those that we vote for to care for our interests through (in this case) proper planning. The crux of the problem seems to be that individual directorates assess DA’s without reference to the future (or even present) planning issues. There is a wonderful opportunity in Lyneham to create a world leading inner urban, high quality living environments at the gateway to our city. The LCA implores the ACT Government to not squander this opportunity.

The Lyneham Community demand a properly prepared Master Plan, derived from engaged community consultation BEFORE ANY development is approved.

Rob Wilson
Deputy Chair
Lyneham Community Association
Trevor Vickers
Planning Committee
Lyneham Community Association

For more information go to our web page

or email

Referenced Documents

Article (?) Doc (?) Link
1 LYNEHAM Neighbourhood Plan 2003
Population and Residential Density in Canberra,d.dGY
Understanding residential densities look at page 5
ACT Gov Community engagement guide
Best Practice Open Space in Higher Density Developments – Main Report and Summary (blue) – 22 June 2012 – FINAL

Urban Waterways
Northbourne Precinct Master Plan
Canberra Study Tour
Dickson Master Plan
Canberra Times Article
ABC 666 article
Open Space Funding and Analysis Discussion Paper.pdf
Canberra LRT 2012
Workshop Outcomes WM


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