Lindfield Village Hub FAQs - August 2018

Introductory information on the project

Where is the Village Hub site?

The Woodford Lane Car Park on the west side of central Lindfield. It is in walking distance to Lindfield station, as well as the Pacific Highway.

What is proposed for the site?

When completed, the Village Hub will transform the area into an attractive and dynamic urban village and be an important factor in stimulating the local economy.  The project will deliver a carefully planned mix of community buildings, public spaces, housing, retail and parking facilities and will include

  • A new Lindfield branch library.
  • A new community centre.
  • An underground supermarket with high quality retail shops.
  • Residential apartment buildings.
  • A large public park.
  • A town square with restaurants and cafes.
  • Basement car parking for commuters, visitors, residents and shoppers.

When can we expect the development to be completed?

The Lindfield Village Hub is expected to be completed between 2023 and 2024.

How can I have my say?

Starting in August, Council will begin the process of talking with our community on appropriate future settings for the site, including asking what you want to see in the open space, library, community space and overall look and feel of the Lindfield Village Hub.

We will send information to your letterbox, on social media and on Council’s website. There will also be opportunities to talk to Council staff face to face about the proposal.

The project process and terminology

What is an expression of interest or EOI?

An expression of interest (EOI) is the first stage of the tender process to build the Village Hub.  It is advertised widely and is open to the public. It allows any company to register their interest in constructing the Hub. It also allows Council a chance to assess the interest and capability of companies to deliver the project.

The EOI process means Council can develop a shortlist of companies to invite to submit more detailed proposals for the project.  These are called Select Tenders or Request for Detailed Proposals. These will contain detailed designs, financial information and construction plans and other vital information. From these proposals Council can then choose a preferred tenderer.

What does mixed use development mean?

Mixed use land or development typically means a mix of residential, commercial, industrial and community uses on one site. Co-locating these different uses helps make public transport, walking and cycling work more efficiently, as well as supporting local businesses and improving residential amenity.

What does it mean when you say the project should be ‘self-funding’?

We are committed to making sure the finances of this project stack up, to keep Ku-ring-gai in strong financial shape well into the future, while giving people who live, work and run businesses in our area access to high quality community facilities and the services they expect.

We expect that both capital costs (construction and fit out) and operating costs – including their service delivery, maintenance, depreciation and renewal costs – do not place a future financial burden on ratepayers or the Council itself. This requirement is referred to as ‘self-funding’.

What are Council’s financial requirements for the project and when can the public see them?

The financial requirements for the project are commercially sensitive at this stage, because releasing this information too early could jeopardise the project and give an unfair advantage to one party over another.

Council’s financial requirements have been provided to the elected Council. They will be refined with new designs before releasing detailed bid documents to the market during the request for tender phase.

Due to the commercially sensitive nature of this information, these documents are unlikely to be released publicly before completion of the project.

Are you using terms like ‘commercially and legally sensitive’, ‘probity’ and ‘commercial in confidence’ as reasons not to be fully transparent?

Council takes its responsibilities when administering public money and public land extremely seriously, particularly on a project of this scale.

The procedures we have in place are designed to ensure a fair and transparent process for the market, so that one applicant doesn’t get preferential treatment over others, and to ensure the best possible result for the Ku-ring-gai community.

Council’s aim is to be as transparent about the project and its decisions, and will release as much information as able.

Will the project deliver a pedestrian bridge?

Respondents to the request for tender will be required to provide an approach to delivering or funding a pedestrian bridge. Delivering a pedestrian bridge is a highly desirable outcome. These approaches will be evaluated by Council as part of the selection criteria for the project.

What is a Masterplan?

The masterplan is a document that outlines a vision to guide the development of the Centre. It sets out how a site can be developed and is a high level plan intended to set out objectives and strategies to manage development on the site. It is not the actual design that will be built. The design that will be built will be provided by the developer selected by Council to design and construct the project. The community will also be engaged in the selection of the developer and the final design for the site.  

Is the Lindfield Village Green different to the Lindfield Village Hub?

Yes, they are different projects however the Lindfield Village Hub and the Lindfield Village Green are both parts of Council’s ambitious urban renewal program, Activate Ku-ring-gai.

The Lindfield Village Green on the eastern side of Lindfield Centre will turn an existing Council-owned car park at Tryon Road into a new open public space, with a three level basement car park beneath.  This is further advanced than the Village Hub – with development approval expected by August 2018, construction to start in 2019, and completion by 2021.

For more information visit the Lindfield Village Green webpage.

Progress and issues

Why is it taking so long to achieve the Hub?

When Council commits to a major project for our community, we follow clear procedures to make sure it’s done thoroughly from start to finish – the projects we’re delivering now will be with us for decades to come, so we need to make sure we get them right.

It can feel like the Hub is moving slowly, but it takes time to get it right when 1.3 hectares of valuable public-owned land and millions of dollars of public money are involved. Undertaking processes like rezoning or amalgamating land have been involved and these take a long time.

Council needs to make sure the scope of the project is right and keep the finances in order with rigorous financial analysis. The financial commitment for the project has involved not just an analysis of the Hub but also the whole of Council’s finances, because of the significant investment required.  The timeframes appear slow but they are designed to enable the community to have their say and ensure proper due diligence.

The Lindfield Village Hub is part of the broader Activate Ku-ring-gai program which includes construction on the Lindfield Village Green on the eastern side of Lindfield centre, targeted to begin next year

Is Council listening to the community?

Council has consulted the community at the key decision stages of the project including when making planning controls (Local Environmental Plan, Development Control Plans) and developing masterplans for the site. Council will continue to listen and engage the community as the project evolves and takes shape.

Starting in August this year, residents will be asked their views of how they see the public spaces and public buildings used and the types of amenities and experiences they would like to have at the Hub.

Why is Council revisiting the Masterplan?

Since the masterplan was prepared and consulted on, the broader planning context of the project has evolved and Council’s understanding of the impact of the project on its finances and future ratepayers have been assessed in more detail.

Council wants to retain as much of the land and the facilities in public ownership as possible and get the best possible social, urban and financial returns to the community from the project. This has meant re-examining the scope and scale of the project.

At this stage we want to discuss with our community how the public assets outlined in the original masterplan such as a new library can be delivered without financially burdening the Council and ratepayers for generations to come. 

Ku-ring-gai has a proud history of protecting heritage and our natural environment. Any changes to the planning controls and future uses of the site would need to be carefully assessed against the relevant planning guidelines, which would include further consultation with the community. This will commence from August 2018.

The financial viability of the project is only one consideration we take into account when looking at a proposal of this kind. We also need to consider traffic impact, residential amenities and the local environment to ensure that any development decision is the right one for the community.

Do we need more retail in Lindfield?

On-grade retail is an important part of the strategy for the site as it keeps the public domain activated. Retail around the new park is also important as there is little opportunity for outdoor dining around open space in the area and this been flagged during consultation as a key desire of the community. The full extent of retail on the site – or any other land-use that generates a lot of traffic in the afternoon peak hour – will be carefully assessed for impact on traffic congestion and pedestrians.

As the Lindfield Village Hub progresses, Council will consult with residents and businesses about the site, including looking for ideas for innovative commercial uses, examples could include such as an extended education facility, healthcare precinct and co-working start up business spaces.

How will traffic be managed if Coles, the Lindfield Village Hub and the Lindfield Village Green are being constructed at the same time?

Council has an overall traffic management strategy for the whole Local Centre which considers redevelopment of land within the Centre and traffic impacts. 

Through the development application assessment process, each developer or appointed contractor is required to submit a construction phase traffic plan to Council for review and approval. These are not reviewed in isolation, but take into account all the disruption and changes in the area, current and proposed. No construction can begin until each plan is approved and a certificate is issued.

What environmental impacts do you expect?

Council has commissioned planning studies which examine the environmental constraints and opportunities of the site.

The type of impacts and improvements to the site under the current Masterplan can be found here.

Detailed environmental impact assessment will be undertaken once a design for the site is prepared by a Developer and assessed as part of the development assessment process. Council intends to retain control of a majority of the site and in its role as landowner will seek to ensure the best outcomes.

How can we be sure Council has the expertise to keep this on track?

Council has established a new unit called the Major Projects Group for the purpose of delivering Council led projects in excess of $5m. Experienced and qualified staff are being recruited to this Group as projects require, to ensure outcomes for cost, quality and time are appropriately managed and match project requirements. This new unit is independent of other planning departments in Council.

In addition, appointment of four independent members of the community to form a Major Projects Advisory Committee has recently occurred with expertise in large scale development and construction and will advise Council on significant decisions for major projects.

Council decision from 26 June

26 June 2018
Council considered the report Lindfield Village Hub Update on 26 June 2018.

The purpose of the report was to update Council on the status of procurement planning for the Lindfield Village Hub (Project) and provide recommendations on the method and timing of procurement activities to deliver the Project.

Council Resolved (Moved: Councillors Ngai/Szatow):

  1. That Council acknowledges that it is not feasible to proceed with the adopted masterplan which has a FSR of 1.3:1.
  2. That Council has yet to agree on or endorse any updated FSR or height requirements for the project, and acknowledges that there is a delicate balance between a self-funding project with greater FSR versus a more financially onerous project with lower FSR that may require other sources of funds to cover lifecycle costs. The discussion on FSR's will take place in a subsequent council meeting.
  3. That Council pursues an Expression of Interest (EOI) from the market in or around October 2018, for the development of the Lindfield Village Hub.
  4. That the requirements of the development of the Lindfield Village Hub, including council’s preferred financial and above ground density requirements, will be confirmed in a meeting of Council prior to the release of the EOI.
  5. That it is the hope of Council that during a competitive EOI and Request for Detailed Proposals (RDFP) process where each developer or consortium of developers is seeking to come out on top, each group will come up with creative, innovative and tasteful solutions to deliver maximum benefit to the community. During this competitive process, Council will request developers to provide potential solutions to delivering a pedestrian bridge as well as their feedback on how to potentially achieve Council’s preferred financial and above ground density requirements.
  6. That during the EOI process, Councillors will be provided with the full submissions of all parties who have expressed interest in participating in the Lindfield Village Hub project. With this full set of information, it is the Councillors who will then decide which of the submissions should be shortlisted, and the shortlisting should take place before the end of this year.
  7. That Council does not consider any Unsolicited Proposal during the competitive tender process being undertaken for the Lindfield Village Hub.

For more information about Council's decision access the Minutes.

Previous FAQs

View previously published FAQs on this project here

Contact us

For more information about the project please contact activatelindfield@kmc.nsw.gov.au or 9424 0000.