Plans to redevelop the Lane Cove Golf Course into a multi-function sports and recreation facility have been pilloried over environmental and community concerns.

The facility, which would include five indoor multi-purpose (basketball, volleyball, tennis etc.) courts, four outdoor courts, a stage, program space, a café and restaurant as well as an expanded car park for over 200 vehicles, is due to begin development next year.

It is being boosted by financial funding from the NSW Government’s Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund, in which $200 million has been committed to recognising the critical role local sport infrastructure plays in keeping communities healthy, active and connected. Lane Cove Council has lodged an application for a $5 million grant for the project.

But there has been outspoken community disagreement over the proposal, including a petition, as the development would cut down 84 trees in the surrounding bushland to make space. The pre-existing clubhouse, tennis courts and pro shop would be knocked down and the whole centre completely rebuilt, edging into the first hole on the golf course.

Cindy Brown, current president of the Lane Cove Golf Club, hopes the community can convince the council that there’s a priority to keep the club alive.

“From what I understand, all of the suggestions that were made and the requests that were put forward by the precinct committee were just steamrolled and ignored,” she said.

“I know there’s a lot of different cohorts for whom this is going to be a very big hole in their lives.”

Golf Club President Cindy Brown sitting in the clubhouse, with the golf course in the background.

Cindy Brown in the clubhouse overlooking the course. Photo: Hannah Wilcox.

Andrew Zbik, the mayor of Lane Cove, told Central News the investment is to meet demand for these facilities in the area and encourage local sporting associations ‘limited in their growth’.

“The golf club is financially not viable now,” he said. “To be able to meet a growing population .. it’s about providing more facilities for our residents.”

Zbik said that there’s a sustainability focus on the design of the facility.

“[The Lane Cove Council] has done ecological reports ..  from the outset we’ve sort of set a goal of trying to achieve a five star Green Energy Building rating,” he said.

“One of the big ones have been the loss of trees, so that’s something this council has done by sort of redoing the plans. We’ve committed at a minimum that for every tree cut down two new trees will be planted.

“There’s a stretch of some bush between where the facility will be on River Road where the council can make a concerted effort in regenerating that strip of land. So, that’s something the council said absolutely we can do, so there’ll be a lot of effort put in strengthening the bushland around the building.”


The location is surrounded by Lane Cove Bushland Park, which was declared a wildlife refuge by the National Parks & Wildlife Service in 1980.

It has been identified as a site of ecological importance, and was listed on the Register of the National Estate in 2000 due to its rare and endangered community of species.

Kookaburra sitting on a sign reading 'Danger: Golf in Play'.

Native animals are regular visitors to the golf course. Photo: Hannah Wilcox.

“If there is no course to play on [during the construction time], our membership, at least half of them, will find another club to join, because it’s is a long time to go without playing your preferred sport,” said Brown.

“There is a number that probably wouldn’t do that because they’re too old to start again somewhere else and they’re the ones, to be honest, I have the greatest concern for; because this is the hub for their social life and they will be quite marginalised and lonely and they won’t be getting exercise.”

The construction for the multi functional sport and recreational facility is due to begin in July 2023.

Main image by Hannah Wilcox.