Lennox Village Vision

We are now a step closer to the vision for the renewal of the village centre with Council endorsing the concept design plans at its August 2020 meeting. 

The first stage of construction works will commence in Ross Park. Construction will see the upgrade of the playground and revitalisation of the open spaces in this central precinct.

Council has also successfully secured grant funding as part of the 'Streets as Shared Spaces' program to implement some aspirations of the Lennox Village Vision for Park Lane. This funding will include temporary works such as raised crossing points, landscaping and a bike hub near the Lennox Head Cultural Centre.

The project will be staged over several financial years as funding and grant opportunities become available.


Lennox Head has been a low-key and social, coastal village for some time. The community told us that these are essential characteristics to hold onto when making any improvements to the village.

We have engaged with lots of people in the community since 2018.

1953 responses to engagement activity received since 2018.
30.5% of the Lennox Head population engaged since 2018.

The following place directions developed at a community stakeholder design charette held in March 2020 synthesise the community values and priorities and build upon previous engagement outcomes.

Place Directions

#1

Minimise negative impacts on the environment and maximise climate change mitigation

#2

Offer a diversity of open spaces with a wider range of activities and amenities for all ages/interests

#3

Celebrate what makes Lennox head village special: environmental, social, economic and culturally

#4

Rebalance priority between people and cars to make it safer and more comfortable for all

#5

Create a physical environment that supports self sustaining community social activity and events

#6

Support local business diversity and fine-grain shop frontages to build attractiveness of the centre for jobs and night time economy - support diverse housing choices

These Place Directions act as a brief to guide decision making and act as criteria for prioritising investments that will achieve the most positive impacts.
Here are some other interesting facts and observations that had to be considered.

Did you know?

489 car spaces in the main village block

There are lots of places to park in the village centre that many people may not know about

435m

is the approximate length of the main village block (Park Lane intersection to Byron Street)

1 space : 9 people

There is 1 carparking space per 9.3 people aged between 20 and 79 years. 
Based upon a population of 4,566 people aged between 20-79 years - 2016 Census

54% of people

said they are willing to walk 250-500m or more than 500m to reach the village centre. Less than 10% indicated they are unwilling or unable to walk more than 50m.
Lennox Head Community Survey (2018)

Concept Plan

The Concept Design for Lennox Head Village Centre looks at ways that we can improve public amenity and make better streets and places for people within the village centre whilst at the same time celebrating what makes it special.  To create the plan we used community ideas from years of engagement.
The study area includes Ballina Street, generally between Park Lane and Byron Street, Park Lane and Byron Street approximately between Ballina Street and Stewart Street.

See entire Concept Plan set (39mb pdf)

View the Concept Plans as individual sheets by clicking on the relevant area button.


Some things we had to think about…

A lot of engagement has been undertaken with the community and key users of the village centre.  
Whilst the general community vision was united and clear, a number of specific features of the village centre generated significant discussion during community engagement. Based on the further discussions and refinement that occurred at the community design charette, this is what we have done:

The right place for a playspace in the Village Centre

Some people in the community wanted to see a playspace remain as a key function within Ross Park whilst others felt that Lennox Park was a more appropriate location.  The draft concept shows the playspace remaining in Ross Park for the following reasons:

  • The community expressed strongly that the village centre should be a place for families
  • A playspace in Ross Park draws activity to the village core -  the visual activity and (generally) happy sounds that are created by people using the playspace provides a social energy to the core of the village centre.
  • Locating a playspace at Ross Park increases foot traffic to and from the village core which has positive economic impacts.
  • A toilet facility has been co-located with the playspace to make toilet-stops easier for parents with multiple children

The role and value of the brick picnic shelter in Lennox Park

Some people in the community told us that they like to use this old picnic shelter because it provides protection from the wind or because they have fond memories of using this building as a child.  Others felt that it was very unsightly, barely used and blocked views to the water from the main street.

The draft concept plan shows the brick picnic shelter as being removed and the following works proposed to address some of the community concerns:
  • The shelter photographed and documented for historic record purposes (the item is not heritage listed)
  • Provision of a new double picnic shelter closer to the waterfront
  • Provision of uncovered curved picnic pods with a variety of aspects to provide options for sitting out of the wind or in the sun
  • Provision of new toilets with a change facility
  • Shifting the bus shelter further southward to enable a pedestrian road crossing point which aligns with the pedestrian walkway through to Park Lane
  • Provision of a new and visually open bus shelter better aligned with the new bus stop location

A toilet in Ross Park

Some people wanted a public toilet in Ross Park (especially parents with younger children that cannot “hold” to get to the current public toilets at Lennox Park) whilst other felt that the toilets in Lennox Park were enough (if upgraded).  Given that the concept design shows a playspace remaining in Ross Park, a single toilet facility supports this use.  The toilet facility will be a single unisex adaptable toilet only.  More toilet options will remain available in Lennox Park as an alternative.

Find out more about the village by clicking on the links below:

 


The Community Design Charette Process

The DRAFT Concept Design further illustrates and resolves concepts and outcomes of extensive community engagement undertaken since 2018 and more recently a community stakeholder design charette process undertaken in March 2020.

Seven-council staff and 17 community members representing the following groups attended:

  • Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce
  • Lennox Head Resident’s Association
  • Commercial property owners
  • Lennox Arts Board
  • Rural Fire Brigade
  • Lennox Head heritage Committee
  • Lennox Head Landcare
  • Ballina Environment Society
  • Lennox Head Pre-school

In addition, local residents randomly selected from a database in age groups 18-34, 35-49, 50-64 and 65+ were also invited to attend.  Invitations were also extended to many other groups, businesses and residents. The following people attended the design charette:

  • Belinda Dunn
  • Brad Pollard
  • Darrin Faulkner
  • Graham Shaw
  • Jannette Leonard
  • Jason McDonald
  • Jeff Towers
  • Lisa Greig 
  • Lois Buckett
  • Malcolm Milner
  • Marelle Lee
  • Melissa Wright
  • Monica Wilcox
  • Robyn Hargraves 
  • Shaun Eastment
  • Sophie Leonard
Ballina Council Staff
  • Paul Crozier
  • Tara McGready
  • Sheryn Da-Re
  • Skye McNamara
  • Alicia Wallace
  • Malcolm Fox
  • Luke Marshall

The design charette weekend kicked off with a presentation from Steven Burgess of Complete Streets to charette participants and the wider Lennox community. Steven Burgess is an engineer and urban strategist with 30+ years’ experience in planning and designing resilient and liveable places. His presentation looked at the long-term relationships between urban form, mobility and community vitality and opportunities to build happier and healthier towns through better street making. Steven’s presentation provided information which was useful for charette participants in developing the concept design for the Lennox Head.

Over the course of the weekend, these participants undertook a series of exercises which responded to the extensive research and engagement undertaken to date to, set the brief for the future, provide design direction and prepare conceptual designs for various precincts within the study area.  The outcome of the weekend charette was a preliminary concept design!!!  A full report on the Design Charette can be viewed at the links below.

Resources


Lennox Village Vision – Phase Two – Community Satisfaction and User Experience measurement

Council recently engaged Place Score to undertake community engagement as phase 2 of the Lennox Village Vision project.

This Place Score offers two data collection tools, Care Factor and Place Experience (PX) Assessments.

Place Score staff, Council staff and community volunteers collected face-to-face data between the 28th and 29th September, 2019 in Ballina Street Lennox Head. This data was used as the basis for a:

Place Score Data

These two tools act like a ‘place census’ to capture what the community really values and measure the community’s lived experience. The analysis of both data sets help identify what is important, how a place is performing and what the focus of change should be. An attribute with a high Care Factor but a low PX Assessment should be a priority for investment.

The benefits of using a Place Score approach includes:

  • Data that is representative of the community’s demographic
  • Quantitative data for evidence based planning to measure the impact of investment over time
  • Identification of place attributes that the community cares about as well as potential conflicts to minimise risk
  • Insights to guide strategic planning and the implementation of place based projects.

Strengths and improvement priorities for the Lennox Village centre

Analysis of both survey data sets identified the strengths and improvement priorities for Ballina Street, Lennox Head.

Village centre strengthsthese are aspects that should be celebrated and protected.

  • Welcoming to all people
  • Walking paths that connect to other places
  • Sense of safety (for all ages, genders, day/night etc.)
  • Outdoor restaurant, cafe and/or bar seating

Improvement priorities – the aspects of the village centre that are important to people but are currently under-performing and should be addressed in a main street upgrade process. 

  • Ease of walking around (including crossing the street, moving between destinations)
  • Vegetation and natural elements (street trees, planting, water etc.)
  • General condition of vegetation, street trees and other planting
  • Cleanliness of public space

For Consideration - attributes to be aware of as they can become more significant issues. These are areas for further consideration in the future planning for the main street upgrade process.

  • Evidence of recent public investment (new planting, paving, street furniture etc.)
  • Quality of public space (footpaths and public spaces)
  • Amenities and facilities (toilets, water bubblers, parents rooms etc.)
  • Maintenance of public spaces and street furniture
  • Public art, community art, water or light feature
  • Local history, heritage buildings or features

Consultation to date - Lennox Village Vision

A big part of our planning is to conduct community consultation. Consultation to date includes:

Phase 2B - Community Satisfaction and User Experience measurement

Council recently engaged Place Score to undertake community engagement as phase 2 of the Lennox Village Vision project. Place Score offers two data collection tools, Care Factor and Place Experience (PX) Assessments.

Place Score staff, Council staff and community volunteers collected face-to-face data between the 28th and 29th September, 2019 in Ballina Street Lennox Head.

This data was used as the basis for a Town Centre Community Insights Report (pdf), and PX report for the main street (pdf).

Phase 2A - One-Way Trial

The second phase of our community consultation focused on the trial of a one-way traffic arrangement for the village centre from 11 March 2019 until 17 April 2019.

The trial was established to give the community and council a practical understanding of how a one-way traffic arrangement and how various parking options would operate.

It was originally intended to conduct the trial through to July 2019 however following a forum hosted by the Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce many businesses expressed concern that their businesses were suffering declines in trade due to the trial, it was appropriate for Council to review the continuation of the trial.

At an extraordinary Council meeting on Monday 15 April 2019, Council approved the immediate cessation of the one way traffic trial for Lennox Head and resolved to advance the planning for the Lennox Head Village Renewal project based on the existing two-way traffic flow.

Phase 1 - Community Priorities

Council undertook community engagement and completed Phase 1 of the Lennox Head Village Vision in 2018. This provided Council with an understanding of the community’s priorities for streetscape renewal works in the Lennox Head village centre. 

Both two-way and one-way streetscape concept designs were included in the engagement material. When asked if a one-way traffic arrangement option should be explored for street upgrade works 68% of the 500 respondents supported further investigation, 23% were against further investigation and 9% were unsure.

In response to this feedback, Council approved a trial of a one-way traffic arrangement for the Lennox Head Village Centre.

For more information download the community survey report (pdf)


Project updates

Council will be providing periodic updates on the Lennox Village Vision Project.

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