In one of his final acts as Administrator of the Northern Beaches Council, Dick Perrson has approved a recommendation that a Masterplan be undertaken for Little Manly Reserve. This follows years of lobbying by the Save Little Manly Foreshore group and the former Little Manly Precinct to ensure that the foreshore land remains accessable to the public.
Initial work includes:
(Council owns three of the four properties on the foreshore being Nos 34, 36 and 40. No 38 is a recently-built private residence.)
The Administrator also expressed the view that the existing kiosk and toilet block should be demolished, providing more open space in that part of the reserve. The proposed café/restaurant at No 40 Stuart St. would be accessible from the park.
Council staff will prepare a draft Masterplan, for discussion with key stakeholders and the public. The final plan will then be put on public exhibition for further comment and submissions.
This announcement follows years of work by the Save Little Manly Foreshore Group who fought long and hard to retain a number of council-owned properties on the foreshore of Little Manly. Their focus was to realise a 40 year vision to return the harbour foreshore back to open space.
The most recent acquisition, the purchase of No 40 Stuart Street, which runs beside the existing reserve, was purchased by Manly Council in 2012 for $4.2m.
However, then Mayor Jean Hay was totally against the purchase and continued to fight the matter during her term as Mayor in 2012 – 2016 including a proposal to sell-off the other council-owned properties in the area (Nos 34 – 36) to cover the costs of No 40, despite the fact that council owned 3 out of the 4 of the sites making up the foreshore!
The Save Little Manly Foreshore Group, backed in particular by Cr Barbara Aird and Cr Hugh Burns, as well as Cr Candy Bingham and Cr Cathy Griffin, took the Council to court to stop the sale and won. An expensive court case, backed by the Liberal bloc on Council, cost the Council an estimated $200,000.
You can read more on the history to save this site here.
What do you think of the proposed draft ideas for the area?
The State Government is moving fast on the proposed development of the Beaches Link Tunnel with a series of recent community consultation sessions attracting large crowds.
This article, prepared by Terry le Roux for the July Newsletter of the North Harbour Resident's Group, raises some interesting points for consideration and discussion:
"Many residents will oppose the construction of the Tunnels - a strategy built around allowing greater movements for cars and trucks ahead of a better public transport network built around light and/or heavy rail. This is an important issue, but this note is not the place to cover this debate.
There will also be a big impact on residents in North Balgowlah close to where the Tunnel meets up with Burnt Creek Deviation. In addition, the entrance to the Tunnel for cars travelling from the North along Condamine Street will most probably be in the stretch of bush between the Burnt Creek Deviation and Balgowlah Road.
Let’s talk about the potential direct and indirect impact of the Beaches Link Tunnel on the residents of Manly - and how do we plan for them: This part of my contribution is purely speculative and it is designed to stimulate discussion among the residents.
Firstly, we need to realise and accept that the rationale for the Beaches Link Tunnel is not for the benefit of the residents of Manly, but to relieve the serious congestion in the mornings in the corridor from Dee Why - over the Spit Bridge - through Mosman - and onto the Warringah Freeway. Vehicles from Manly residents contribute less than 20% of all vehicles that cross the Spit Bridge in the morning peak.
You also need to understand that if the State Government spends billions of dollars on infrastructure for an area like the Northern Beaches it expects (actually demands) that the Northern Beaches “allows” many more people to live in the area. A rough rule-of-thumb I believe is that for every $1 billion of infrastructure, the government expects 50,000 more people to come and live in the area benefiting from the infrastructure spend.
The primary direct impact will be that as it is easier for people to drive to Manly there will be an increase in visitors by car - especially over weekends in the summer. The consequence of this will be pressure to build more car parking capacity in Manly. The grave of the Oval Car Park will be broken into !!
To this will be added the loss of areas of bushland that many of us currently access for recreation and as the population density grows probably in other areas as well.
I believe that the major indirect impacts will flow from the increase in property prices in Manly. The model of developers in such a scenario is to “land bank” - which is that they buy up houses with the view to consolidating their holdings into a size that allows them to eventually build townhouse/apartment complexes. This is what happened in Roseville, Lindfield and Lane Cove - residents who have recently driven along Boundary Road in Roseville will know what I mean. Under the existing NSW Planning Laws and the Manly (and future Northern Beaches) LEP this strategy is not illegal - and I am of the view that the State Government encourages this as it is a form of “densification” that allows Councils to meet the residence density targets set by the State Government.
The ability of residents to influence what happens in our community is very limited – and essentially restricted to the protection afforded by the LEP and the DCPs. Unfortunately, we know from bitter experience that developers (and their lobbyists) will work very hard to “loosen” the Planning Laws, the LEP and the DCPs and ensure that they are only used as “guidelines” or are loosely interpreted by Council staff. It is very important that Manly residents ensure that:
But, what about the impact of the new Northern Beaches Hospital and the new developments in French’s Forest and Dee Why ?
My views on the relevance for Manly residents of these are:
Stocklands Balgowlah: Thursday 6 July, 3pm - 6pm
Saturday 8 July 9am - 12pm
So what do you think? Will the proposed tunnel have a major impact on Manly? What about the suburbs of Nth Balgowlah & Seaforth which are expected to be affected by the works?
Good for Manly has announced that it will contest the Northern Beaches Council election on 9th September, running three independent candidates headed by former Manly Councillor, Candy Bingham, in the newly formed Manly Ward.
Joining Candy will be Craig Smith, former CEO of Wilson Parking, and Kyeema Doyle, a Town Planner who operates her own business in Manly.
Candy successfully led the campaign to stop the financially irresponsible and deeply flawed Manly Oval car park project that was being pushed by the majority Liberal Party Councillors on Manly Council.
“It is critical that we keep party politicians off Council. The shocking behaviour of the majority Liberal councillors riding roughshod over due process has left the new Northern Beaches Council with a major financial and legal mess”, she stated.
“We need to reconnect with the community to find out people’s views on what they expect of their new Council. Good for Manly has carried out an extensive survey to ascertain this and I will be using the findings to guide us in our decision making”, Mrs Bingham said.
“The heritage Manly Council chambers, which are now surplus to requirements, should remain as a service centre for local residents. There is also great potential to create a performing arts space. On no account should the building be sold off, or leased for private use”, Mrs Bingham added.
With more than 30 years experience running major carparks nationally, Craig Smith, former CEO of Wilson Parking, believes he has the solutions to making parking in Manly more assessable for locals.
“Parking is a major issue in Manly. We will push for a full audit of all public parking in Manly including the oceanfront, council car parks and resident parking schemes to ensure that the needs of special local areas are not overlooked by the new big Council.” Mr Smith stated.
Kyeema Doyle is a former Olympic Rower and keen sportswoman. In addition to good planning principles, she will be focusing on the needs of sporting groups in the area,
Candy describes the Good For Manly team as ‘conservative environmentalists’.
“We are a water-based region and we have to ensure that we protect our fragile aquatic environment. Millions of visitors place a lot of pressure on our infrastructure and our environment. It is a no-brainer to ban single use plastic bags, followed by plastic straws, bottles and coffee cups. We must do more to reduce waste and encourage recycling”.
They are also concerned about the loss of bushland stating that better planning solutions that protect our bushland need to be a priority.
As the election draws closer a full list of policies will be announced by the Good For Manly Team.
Find out more about the Candidates here:
Candy Bingham Craig Smith Kyeema Doyle
After 10 years of community pressure, NSW Health has announced that the Manly Hospital site will not be sold to developers and will be retained in public hands, after it closes in November 2018 when the Northern Beaches Hospital is commissioned. However, just what services will be offered is still unknown.
The site however will be surplus to NSW Health requirements. This provides an opportunity for various buildings on the site to be made available to the Manly community for health care purposes.
A team of dedicated community members are working to shape the proposed Manly Community-driven Health Care Facility (McHCF) to fill the current health care gaps in our area.
This group has identified the buildings on the site which they believe would be suitable for reuse, and they are currently putting together proposals on how community-based health services could operate from this site.
Community member and resident Lubo Kulisec; a well recognised heritage architect and overseas health care administrator, has already done a great deal of work assessing the site working with fellow local, Darryl Dobe.
"The first objective of this initiative is to seriously consider the re-use of 13 or more of the existing Manly Hospital buildings. So far external site assessments have been completed, and the internal assessment of all buildings has been undertaken. There are many candidate buildings which are suitable for re-use", explained Darryl Dobe.
Over the next 12 months, before the Manly Hospital closes, appropriate funding model(s) need to be devised for scrutiny by the NSW Health Infrastructure group, to ensure that they incur no long term debt associated with the on-going community site usages. The community team are looking at areas such as palliative care for youth, aged care services, mental health support and so on.
A website and Facebook page have been established for interested community members to enable them to remain abreast of the current situation, and the proposed re-use of current building infrastructure. It is also possible to participate in an array of initiatives deemed necessary to pro-actively prepare for the Hospital's closure.
Read about some of the innovative ideas under consideration and consider playing an active role.
Website Portal: http://yourselfhelper.com/manly-community-health-care-facility/
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor, Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations & community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.