Manly Council has released its latest images for the Manly 2015 Plan moving the focus away from the car park under Manly Oval to The Library.
The $80m plan is more of a re-development of Manly rather than a re-vitalisation with experts saying that if the Plan goes ahead the Whistler Street triangle will be a construction site for years. This will affect the livelihood of the dozens of businesses that are now trading in the area.
Part of the Plan is the possible demolition of the award-winning 18 year old Library, and replacing it with a $35m modern new building.
The Plan includes the demolition of the Whistler Street car park and selling -off that site for "the highest & best use DA". That will be retail at ground level and apartments, lots of them.
By adding apartments to the mix you immediately change the use of this potential piazza site. Experience in Manly shows that 10pm noise curfews are demanded by residents living in the CBD thus creating what should be a vibrant, night-tine meeting-place - into a dead space.
See the pictures and story from the Manly Daily here
Just heard that Manly Council will hold the sale of foreshore land at 34 & 36 Stuart St, Little Manly, pending an application to the Land & Environment court by the Save Little Manly Foreshore Inc. over the land classification and sale. The matter is expected to be heard by the Court in early August.
Alarm bells have started to ring regarding the ‘revenue generation’ model for the Oval Car Park which is based on a turnover of 600 cars, everyday, paying an average of $15 each. This figure (which seems very unlikely) does not take into account Council’s current policy of two hours free parking, and no analysis of demand has been undertaken.
A recent study of the utilisation of Council’s existing car parks by the operators of Manly Wharf has confirmed Council’s own study that the existing car parks are under-utilised, expect during major events and summer weekends.
The funding of the car park will be over 50 years with Council borrowings of around $33m, (although KPMG have put the figure at closer to $40m). Many are questioning the wisdom of the plan. On the 3rd June at Manly Council meeting the Manly 2015 Plan and the proposal for the car park was debated for 2 hours as part of the total 10 year Strategic Plan which included the controversial 2015 Plan.
The Good For Manly campaign to stop the Oval car park & save Whistler Street car park was successful in slowing down the process and getting an independent due diligence review of the projects, more consultation and therefore more time to get the facts known. This resulted in a compromise resolution put forward by the Liberals which is why Good for Manly's Councillor, Candy Bingham, supported the motion. Without our campaign the Oval car park would now be a reality. While the resolution at the June 3 Council meeting has bought us more time it is concerning that the Mayor, Jean Hay, at recent 2015 briefing sessions, is speaking as if the Plan is going ahead.
A report commissioned by Council by KPMG on the feasibility of the key components of the Plan has not been made available to Councillors despite a major campaign by Clr Bingham who is stressing that Councillors need to be fully briefed on the financial consequences of the Plan and confirmation by the Division of Local Government that the document must be provided to Councillors.
To date, every Manly Precinct has opposed the Oval car park plan, 200 people attended a recent public meeting arranged by Good for Manly against the Plan, close to 100 individual letters have been received by Councillors against the Plan plus letters in the Daily. So what else do we need to do to get the Liberal Councillors to listen to what their community wants?
No-one knew - until they read it in the Manly Daily! Manly's 38 year old Family Day Care Service is to be transferred to Warringah. Angry parents and uninformed Councillors are working together to try to over-rule the decision by General Manager Henry Wong, but is it too late?
Although Clr Cathy Griffin called for a strategic plan to be prepared on the future needs of child-care in Manly, the report won't be ready until after the deadline for the transfer of services.
The Family Day Care service is currently co-ordinated by Manly Council and links parents and in-home carers together. Parents are concerned that if the service is absorbed into Warringah that they will lose their local access with Warringah residents taking advantage of places in Manly, closer to the ferry commute.
Manly Council no longer offers before and after school care or vacation care and will soon stop immunisation services and now Family Day Care. Where has our sense of community gone?
As part of the $16m upgrade of the Boy Charlton Pool, Manly Council voted on Monday night (15/7/13) to retain two outdoor pools, the 50 metre and 25 metre, in addition to a new indoor pool.
Research clearly showed that locals wanted to retain their outdoor pools and were not sold on the idea of a new indoor pool replacing the aging existing outdoor 25 metre pool.
Architects have now been engaged to draw up plans for the new-look swim centre which at this stage will include an indoor heated pool, gym, creche and cafe.
Council has been successful in obtaining a subsidised loan from the State Government for the project, which is expected to be self-funding. Manly Swim Centre is a very popular facility, and it is believed the upgrade of facilities will enable new users to enjoy the pool all year round.
Conflicts between dogs and humans sharing sporting fields has been an issue for some time at Graham Reserve. Working with RDogs (Responsible Dog Owners ) a solution may have been found.
Council has endorsed a recommendation that a designated off-leash area would be a good compromise to help with the delineation of the sporting and passive uses of the reserve, and would assist in resolving the conflicts currently experienced by the various user groups of the grounds.
An investigation is underway to find where best this off-leash area could operate.
The decision has caused an outcry from day one. The Mayoral Minute by Jean Hay in December 2012 to sell council-owned foreshore land at Little Manly, without any consultation with the community, has resulted in public meetings, letters to the editor of the Manly Daily, thousands of likes on a Facebook page .... all of which have fallen on deaf ears.
Determined to cover the cost of purchasing No. 40 Stuart Street, which was bought by the previous Council to continue the vision to extend the open space at Little Manly Beach, Mayor Hay's resolution delegated to the General Manager the sale of No 34 & 36 Stuart Street. This 'community land' has been owned by Council for decades and includes a popular and well-used dinghy and kayak storage area on the beach-side of No. 34. (No 38 is a recently constructed large family home).
At Monday's council meeting (July 15, 2013), architects from the Public Domain Committee proposed to Council that rather than sell the two properties they be subdivided into smaller lots, thus ensuring that a large part of the public space could be retained while also meeting the objective of raising funds.
The General Manager undertook to meet with the architects to explore the idea further.
Do you think this could be a good compromise?
Manly needs affordable housing, no-one is arguing that fact, but is the spate of DAs for boarding houses in the area meeting the criteria set out by the State Government?
Lack of parking, very small rooms and rents starting at $350 per week don't sound affordable or desirable. The requirement is that this type of dwelling also has a manager on site for more than twenty places, and yet there is no guarantee that this will be put in place.
And what happens after 10 years when the 'affordable housing' agreement lapses?
In an attempt to address some of these issues, Clr Adele Heasman's motion that Council amend its Development Control Plan to include appropriate development standards for all affordable housing/boarding house development applications may assist, although at the end of the day it is the State Government that has the final say on what is acceptable affordable housing requirements. What do you think should be done?
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.