UPDATE: More Talk - Less Action Needed ..
Concerns are mounting about the haste at which Manly Council is pushing through its DA for the building of a Leisure Centre on the site of the Boy Charlton Swim Centre in Balgowlah Road, Fairlight, with questions being asked about the bland design of the building, the lack of change room facilities, questions are to why the centre needs a gym when there are already 14 in Manly, and the lack of meaningful community consultation.
The Northern Beaches Breakers Water Polo Club (which has around 400 members) has now also submitted a solid business case for the area to include a polo pool which the current design doesn't.
So why the reason for the rush? According to Council's General Manager to gain access to the $15m subsidised loan obtained by Council as part of the NSW Infrastructure program, everything has to be approved by December.
But with a $16m price tag (including professional fees) does Manly run the risk of finishing up with a Centre that is not what the locals want or need?
Public exhibition of the $15m upgrade of Manly 'Boy Charlton' Swim Centre now closed.
(An impressive 120 submissions were received)
The plan includes the building of a new, all purpose aquatic centre which will include a 25 metre, 8 lane pool; seating for 150 spectators; a program pool, leisure pool & spa pool. In addition, the new centre includes a sauna and steam room, administration rooms, plants rooms, gymnasium and group fitness/multipurpose space and kiosk.
Following community consultation both the 50 metre and 25 metre outdoor pools will be retained, as will the original change rooms. There will also be change rooms in the indoor facility.
One of the features of the new development is the changing of the entry to the Centre from Balgowlah Road to Kenneth Road, with some 200 parking spaces provided on-site and as angle parking in Kenneth Road. The indoor centre has been designed with roofing to provide maximum natural light, and a sliding wall which can be opened when the weather is fine.
The exhibition period is until 9th October 2013 and plans can be viewed at the Library or Council Chambers. The Joint Regional Planning Panel is the consent authority for this $15m redevelopment.
Go to Council's website for more details
UPDATE: Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water .... the future of the Little Manly Foreshore is in question again.
After the Land & Environment Court’s recent ruling against Manly Council, it was hoped that the matter of rezoning of the foreshore land from ‘open space’ to ‘residential’ would be taken off the table.
Instead, Manly’s Liberal Councillors have effectively delayed this for another month while further legal advice is sought. If Manly Council intends that the foreshore land be used as public parkland, why would the foreshore need to be rezoned to residential?
The judgement by Justice Biscoe clearly stated that the Mayor's motion of December 2012 to sell-off the land was no longer valid.
It's time Council revisited the four Architect designs which were commissioned in June 2012, but have never been made public, to look at how a park could be created on this land. Council should also prepare a draft plan of management for what is clearly COMMUNITY LAND and stop playing games. It has already cost around $200,000 in ratepayers money in court costs - image what a great park we could have created with that money.
The judgement handed down by Justice Biscoe on 9/10/13 in the Land & Environment court against the sale by Manly Council of two parcels of foreshore land, currently zoned as 'open space' and extensively used by the community, was in favour of the resident action group. He found that the land at 34 & 36 Stuart Street was in fact 'community' land and therefore could not sold by Council without due process.
Council is also to pay full costs. Great win for the residents of Manly and thanks and congratulations to the Save Little Manly Foreshore Group who worked tirelessly to make this happen, and Councillor Barbara Aird who has fought the issue in the Council Chamber for many years.
A copy of the judgment is below:
Manly’s Ocean Beach is often symbolised as a great curving beach backed by the magnificent stand of Norfolk Island Pines planted from 1860 to 1900.
Over the years these were damaged by the sewer outfall with the worst effect at the northern end of the beach. Unfortunately the replacements in the 1970’s and 1980’s were not quality controlled and Cook Island Pines or hybrids were often planted.
Cook Island Pines (Araucaria columnaris) can be easily recognised as they are smaller, denser and often crooked. When they are mixed with the larger, less dense and straight Norfolk Island Pines (Araucaria heterophylla) they spoil the overall effect as well as reducing the visibility through the trees to the water.
Council commissioned a ’Management and Conservation Plan for the coastal Norfolk Island Pines‘, updated in 2009, which recommended the removal of all Cook Island Pines and related hybrids and replacing them with the original Norfolk Island Pines.
At the southern end of the Steyne, between the surf club and the Corso there are 13 Cook Island Pines out of the total of 76 pines. There are some very healthy bushy and dense ones near the Corso which tend to spoil the ocean views from the various restaurants there. Near the Surf Club the Cook Island Pines are crooked and take away from the effect of the mature Norfolk Island trees. You will also see, when you look at their tops carefully that several of the Norfolk Island Pines at this end of the beach are dying.
At the other, northern end of the beach near the Queenscliff Surf Club there are many more Cook Island Pines and the effect of taller more open Norfolk Island Pines has been lost.
A properly planned replacement program should be a priority as well as replacing all of the older Norfolk Island Pines that are dying or thriving, such as those by the tables on the beachfront by the Corso.
Have you noticed the difference in the pines? What do you think Council should do about this?
(Our thanks to Evelyn Shervington who provided this information)
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.