Nearby residents were alarmed when an updated Development Application was lodged for the redevelopment of the old Civic Club site on the corner of Gilbert Street and West Promenade. However their concerns that the new proposal proposes an outdoor beer garden on the corner where the historic Auckland Garage is located, opposite Gilbert Park, has been quashed by the Civic Club.
The site has remained vacant for years, with original plans to construct offices as well as the Civic Club now abandoned. Instead the construction will be a new six storey mixed-use development, with alterations to the existing Auckland Garage building. It will comprise the Civic Club at ground level, and residential accommodation above (Levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5).
Car parking will be provide on two levels in the basement.
Of main concern to nearby residents is the turning of this corner of historic significance into an outdoor beer garden which they say will result in unacceptable noise and is an inappropriate use of this area opposite Gilbert Park.
Their submissions are calling for the restoration of the heritage garage building as an enclosed bistro area, with landscaping highlighting the significance of this corner.
However, a response from the Civic Club has made it clear that these outside areas are to be for dining only and are planned to be inside the old Auckland garage. They will be used for small tables of al fresco diners in a no smoking environment.
"There is not a great deal of room to accommodate a lot of people, anyway. The concept is to create a small, well-run club, offering an oasis for those who like a calm atmosphere, good food and pleasant company. We are very aware of all surrounding residents and those who will live in the proposed units above the Club, and have designed the Club accordingly" A Spokesperson from the Civic Club explained.
There are believed to be only two Auckland Garages left in Australia, so the significance of the one in Manly is important to the new development.
The DA process closed last week and the development will be assessed by the Joint Regional Planning Panel in the coming months.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.