After giving us their new landmark building in Wentworth St, children's charity Royal Far West has announced plans for a $100 million transformation of their central Manly site.
The organisation has promised to deliver an "iconic" health and wellbeing campus, and has already signed two of Australia's best-known architects to create the design - internationally acclaimed Glenn Murcutt, who grew up in Clontarf, and Angelo Candalepas.
The new Centre for Country Kids on Wentworth St, and Old Royal Far West buildings on South Steyne
The rebuild will enable the charity to expand its work - caring for country kids with health and developmental problems.
Royal Far West will not sell any part of the beachfront site and will work within the approved development application which is already in place. That means building heights will be restricted to five stories with a set back for street frontages, and eight levels at the back of the site.
The ageing red-brick buildings on Wentworth St and South Steyne will be demolished, with the new campus likely to include retail and commercial space and residential accommodation.
Business Director Jacqui Emery said the organisation needed to expand to be able to help the increasing number of country kids with health and developmental needs.
She said more than 100,000 needy children in remote or regional Australia had very limited, or no access to paediatric specialists. Their needs included developmental problems such as autism or attention deficit disorders; mental health issues; or speech, movement, dietary or dental problems.
A first step has already been taken with the purpose-built Centre for Country Kids opening its doors on Wentworth St late last year.
The stylish $43 million building integrates treatment, recreation and school rooms in a welcoming, open-plan design. Assessment and treatment rooms are bright-coloured and well-equipped and class rooms and rec areas are chock full of games, toys and activity areas.
Clockwise from top right: Multi-purpose outdoor play space; school room for very young children; history wall in lobby; school room for primary students. All in new Centre for Country Kids.
It's where country children spend their days, usually accompanied by their parents and other siblings, during a week-long assessment or treatment program. Treatment is holistic, with Royal Far West employing 150 staff, including paediatricians, dentists, speech and occupational therapists, psychologists, dieticians and nurses. Parents, who often feel isolated and overwhelmed, are supported too. The program, which includes all meals and five nights accomodation, is valued at $7000 per family but is provided free of charge.
While in-house treatment is required for complex problems, many children can be treated remotely using 'Telecare'. This Skype-like system allows clinicians to go virtually anywhere in Australia and help 400 children a week. It's the way of the future, and will be vastly increased in the new campus.
Although Royal Far West does receive some State and Federal government funding, the charity needs to raise a lot of its own income. At present that's mainly from donations, although the new Wentworth St centre has smart new conference rooms and gathering spaces for hire. And in Drummond House next door, reasonably priced accomodation is available for rent on weekends and during school holidays. But it's not enough.
"We're a charity," Ms Emery said. "We always want to do more. There are so many kids out there that we want to help. If we can't intervene when they're young, many of them don't engage in school, don't finish, don't get proper jobs, and end up on the street or at the police station. If we don't do it, who will?"
She said that while the charity will keep its Manly site, which is its biggest asset, adding retail and residential units would enormously help its income stream. At the same time the organisation is determined to deliver something "absolutely beautiful and iconic" to rejuvenate the south end of the beach.
A DA is expected to be lodged in the next two years with plenty of community consultation along the way.
Aug 22: More details have emerged on redevelopment possibilities. They include independent leasehold oceanfront units for the over 55s, “high integrity” restaurants, a health centre, childcare centre and even a 24-hour triage centre. More information here.
A cluttered field of 12 candidates, many of whom don't even live in our area, has made it even more difficult for the genuine contenders.
Thats' the line-up for the State By-Election on Saturday 8th April.
Here's A Quick Guide:
1. The Candidates Although 12 people have registered to stand, there are really only three serious contenders: They are Clara Williams-Roldan (Greens), James Griffin (Liberal) and Kathryn Ridge (Independent).
Please take a moment to check out their websites and policies by clicking on their names, which will give you a direct link.
It is interesting to note that there has been an anti-LIberal vibe in the area, particularly since the pre-selection of James Griffin as the Liberal candidate. The Save Manly Oval Alliance has produced a fact sheet on James's performance as a Councillor on Manly Council (see below), which speaks volumes.
2. Who to Support? Many people are asking me who I am personally supporting. I know all three candidates well and think Clara has a great future, but needs more experience behind her. James's performance as a Councillor with me on Manly Council was lack-lustre. He supported the Manly Oval Car Park and contributed very little to community projects. Kathryn is an experienced lawyer with a long record of backing community projects and getting results. I'm supporting Kathryn as I believe she will be an outstanding independent Local Member.
3. Pre Polling Details
Pre-Polling operates from Monday 27th March - Friday 07 Apr 2017 at Manly Oval Pavillion, Sydney Road Manly and at Unit 2, 192 Harbord Rd, Brookvale.
Mon - Fri: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Thu (06 Apr): 8:00am - 8:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 5:00pm Closed on Sun
Polling Day Saturday 8th April.
4. Volunteer If you would like to support Kathryn Ridge by helping out on pre-polling or polling day, contact Anne Lanham, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 0427 787833. If you wish to support other candidates, contact them via their websites.
5. Meet the Candidates The Greater Manly Resident Forum is staging a Meet The Candidates evening on Monday 3rd April at 7pm at Manly West Public School. It will be well worth attending. More details here.
Will a strong independent gain the support of locals again, or will the Liberals win the day? What do you think?
Manly's Royal Far West will start work on a new $35 million centre to replace the Elsie Hill building in Wentworth St in February next year.
The move into the 21st-century is thanks to a $10 million Federal Government grant which added to an existing $10 million grant from the State Government, means the children’s health care organisation can expand its reach way beyond the 3000 children it currently supports each year.
Key to the expansion will be a new Centre for Child Health and Learning that will function as a purpose-built technology hub.
The new $35 million centre will be built on the site of the existing Elsie Hill building in Wentworth St, which will be pulled down. Work on the six-storey building will start in February next year, and is expected to take about 18 months.
What sets Royal Far West apart is the community it serves - country kids who live in regional and remote Australia and don’t have access to health services that we take for granted. That includes treatments for problems such as speech and reading difficulties and behavioural and psychological concerns, as well as more traditional medical care. And while some consultations do need to be hands-on, many can take place remotely.
Royal Far West has been providing ’Telecare for Kids’ for some time, but the new centre will increase its online reach five times - to 15,000 children, and their families, each year.
No announcement has been made yet regarding future plans for the existing site on the corner of Wentworth Street and South Steyne where the charity will continue to operate until the new facility is opened.
A new community group has been formed with the single purpose of eliminating single use plastic bags in Manly by 2017. What a great goal!
It takes a village - to go plastic bag free.
That's the strategy powering community group Plastic Free Manly towards their ambitious environmental goals. The grassroots organisation has set 2017 - next year - as their target to rid Manly of single use plastic bags.
Because social change only happens if everyone is on side, the environmentalists are talking to as many groups as possible, ranging from school children and their families to local businesses and large corporate entities.
For the children there are family activity sheets and the story of Gertie the Turtle who swallowed a plastic bag and almost died. For businesses there is support for a transition away from plastic, and publicity to nudge shoppers into doing the right thing. Plastic Free Manly already has the support of more than 40 local retailers, Northern Beaches Council and Manly Chamber of Commerce. They are also working with grocery giant Coles on a local plastic reduction campaign.
The need is pressing. Every day ten million new plastic bags are used by Australian shoppers. And the plastic in every one of them takes hundreds of years to break down.
"Manly is special," former Manly councillor and Good For Manly president Candy Bingham said. "It's a village community, and it's full of people who care passionately about our oceans, wildlife and bush. We already have campaigns like Plastic Free July, which Good For Manly helped to introduce to Manly last year, and now this terrific group of women are taking it to a whole new level."
Plastic Free Manly is run entirely by volunteers. To join their team and receive training as a Business Engagement Warrior or digital marketer, or just to find out more, please click the link below.
NSW We've done it!
In a huge win for the environment, NSW is getting the Container Deposit Scheme that really works. The one that turns drink bottles and cans into cash.
Under the new scheme reverse vending machines and bottle collection centres will provide an immediate 10 cent "reward" for every empty container deposited. In South Australia, where the scheme has been in place for the past 30 years, 80% of cans and bottles are recycled. It's expected to be the same here.
And that's not all - charities, clubs and community groups have also hit the jackpot. For them access to extra funds is just one clean-up away. In SA $60 million was distributed in this way last year alone.
It might not have been this way. The NSW government was fiercely lobbied by Coca-Cola and other big drink companies to implement their questionable Thirst for Good scheme. This scheme provided no direct reward, so no incentive, for people to recycle bottles and cans. Instead, if enough drink containers were collected a donation would be made to a pre-allocated or club.
The drink companies fought hard for their no-incentive scheme, but the community fought hard too.
"With Premier Mike Baird as our local MP, the Manly community has more influence than most," Good For Manly Cllr Candy Bingham said. "Congratulations to everyone in the Manly community, especially Manly Environment Centre and Greens Cllr Cathy Griffin, who fought so hard to get Mr Beard to make the right choice. Groups such as the Boomerang Alliance ran a strong campaign for change."
Here’s how the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) will work:
• 10 cents will be paid for each drink container returned to a depot or reverse vending machine.
• The containers must display a NSW CDS label, and be between 150ml and 3 litres.
• Wine, beer, milk, and juice will not be eligible for the scheme.
• Depots will be both large-scale operations and pop-ups.
• Anyone returning a container is eligible for a refund.
• Drinks containers can still be disposed of in council-run waste and recycling collection schemes, but the household won’t receive a refund. The 10c will go to the councils and will go towards waste collection costs in their local area.
• The 10c refund, administration and handling fees, will be covered by the beverage industry.
Next? A campaign for the inclusion of wine & beer bottles, which are a major issue in Manly's public areas.
The whole of Sydney was shocked when 26 of our little penguins were massacred by a fox last winter. The North Head little penguin colony has survived but now the birds face another threat. This time it's man made and may be even worse.
Q station resort hotel wants to crank up the volume at its Quarantine Station site. The Mawland Group, which runs the hotel, has applied to change its planning controls, including boosting visitor numbers, and playing music in an outdoor area just metres away from little penguin nests.
Just as worrying is a request to remove NSW Parks and Wildlife Service as co-proponents of the site, meaning that independent oversight would be minimised and Mawland would have prime responsibility for care of the Quarantine Beach penguin colony.
"It's a terrible suggestion,” Good For Manly councillor Candy Bingham said. “That would mean that our beautiful little penguins, which are already right on the borderline of survival here on the mainland, would be left in the care of a company that has no environmental expertise, and is run for profit. I’m also concerned that Mawland has asked for its environmental audits to be decreased from every five years to every eight years,”
The outdoor music plan is problematic as well.
The proposal is to allow ambient dining music which would not exceed 50 dB - a volume similar to “conversation at home” - when measured at the edge of the outdoor eating area. While it’s true that the existing ban on any amplified music does impose limits on activities - such as weddings - at the site, and the hotel is not asking to play music loud; the penguin colony still needs to be taken into account. Of concern is that penguins choose quiet, secluded areas for their nests and the birds are active around dusk, when the music is likely to be played, with adult birds returning to their nests to feed their young at that time and mating pairs also likely to be disturbed. The same concerns surround the proposal to boost maximum permitted guest numbers from 450 to 600 people.
“All this is less than one year after the endangered colony was savaged by a fox, sparking a massive effort by Parks and Wildlife staff and almost 100 volunteers,” Cllr Bingham said. “The group braved long, cold winter nights and freezing winds to physically guarded the nesting sites at Quarantine station, Collins Beach and Store Beach on a round-the-clock three-month-long vigil. What a disaster if their efforts went to waste.”
The Mawland proposals are now before the Department of Planning and Environment.
Images: Activities at Boilerhouse Restaurant, pictured at Quarantine Beach, may be ramped by.
North Head and the Q Station complex including Quarantine Beach and jetty.
The recent NSW Budget announcements could finally deliver the infrastructure seriously needed by the much neglected Northern Beaches.
Local Member Mike Baird has followed through with a $633 million transport upgrade announced that will include a rapid bus transport system from Mona Vale to the city, and five new public transport hubs.
This includes a $400 million package of infrastructure to support the yet to be built Northern Beaches Hospital, including two underpasses on the Warringah Road at Forest Way and Wakehurst Parkway, the widening of Warringah Road and Allambie Road as well as providing access to the new hospital via the intersection of Warringah Road and Hilmer Street. These upgrades will be in place by 2018.
The proposed Bus Rapid Transport system (BRT) is a project which has been lobbied by SHOROC (the combined Councils of Mosman, Manly, Warringah and Pittwater) for many years as the best solution to free up the grind that is the daily commute from the Northern Beaches.
A $125 million will be allocated to build the BRT from Mona Vale to the city, including indented bus bays, more frequent services and longer operating hours.
Five new interchanges will be developed at Mona Vale, Dee Why, Brookvale, Northern Beaches Hospital and Mosman at a cost of $30 million.
Also included in the package is the creation of 800 new commuter carparks at North Narrabeen, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Warriewood and Brookvale costing $67 million.
The building opposite Warringah Mall, which has been an eye-sore for years, is currently under negotiation to be transformed into a commuter car park.
Talks have also commenced to divert buses from the Spit Bridge approach through the nearby property that includes the old Greater Union cinema building at Spit Junction.
More good news for the Northern Beaches, and Manly, with Local Member and Premier, Mike Baird, announcing this month that there were plans to connect Manly with more destinations by ferry.
Routes to places like Milson’s Point, Darling Harbour and new opportunities with the development of Barangaroo are to be investigated.
Also announced in the State Budget this month was a $17 million package to construct a new ferry wharf and interchange hub at Barangaroo.
The Sydney Ferries fleet replacement program, which $1.5 million was allocated to, would bring in faster, additional vessels to reduce travel times between Manly and Circular Quay. More bus connections to ferry services are also planned as demand increases.
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:
Over time, many of Manly’s scenic viewing areas have lost their views due to overgrown vegetation.
There are many examples along the Manly Scenic Walkway including the above at Tania Park, Dobroyd Point; North Harbour and Fairy Bower Point where overgrown vegetation (some of which has been planted by Council) has now grown to such an extent that views are either lost or greatly obscured.
While it is appreciated that some of these official viewing areas fall within the responsibility of the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, Good For Manly has put forward an idea that an audit be done of the current public viewing areas to ascertain what maintenance, if any, needs to be done.
What do you think? Should vegetation be allowed to grow to such an extent that public viewing areas no longer have views?
Expect to see more police on bikes around Manly soon as the New Northern Beaches Local Area Command moves into action. Good wins for Manly include a 34 strong beach unit based here to target alcohol-related violence and crime.
While the main Command will be based at Dee Why there will be more police in specialist and general duties based in Manly.
It is expected the Manly Police Station, which is currently undergoing an $5m renovation, will be operating again within the next 18 months. In the meantime, the Station in Sydney Road will remain fully functional.
The decision that the Manly Station will be the custody station for the Northern Beaches with overnight cells for holding offenders is welcomed news. (At the moment offenders have to be taken to the city, escorted by two police officers).
Local Area Commander, Dave Dacy, has undertaken to review the new arrangements, which are expected to take effect in early November, after six months to ensure that the Manly community believe the policing needs of the area are being met.
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.
New rules to be enforced from 20 May to limit residents putting waste on the pavement rather than within bins, has been put on hold following strong opposition from residents.
Locals in particular from leafy suburbs of Balgowlah Hts, Seaforth and Clontarf jammed Councillors' in-boxes with emails of protest stating difficulty in getting bulky branches and excessive green waste into just one bin.
The matter is to be reviewed following further community consultation.
Mayor Jean Hay and her Liberal Councillors are moving at a great pace to proceed with the 2015 Plan which at its core entails the demolition of Whistler Street carpark (yes, it's an eyesore but still a valuable asset that holds 395 cars); the demolition and rebuild of Many Library and the building of an 800 space carpark under Manly Oval. The overall cost of the Plan? - $80million. Add this to the $15 million to upgrade the Manly Swim Centre and you are looking at total capital expenditure of $100 million.
Can Manly ratepayers afford this? No! Let's get real. We need to live within our means not be servicing borrowings of $100 million for years to come. I'm not persuaded this is good for Manly.
It's time a solution was found to the problem of late night urination in Manly's CBD and this could be just the answer.
Already working successfully in cities in the UK and Europe, the UriLift urinal is concealed underground during the day, and appears with the simple push of a remote ready for action, later at night.
Each cylindrical, stainless-steel UriLift includes three separate, doorless urinals that can be used simultaneously. While underground, all that remains visible of the device is its circular cover. To make the UriLift pop up for the evening, the press of a button on the device’s remote control is all that’s required. The urinals and drain are connected to the mains sewer, so that interim cleaning is unnecessary; there’s also a connection to the water mains, but the device can be supplied with a rainwater-based water tank instead, or for use without water. Lighting and heating are both available on the vandalism-proof device.
Good for Manly will be looking into this system as a possible solution to Manly's street urination woes. The City of Sydney has included the installation of a number of these urinals as part of their Late Night Economy Plan which was adopted by Council recently.
Where could they be located in Manly? Two locations have previously been identified as hot spots:
* Outside the vicinity of St Matthews Church
* At the intersection of The Corso/Sydney Road near Henrietta Lane.
At a cost of around $40,000 - $60,000 per unit the Urilift system may seem expensive but research has shown that once installed maintenance and vandalism costs are minimal. The system is a far cheaper option than building a toilet block, which has already been identified as an unsuitable solution, or providing portable urinals which the Council rejected as an idea in November 2011.
According to Local Police Commander Dave Dacy, the urination problem in Manly’s CBD is even worse than that experienced in Kings Cross.
We know where the main problem spots are and it’s naive to say that guys who have had too much to drink should go back into the pub and find a toilet. They don’t. They simply find somewhere to wee nearby which is usually a laneway, doorway or around St Matthews Church.
Due to ongoing vandalism Manly Council has had to close public toilets at midnight. Regardless, these toilets are not in the hot-spot locations nor are they easy to find.
What I am proposing is a system which disappears into the ground when it is not required, that is during the day, and appears in the wee-small hours of the morning when the need for quick relief is most prevalent.
What do you think? Is this an option that Council should seriously consider?
This is very cool - watch the system in action .....
Should Nos 34 & 36 Stuart Street on Little Manly Beach be sold? Frankly, I don’t know but I'm certainly not in support of this rash and rushed decision which was passed on Monday night (11/2/13) by the Liberal majority.
As a Councillor I have not been given any alternative options; I haven’t seen the plans for the park that Council commissioned for this land less than 6 months ago; I have no idea what the land would be worth once it was carved up into even smaller parcels; I don’t know what other assets Council has that could be sold to meet any shortfall; I don’t know how much Council has raised in Section 94 Contributions specially for this Little Manly area.
…… in fact as a Councillor I’ve been given absolutely no information to support this sale. Where is the due process in this matter? Why isn’t Council following proper procedures?
No’s 34 and 36 Stuart Street were purchased for the express purpose of one day being incorporated into a new community park, and they have been reserved for ‘Open Space’ for approximately 50 years.
The message that ‘rates will go up and Council can’t afford this plan’ is misleading. Council has many assets on its books which could be classified ‘surplus to requirements’ – why aren’t we investigating the option of selling another asset rather than foreshore land. Where is the due process in making this decision?
The Mayor, Jean Hay, has decided these properties will be sold to pay off the debt of Council's purchase of No. 40 Stuart Street which is the land closest to the existing reserve. Where is the open and transparent process in this decision? Where is the community consultation? What are our other options? Why are we selling such a valuable asset to justify the purchase of another? It just doesn't make sense.
Redevelopment Cnr South Steyne & Wentworth Street.
Be Alarmed! The 9 storey hotel building opposite Manly Beach as part of the Royal Far West (RFW) redevelopment has been recommended by Department of Planning (not Manly Council) to go ahead. It will overshadow the beach from 4.45pm in Summer but no-one seems to care. This can't be allowed to happen.
Attend the Public Meeting on Monday 18th February, 3pm at the Manly Bowling Club Raglan Street before the NSW Planning Assessment Commission. This will be your last chance to register your concerns.
(Meeting now changed to 4pm due to public demand)
This site is long overdue for redevelopment but the proposed 9 and 7 storey buildings were what was done in the 1980s when we didn't know any better. Most buildings nearby are heritage, and 2 - 4 storeys only.
You can download a general flyer that outlines the issues in relation to this over-development below:
As more information becomes available on the proposed redevelopment of the Royal Far West site opposite Manly Beach at South Steyne, the local community is becoming alarmed by the bulk and size of the proposed $229m development on this iconic site. A new group called Save Manly Village, has been formed to fight what has become the largest development proposal in Manly for 20 years.
The plans include:
• 9 storey hotel building towering over Manly’s iconic beach
• 8 storey building overshadowing the Manly Village Public School and dominating Rialto Square in Wentworth St.
• Complex of shops, restaurants, apartments and a 165 room hotel
* A new facility for the Royal Far West (which represents less than 30% of the total floor area of the site)
While locals stress they are not against the Royal Far West, nor the wonderful work they do, there is a sense of betrayal. The excessive commercial development plans, which were lodged without any consultation with the community nor Manly Council, are completely out of context for this site which is bounded by South Steyne, Wentworth Street and Victoria Ave.
While there is general agreement that the buildings owned by the Royal Far West are in need of replacement, (except for historic Drummond House which is to be retained), questions are being asked as to why the NSW government has agreed to two parcels of Department of Education land within the site, to be incorporated into the development with no apparent negotiation made to provide additional space for the Manly Village School next door. The school, which is busting at the seams, has grown from 200 pupils to more than 600 students in recent times and this is expected to continue to grow.
The development has been lodged as a Part A Application with the Department of Planning and a decision is expected to be made by the Planning Assessment Commission in February 2013.
In the meantime, locals are being encouraged to lodge their concerns by:
· Writing to Brad Hazzard, Minister for Planning - email@example.com
· Writing to our Local Member, Mike Baird - firstname.lastname@example.org
· Writing to the Manly Daily – email@example.com
· Letting others know how Manly is under threat
· 'Liking' the Save Manly Village Facebook page - www.facebook.com/savemanlyvillage
A public meeting will be called by the Planning Assessment Commission. Date to be advised but expected to be in February 2013.
It was disappointing that at its December meeting Manly Council rejected outright the idea of perusing a feasibility plan to have a Harbour Pool re-created in Manly Cove West.
However the argument that "Maritime, who are the landowner, have totally rejected the plan" is completely inaccurate (See attached letter below)
On May 3, Council received a letter from Roads & Maritime Services that not only set out what would need to be done as part of a feasibility plan for the idea but also stated "Roads and Maritime .... will consider any formal proposal from Manly Council to re-establish a boardwalk and pool".
The new-look pool and boardwalk concept plan is an idea that has been well-researched by Good For Manly with a professionally designed eco-friendly pool, rather than the massive structures of the 'Wonder Pool' of days gone-by. We believe it is an idea that is worthy of proper investigation and consideration rather than a knee-jerk refusal.
What do you think?
Growing pains being experienced by Manly Village School has put pressure on the Department of Education with the school exploding from an initial 200 pupils to more than 600 students enrolled in the school - and growing.
It is understood that the Department of Education & Communities is undertaking 'a broad scoping exercise' (not my words!) to find ways to best accommodate future students at Manly Village School.
At one stage it was feared that the Manly Community Centre in Wentworth Street would be given notice to make way for more classrooms. However, their lease has now been extended until December 2015 which offers a reprieve, for now.
The Centre provides valuable services including information, counselling, financial and legal advice, housing assistance as well as bilingual migrant specialists, domestic violence caseworkers, and a Justice of the Peace - the name just some of the services. The current location and facilities offered by the Community Centre are considered an important part of the Manly Village. It was community-funding that contributed around $1/2million to 'save' the building which was previously in a derelict state. Numerous repairs and restorations of the MCC building have taken place over the years. This includes the restoration of the heritage hall in 1999 and the restoration of the building to its original heritage condition.
Find out more here
The controversial redevelopment plan for the Royal Far West site is still on the agenda with a decision from the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) now delayed until February 2013 due to concerns that a late December public meeting (which is part of the process) would not enable all concerned parties to be present.
In the meantime concerns are still being raised by locals including the P & C of the Village School and members of the Manly Community Centre, due to the lack of information which is publicly available on the proposal. For example, what impact, if any, will the high-rise components of the development have on the shadowing of the children's playground in the Village School? What arrangements have been made regarding the parcel of land within the redevelpment site which is owned by the Department of Education? Who is behind the redevelopment proposal as, as a charity, the Royal Far West would be unable to mount such a proposal on their own? And why wasn't there any community consultation on the proposal before it was lodged?
Manly Council has submitted a draft concept plan for the site which calls for a more modest approach to the redevelpment with terraced levels fronting the beach rather than the proposal high rise block.
As a $220m redevelopment on an important, major site in Manly (bounded by Wentworth Avenue, South Steyne & Victoria Avenue) the community has a right to be kept informed. So why so much secrecy?
Spring Cove & Little Collins Beach, Manly
Clr Cathy Grifin was successful in getting Council to agree to develop a Master Plan for the area known as Jump Rock and the unnamed reserve at the end of Stuart St leading to the National Park.
Developers are currently developing the Spring Cove section of the St Patricks Estate. They have committed to work with the National Parks & Wild life Service to improve the path through the National Park to Collins Beach.
As part of this development the unnamed reserve, which was dedicated to the public when the Church decided to apply to develop the Estate to provide access to the national park, a large section will be dug up to allow for various services to be connected to the estate.
The bessa brick fence will be removed and the area will be subject to bush regeneration and some landscaping to preserve the habitats of the water dragons and bandicoots.
This proposal seeks to take the opportunity to improve the public park area and access to the National Park and Collins flat from the Little Manly Point Park whilst other development is occurring in the area.
This area represents a section of the world famous walk from Manly Wharf to North Head and in addition to the thousands of young people who pilgrimage to jump off Jump Rock thousands more walkers and runners pass through the area on their way to or from North Head. It is presently particularly unattractive with unsafe steps, worn mud tracks through the bush and the jail like fence on the cliff edge, damaged and open stormwater drains draining directly into Spring Cove, infestations of weeds, unattractive scrubby plantings and piles litter and human excreta.
However the area is also home to an extraordinary array of wildlife including bandicoots, water dragons, possums, echidnas, and native birds, not to mention the stunning views across Spring Cove to the Sydney Harbour National Park.
The proposal seeks to consult with the Little Manly Precinct and the local residents with the aim of landscaping the area including installing a track off the road below the current fence line from Little Manly Point Park to the unnamed reserve as well as the installation of appropriate safety fencing, seating and a grassed picnic area to take in the view across Spring Cove. Consideration could be given to the location of a public toilet to service the area. (residents are regularly approached by the public with requests to use their toilets)
What would you like to see happen to improve Spring Cove and the adjoining bush area?
Update ... 24/10/12
Have just heard that The Commissioner who heard the matter today regarding the Manly Wharf development has terminated the conference and directed the appeal to a full hearing in the Land & Environment Court. the hearing is expected to be listed in December.
It's one of Manly's most iconic and environmentally sensitive sites, but despite rejection by Manly's Independent Assessment Panel (MIAP) plans by TMG Developments to add another storey with four restaurants, 1,000 patrons and more shops to Manly Wharf, will be heard at an appeal hearing tomorrow (Wednesday 24/10/12) at the wharf at 9.30am. Locals & Council will strongly oppose the appeal. You can get a full background on this story by clicking on "Manly Wharf" under our blog categories.
In November 2011 the Royal Far West Children's Scheme lodged a concept plan application for a massive redevelopment of their site. Locals were outraged (again no community consultation) and substantial and numerous submissions were made to the NSW Department of Planning against the proposed redevelopment.
On the 30/8/12 the Department notified those who had made submissions that changes had been made by the Far West. We have now been asked again to lodge submissions on the revised plans
The revised proposal is an insult to the Manly Community who has tirelessly supported the work of the Royal Far West for decades. The new plans have not addressed the major concerns raised by the community and have totally ignored Manly Council's Urban Design controls for the site.
No-one is fooled by them promoting the new development as a School of Excellence when the majority of the site will be taken up by shops, a hotel and apartments.
Come on Royal Far West. Stop listening to the developers who are advising you and start listening to the community that has supported you.
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor & 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.