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?
Breaking into Fort Knox would be easier than getting access to public information at Manly Council!
First it was due to identity theft now the Mayor’s claim that Council is unable to publish Development Application information on its website due to “the Copyright Act in relation to architectural plans and similar documents” (Mayoral Column Manly Daily 30/6/12) continues the farce. Speak to any local architect, as I have done, and they will tell you it’s simply not a concern for them.
In this Saturday's paper the Council listed Development Applications that had been lodged as well as those that had been approved. But don't waste your time going to the website as instructed because despite having to agree that you understand there may be copyright issued, THERE IS STILL NOTHING ON THE SITE! Just the words - document not available. Want to know what has been approved? Forget it!
The Office of the Information Commissioner ruled on 11th April that Manly Council was breaching the Act by not providing open, transparent information on its website in relation to development applications. Who are they serving by not having this information easily accessible?
Sorry to rant but this is really getting beyond a joke. Here's an example: 106 Darley Road (Spring Cove Development) which is a major subdivision as part of St Patrick's Estate originally approved in 2004 comprising 17 residential buildings, 5 townhouses, 15 apartments. The developer wants to make changes to the original DA. Nothing's on the website (expect headings with 'No Document Available' listed again and again ... but that's OK. Fill out the two page form, lodge it with the Council and once you are granted permission, which could take up to three weeks, you can go to the Council Chambers, during office hours, and view the DA. That's this Council's idea of access to public information, which by law, should be easily accessible.
It's time for a change of Council!
As reported in The Australian (10/4/12), veteran Sydney property developer Phillip Wolanski is behind a new consortium called Spring Cove Developments which has won the development rights from the Catholic Church to compete the final stage on land surrounding the former St Patrick's seminary at Spring Cove, following withdrawal from the project by Lend Lease.
It has been reported that the church will finance the project to the tune of around $200m and the substantial development will comprise houses and apartments in what is considered by locals as environmentally sensitive, pristine waterfront land.
Locals at Little Manly first become aware that the development may be underway again when a number of mature trees where felled recently.
Local environmental groups and residents will be working overtime to ensure that environmental controls are met, and penguin habitat protected, during development.
If you want to know what was approved by the Council previously, too bad! The Council's latest controls of information means that no DAs older than 14 days can be accessed on the website. You can however fill out a two page form, lodge it and wait about 3 weeks to view it at the Council Chambers .....
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.