Dee Why Civic Centre was packed last night (23/8/16) as the fate of the former Manly Council's divisive Oval Car Park and Whistler Street redevelopment plans were shelved by the Administrator, Dick Perssons, after an extensive investigation into the flawed Manly2015 Plan. Below is the recommendation that was adopted:
The total project has been shelved, and the DA for the Oval Car Park has been withdrawn. This has resulted in the termination of the Development Deeds with Abergeldie Construction (Oval Car Park), and Athas/Built (Whistler Street site 99 year lease).
After four years of campaigning a decision is finally made.......and the residents were right!
Campaign Based of The Facts
From the very beginning Good For Manly focused on the facts. This was in total contrast to former Mayor Jean Hay and her Liberal Councillors who refused to support any investigation into the process, or even to question former General Manager Henry Wong, who essentially did what he liked. Instead the Liberal block shouted down any opposition, and talked about "scare campaigns" and people pushing their own political barrows.
A four year campaign spearheaded by former Manly Councillor Candy Bingham was supported by huge community opposition to the scheme. Campaign efforts included three public meetings, two protest rallies, letterbox drops, objections by the resident precinct groups, a survey of businesses, hundreds of submissions, four-years worth of letters to the Manly Daily and relevant government ministers, regular press coverage, meetings with local MP Mike Baird, and the formation of the Save Manly Oval Alliance.
Save Manly Oval Alliance
The Alliance commissioned legal advice from the Environmental Defenders Office and engaged independent experts to prepare reports and submissions, covering financial, heritage, traffic management, structural and environmental issues, water & flood management etc in response to the oval car park development application which was lodged 2 days before Manly Council was dismissed and amalgamated into one Northern Beaches Council.
But in the end the depth of community opposition and the stark facts provided by the experts co-ordinated by the Save Manly Oval Alliance could not be ignored. The total project has been shelved, and the DA for the Oval Car Park has been withdrawn. This has resulted in the termination of the Development Deeds with Abergeldie Construction (Oval Car Park), and Athas/Built (Whistler Street site 99 year lease).
At present, the independent reports remain confidential until contractual arrangements have been sorted however the Council has undertaken to make the reports by Ernst & Young and Value Network public once this have been done.
It's time for the Manly Community to celebrate!
And to thank and acknowledge all those who worked so tirelessly to stop this Plan. The non-Liberal councillors who were successful in delaying the project for a number of years. Clrs Candy Bingham, Cathy Griffin Hugh Burns and later Barbara Aird. As well as the huge number of Manly residents, local experts, precinct groups and business leaders who have stood up to be counted. And of course the the executive and members of the Save Manly Oval Alliance and Good For Manly Association.
We can now go back to the drawing board and come up with a Masterplan for Manly that will gain the support of locals and tourists alike. Watch this space!
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.