In one of his final acts as Administrator of the Northern Beaches Council, Dick Perrson has approved a recommendation that a Masterplan be undertaken for Little Manly Reserve. This follows years of lobbying by the Save Little Manly Foreshore group and the former Little Manly Precinct to ensure that the foreshore land remains accessable to the public.
Initial work includes:
(Council owns three of the four properties on the foreshore being Nos 34, 36 and 40. No 38 is a recently-built private residence.)
The Administrator also expressed the view that the existing kiosk and toilet block should be demolished, providing more open space in that part of the reserve. The proposed café/restaurant at No 40 Stuart St. would be accessible from the park.
Council staff will prepare a draft Masterplan, for discussion with key stakeholders and the public. The final plan will then be put on public exhibition for further comment and submissions.
This announcement follows years of work by the Save Little Manly Foreshore Group who fought long and hard to retain a number of council-owned properties on the foreshore of Little Manly. Their focus was to realise a 40 year vision to return the harbour foreshore back to open space.
The most recent acquisition, the purchase of No 40 Stuart Street, which runs beside the existing reserve, was purchased by Manly Council in 2012 for $4.2m.
However, then Mayor Jean Hay was totally against the purchase and continued to fight the matter during her term as Mayor in 2012 – 2016 including a proposal to sell-off the other council-owned properties in the area (Nos 34 – 36) to cover the costs of No 40, despite the fact that council owned 3 out of the 4 of the sites making up the foreshore!
The Save Little Manly Foreshore Group, backed in particular by Cr Barbara Aird and Cr Hugh Burns, as well as Cr Candy Bingham and Cr Cathy Griffin, took the Council to court to stop the sale and won. An expensive court case, backed by the Liberal bloc on Council, cost the Council an estimated $200,000.
You can read more on the history to save this site here.
What do you think of the proposed draft ideas for the area?
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.