Manly Council has effectively opened up the Manly 2015 Plan to developers at Monday night’s Council meeting by calling for proposals for the construction of a car park under the oval, and the long-term lease and development of the Whistler Street car park site.
“After five years of deliberation and two wildly unpopular car park scenarios, the Council has suddenly decided to go out and ‘test the market’. All we know about the brief so far is that it contains the main elements that most Manly residents have opposed all along”, said Good for Manly Councillor Candy Bingham. “Long term lease of public land in Manly CBD, building an expensive car park in the wrong place and no further community consultation”.
“Last week the Mayor (in her blog) announced that the majority of Councillors agreed to retro-fit Whistler Street and that a smaller car park under the oval was being explored. This week it’s back to the original plan. What a joke,” Clr Bingham said.
Good For Manly is now calling for intervention by local MP and Premier Mike Baird.
“We believe a moratorium is needed on high-debt, high-risk projects that councils are trying to rush through, ahead of possible amalgamations later this year. “ Clr Bingham explained.
“The Oval car park has already being rejected twice by previous Councils as not viable and yet here we are now asking for interested parties to come up with ideas on how it could work,” she added.
The council resolution to seek proposals from interested parties was an amendment lodged by Clrs. Steve Pickering and James Griffin. However the wording of the resolution has left many confused, with many people believing that in fact the Oval car park had been stopped. No so. (download copy below).
In the meantime resident precinct groups and opponents to the oval car park plan are believed to be dusting off their protest T-Shirts to start fighting the car park proposal again. After two well-attended public meetings, a letter of concern from the Office of Local Government, a large protest march, hundreds of letters to the Manly Daily and thousands of signatures on petitions they are wondering just what it takes for the Council to actually listen to its community. No Oval Car Park - No Massive Debt
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.