It is concerning that we are losing more and more of our precious bushland and open space on the Northern Beaches.
Manly Warringah War Memorial Park (Manly Dam) is a good example. Part of this magnificent park, which is crown land, is zoned residential due to an anomaly when the Warringah LEP was updated in 2011.
Two other parcels, also zoned residential, are owned by Sydney Water and share the boundary with the park on three sides, and should be incorporated into the Park.
In a letter to the Manly Vale Public School in October 2016 the then NSW Premier, Mike Baird, said that “the NSW Planning Minister is currently looking at ways to increase the conservation status of bushland within the Manly Warringah Memorial Park. One option is the conversion of the Park into a state park”. (That happened on 7th April 2017.)
The then Premier also said “the Government will transfer a parcel of land owned by Sydney Water at Seaforth and adjacent to the War Memorial Park, back to the park.” I think everyone just assumed this had been done. But it hasn’t happened yet – and we need to act now to protect it.
With the support of the Mayor, Michael Regan, Manly Ward Councillor Candy Bingham, has been successful in having the Council agree to commence the planning process to have these parcels of land rezoned from Residential to Recreational. And it is hoped that Sydney Water will also agree to have their land included in the boundaries of the Park.
This corridor of land which is situated at the north east corner of the intersectin of the Wakehurst Parkway and Kirkwood Street, Seaforth, is not pristine bush, but it serves the purpose of protecting the integrity of the park. It includes a part of the Wakehurst Golf Course, a section is traversed by the circuit trail for cycling and walking; and the land plays an important function in protecting the Manly Dam Catchment, and is part of a wildlife corridor.
A further two parcels of land on the fringe of the park in King Street Manly Vale and Wandella Road, Allambie, are also to planned to be rezoned to recreational.
The Save Manly Dam Community Group also need to be acknowledged for their tireless work to protect this special park.
It will take years for the Northern Beaches LEP to be completed which is why we need to get on with this rezoning from Residential back to Recreational to protect this very important area from redevelopment.
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.