It’s been a long time coming but Manly residents finally have a special picnic area and new dingy and kayak storage space on the public land near Little Manly Beach at the corner of Craig Avenue, thanks to a long fought battle by the Save Little Manly Foreshore Group.
Now, thanks to a government grant pursued by former councillor Cathy Griffin, the creation of a new public space is almost a reality.
The project is set to be finished by the end of this month, just in time for Spring.
Here is how it unfolded
For more than 40 years there has been a vision to increase the open space at Little Manly foreshore. Initially harbour front blocks at 34 and 36 Stuart Street were purchased by Manly Council. Recently No. 40 Stuart Street was purchased with the view to extend the parkland in the future.
But in 2013 the former Manly Council led by Mayor Jean Hay, tried to sell off the parcels of land of Nos 34 & 36, claiming the money was needed to pay for the recent purchase of 40 Stuart Street.
Public fury and a community-driven court action by the Save Little Manly Foreshore Group in the Land and Environment Court put a stop to the sale.
There have many plans to improve the area, which had been used for kayak and dingy storage but was never fully accessible to the public.
Now, thanks to a grant pursued by former councillor Cathy Griffin, the creation of a new public space is almost a reality.
The kayaks and dingeys have been moved to the street-end of the site, and arranged in a better-organised, tidy system freeing up the space overlooking the harbour.
The work is almost complete in converting this once cluttered space into a grassed picnic area, with landscaping and seats.
Thank you to the Save Little Manly Foreshore Group, their supporters, and Clrs Barbara Aird, Hugh Burns, David Murphy, Cathy Griffin and Candy Bingham who never gave-up on this vision.
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.