UPDATE: More Talk - Less Action Needed ..
Concerns are mounting about the haste at which Manly Council is pushing through its DA for the building of a Leisure Centre on the site of the Boy Charlton Swim Centre in Balgowlah Road, Fairlight, with questions being asked about the bland design of the building, the lack of change room facilities, questions are to why the centre needs a gym when there are already 14 in Manly, and the lack of meaningful community consultation.
The Northern Beaches Breakers Water Polo Club (which has around 400 members) has now also submitted a solid business case for the area to include a polo pool which the current design doesn't.
So why the reason for the rush? According to Council's General Manager to gain access to the $15m subsidised loan obtained by Council as part of the NSW Infrastructure program, everything has to be approved by December.
But with a $16m price tag (including professional fees) does Manly run the risk of finishing up with a Centre that is not what the locals want or need?
Public exhibition of the $15m upgrade of Manly 'Boy Charlton' Swim Centre now closed.
(An impressive 120 submissions were received)
The plan includes the building of a new, all purpose aquatic centre which will include a 25 metre, 8 lane pool; seating for 150 spectators; a program pool, leisure pool & spa pool. In addition, the new centre includes a sauna and steam room, administration rooms, plants rooms, gymnasium and group fitness/multipurpose space and kiosk.
Following community consultation both the 50 metre and 25 metre outdoor pools will be retained, as will the original change rooms. There will also be change rooms in the indoor facility.
One of the features of the new development is the changing of the entry to the Centre from Balgowlah Road to Kenneth Road, with some 200 parking spaces provided on-site and as angle parking in Kenneth Road. The indoor centre has been designed with roofing to provide maximum natural light, and a sliding wall which can be opened when the weather is fine.
The exhibition period is until 9th October 2013 and plans can be viewed at the Library or Council Chambers. The Joint Regional Planning Panel is the consent authority for this $15m redevelopment.
Go to Council's website for more details
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.