Manly businesses don’t want a car park under the sports oval, nor do they want the Whistler street car park demolished for shops and apartments.
That’s the shock result of a survey conducted by Good For Manly on attitudes to the Manly CBD masterplan.
As well as opposition to the oval car park, the survey of over 200 small ground floor Manly businesses found overwhelming opposition to the demolition of the Whistler St car park, and to further pedestrianisation of the CBD resulting in loss of on-street parking and the closure of Sydney Rd. But the businesses did support the planned Manly Library revamp.
The results are a surprise, as the businesses’ peak body - the Manly Chamber of Commerce - staunchly supports the oval car park/Whistler St development.
And businesses that were members of the Chamber of Commerce did look at the project more favourably. But even in the Chamber group support for the oval car park/Whistler St plan ran at less than 50%. However the Chamber businesses liked the idea of more pedestrian zones and, like the overall group, supported the library redevelopment plan.
The survey was carried out last month, and involved face-to-face contact with 214 businesses in the Manly CBD. Only ground floor businesses were included, and because contact needed to be made with either the business owner or manager, most large businesses such as banks, pubs and chain retailers like Suzanne, could not take part.
Businesses were asked to reply “Support”, “Don’t support”, or “Don’t know” to these five questions:
1. Manly Council now plans to build a 500 space car park at Manly Oval to replace the Whistler St car park. The Oval car park will provide a minimal number of additional parking spaces.
2. Council plans to demolish the Whistler St car park and lease the site for 99 years to be redeveloped for shops and apartments. There will be no public parking on this site.
3. Council plans to refurbish/rebuild the Library with an additional two floors of community space.
4. Council plans to remove 100 parking spaces on the street to further pedestrianise Manly’s CBD.
5. Council plans the closure of Sydney Road from Belgrave St to The Corso, and no through traffic in Central Ave, to pedestrianise Manly’s CBD.
This is the result:
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.