The controversial redevelopment plan for the Royal Far West site is still on the agenda with a decision from the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) now delayed until February 2013 due to concerns that a late December public meeting (which is part of the process) would not enable all concerned parties to be present.
In the meantime concerns are still being raised by locals including the P & C of the Village School and members of the Manly Community Centre, due to the lack of information which is publicly available on the proposal. For example, what impact, if any, will the high-rise components of the development have on the shadowing of the children's playground in the Village School? What arrangements have been made regarding the parcel of land within the redevelpment site which is owned by the Department of Education? Who is behind the redevelopment proposal as, as a charity, the Royal Far West would be unable to mount such a proposal on their own? And why wasn't there any community consultation on the proposal before it was lodged?
Manly Council has submitted a draft concept plan for the site which calls for a more modest approach to the redevelpment with terraced levels fronting the beach rather than the proposal high rise block.
As a $220m redevelopment on an important, major site in Manly (bounded by Wentworth Avenue, South Steyne & Victoria Avenue) the community has a right to be kept informed. So why so much secrecy?
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.