“The Duke” – February 2019

THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE…..FRESHWATER STILL WITHOUT A SUPERMARKET

Our community and our village businesses are none the wiser as to when, or if, a supermarket is going to open in Freshwater Village. The brand new 1200 square metres of retail space has been empty since October 2018 leaving our community without a convenient, close, source of fresh fruit and vegetables. Commendably, our local butcher is selling milk and The Captains Shop is selling a limited range of fruit and vegetables, and has plugged the gap left by the closure of our news agency.

The lack of an anchor tenant in this retail space has also had a debilitating impact on village businesses, some of which are now closing their doors and departing. 

“Berties” and “Blaek” on the southern side of Lawrence Street are leaving for sites in Manly and hoping for greater pedestrian traffic.

Already there are empty shops and likely to be more. Their emptiness is compounded by the fact that one particular landlord is seeking rents well above what the tenants have the capacity to pay. A solid dose of realism is needed.

A Super IGA for Freshwater?

The eventual, probable, anchor tenant of the Retail space in the “Freshwater” complex is likely to be the Karellas Group, who are associated with the IGA/Metcash for basic grocery items, but operate under the Supamart brand for other supplies. 

If the experience from its other 6 sites (Cremorne; Rose Bay; Pyrmont, Pennant Hills; Blaxland and Rozelle) is anything to go by, it probably will attempt to offer a one-stop shopping experience focussing on fresh local produce. The Group is fast growing, after its successful initial foray into supermarket operation at its Cremorne site. It has converted the old Festival Records site in Pyrmont to a supermarket as well as the former Tram sheds factory building at Harold Park, near Glebe. Its MD, Vas Karellas is 42 and his brother, Andrew, is 40 and both are closely involved with every stage of the business.

Their arrival in Freshwater cannot come soon enough although latest mail suggests an April start.

CONJECTURE OVER FORMER IGA SITE

There is also much conjecture about the eventual tenants of the former IGA site in the Freshwater Village Plaza. A DA has been lodged with Northern Beaches Council for a rock climbing facility. As one local resident commented “We can’t eat rocks”.

This retail space still has refrigeration and a loading dock suitable for a large fruit and vegetable outlet. Bring forth a return of the Harbord Growers Market, we say.  
A welcoming clientele will greet you.

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR THE VILLAGE

With Freshwater Village at a low ebb, there is some good news for the Village is that some businesses have either opened or returned. We welcome back Kevin, Caroline and staff member, Raiwin, at Bakers Delight, who previous had the bakery franchise next to the former Growers Market. We have missed them and wish them well. Likewise, next door, Francis Kim, has opened his Sushi Train restaurant and it is destined to do well.

Across the road, in Freshwater Village Plaza, Matteo and his sister, Martina, are concocting special gelato recipes drawn from their upbringing in the suburbs of Rome, where their father has still has two popular gelataria.

“OCEANS” DEVELOPMENT COMMENCES CONSTRUCTION.

Construction has commenced on the mixed retail/residential complex in Lawrence Street. Apartments and shops have been selling off the –plan for a number of months and now demolition has commenced and safety hoardings erected.

Construction zone behind Black walls in Lawrence St, Freshwater – soon to be “Oceans Apartments”

In order to prevent further disruption to the Village from a Two-year construction phase, the Friends of Freshwateris seeking an urgent update on this particular DA given that the development is using the driveway from Lawrence Street, in Freshwater Village, as part of the construction process.

in 2018, the Oliver Street Council Car Park was rezoned from community to operational land, in part, to enable construction of the property embraced by DA2017/1294.  The Friends of Freshwater lent its support to the rezoning by way of formal submission.

We understood that the next steps would include the developer, IPM Holdings, submitting a Modification of its Plans to permit the closure of the Driveway to Lawrence Street and access for all construction vehicles via the Car park. This clearly has not happened. The trade-off for the developer is that it would get the capacity for an additional retail space

Our objective, of course, is to maintain the veracity of the Warringah Development Control Plan 2012, Part 5 Special Area controls, G5 Freshwater Village.
This, in part, calls for the closure of all the small driveways into Lawrence Street.

We await a response from Council

FINALLY!  PUBLIC TOILETS IN JACKA PARK.

Jakka Park
This structure to become the new Jacka Park Toilet Block

Jacka Park has been in existence for more than 30 years without public toilets. Its recent heavy use as an open play area by the nearby St. John the Baptist School, coupled with its children’s’ playground and its role as a Registered War Memorial, has prioritised the need for permanent toilet facilities

We can now advise that The Friends of Freshwater 5-year campaign to get much needed toilets in Jacka Park has been successful.  Council has confirmed that the toilet block will be constructed this year (1919-20). 

We had proposed that an unused Council workers’ shed in the Park be used as a low cost option as the basis for the new toilet facility.  We argued that it should be modified to include disabled and baby change facilities. This has been agreed by Council.

Additionally, Council is also proposing to upgrade the heavily used children’s’ playground. It is unfortunately located adjacent to the confluence of two tributaries of Freshwater Creek (now a storm water pipe) and is often affected by heavy rainfall. Council is looking for a more suitable site within the Park.

PROGRESS ON SOUTH CURL CURL TO FRESHWATER BEACH COASTAL WALK.

We have been advised by Council that concept planning is well under way for two Freshwater walkways as part of the Palm Beach to Manly Coastal Walk. This planning and eventual implementation in 2022/23 is funded from the Amalgamation Allocation from the State Government to the Northern Beaches Council.

Manly-based landscaping design firm, Thompson Birrell has been awarded the contract to design the Walkways. This firm recently completed the Walkway at Malabar Headland. It is currently preparing design feasibility studies of the sections from South Curl Curl Board Walk to McKillop Park, and the section from Ocean View Road to Freshwater Rock Pool.

Additionally, restoration and upgrading of the surfing memorabilia around the Duke Sculpture is to occur soon with further support from the Harbord Diggers Club. Likewise, the Club’s Eastern Car park, which is now a construction zone for the last phase of the Club’s NEW Dawn Construction is to be converted to green space for use by all, 

STRONG SUPPORT FOR HERITAGE FOOTPATH.

The Friends of Freshwater is appreciative of your outstanding support to press Council to upgrade the priority of a heritage section of footpath in Soldiers Avenue from medium (never to be built) to be constructed in the 2019 Capital Budget Year.

By 3 March more than 100 submissions had been sent to Council on its amended Walking Plan for this Heritage Footpath, probably dwarfing any other submissions to this Public Consultation Process.

Council has allocated an unprecedented further $3m for footpaths but Freshwater barely registers on the radar of this exercise. 

The Soldiers Avenue of Honour is celebrating its Centenary this year. It is listed as a Community War Memorial and its trees are heritage listed.

Since 2012, A Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group consisting of representatives from the Harbord RSL Sub Branch, Freshwater Surf Club; Friends of Freshwater Inc and the Harbord Literary Institute has been working to bring the Avenue back to its former grandeur.  This has included the installation of a wall mural: information plinth and commemorative bench, as well as the installation of bronze plaques inserted in the footpaths of the Avenue. We have had great support from the three tiers of government, with Ausgrid undergrounded the high voltage cabling in 2015 to extend the lifespan of the heritage trees. We have also been recapturing the histories of those who served in World War One (and their families) for publication in book form.

We want to install more commemorative plaques but without a footpath in which to place them, this is an impossibility.

FARMERS’ MARKET INITIATIVE

Council has sought tenders for a fruit and vegetable market to be held on a Sunday in the Oliver Street Car park. These closed on 28 February.

Due to the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables for the near future in the Village, Friends of Freshie surveyed the community with a Facebook site Poll to determine interest in a regular fresh fruit and vegetable market at a site near or in the Village.

The response was heartening with 2500 views of the poll and nearly 1,000 engagements. The following was the voting response: –

Would you like to see a Farmers market in Freshwater Village?
Yes
278 votes
94.6 %
 
No
16 votes
5.4%
If you had a choice between a Farmers market or parking spaces on a Saturday/Sunday, which one would you choose?
Farmers market
258 votes
87.8%
 
Parking spaces
36 votes
12.2 %

PAID PARKING IN FRESHWATER IS A WORRYING DEVELOPMENT.

In the last edition of the Duke we mentioned our concern at the arrival of a big end of town parking operator, Wilson Parking, into the Freshwatercomplex at 22 Albert Street and its prohibitive requirements for the 58 car underground parking facility. Feedback from this article revealed that the community and nearby businesses are concerned at the precedent this creates, as no other public or private parking in the Village is subject to a per hour charge or a specified free period of one hour. This precedent is also concerning in that it is based on the assumption that all those coming to the Village for shopping can conclude it within an hour. Overstaying in this car park will cost $6.00 for the second hour, $11 for the third and $18 for the fourth. It is also a cashless payment system. 

In no other nearby shopping centre whether it be the Mall or Manly is there such an impost provision.

At the time of writing, not one car was parked in the car park even though it has been open for more than a month. 

The Freshwater Village planning requirement makes provision for a specified amount of public parking space. In the case of the Freshwater complex there is provision for 58 car spaces. This underground car park was meant to take cars off the Street and increase the ambience of the Village. If people boycott it, it will have failed.

A critical factor in the life of the Village is the lingerfactor. This is where people can come to the Village to do a range of things including supermarket shopping and other activities including banking, hairdressing, dental services, real estate transactions and of course café and coffee consumption.  Together these require more than an hour to conclude, and the parking fee incurred will have an obvious negative impact. It will undoubtedly force avoidance of this car park, and into nearby streets.   It could also force other Village privately run car parks into per hour charging.

Our community wants to encourage people to come to Freshwater Village, not deter them. 

The newly established Body Corporate of the Freshwaterclearly did not give any thoughtful consideration to the negative impacts of this anti-community initiative.

FRESHWATER COMMUNITY BANK 2019 TERTIARY SCHOLARS COMMENCE THEIR STUDIES.

For the seventh year, Freshwater Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has awarded tertiary scholarships to nine students nominated by their respective High schools. 56 students have received scholarship support from the Bank.

This year, three of the students came from Freshwater. They included Jacob Feledy from St Paul’s College; Kena Mallender from Manly Selective Campus, and Joshua Smith from Balgowlah Boys Campus. With the other nominees, each had exemplary community involvement which is a requirement of the scholarship.

Joshua Smith, who received his primary education at Harbord Public School and was dux of Balgowlah Boys in 2018, was awarded the $15,000 Ken Ward Memorial Scholarship. For each year of his Undergraduate Degree, he will receive $5.,000.

There is no other tertiary scholarship program of this magnitude on the northern beaches.

JOIN the Friends of Freshwater for 2019.

If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership for 2019, then hop on line to our website at www.freshie.org.aufor easy subscription.

In 2019 our projects are focussed on:    

  • Seeing various aspects of the Freshwater Coastal Space Master Plan through the planning stage including the upgrading of Beach reserve playgrounds and public amenities: completion of the missing segment of the coastal walkway from South Curl Curl Pool through to Freshwater Beach: bush regeneration of Undercliffe Reserve to bring it back to a natural state, and implementation of a Reserve Management Plan for Freshwater View Estate.  
  • Continuing to grow the Freshie Community Garden in Crown Reserve as a model of urban sustainability. 
  • Work on the next stages of the Freshwater Village Public Art project with a focus on Freshwater’s early settlers and surfers.
  • Refurbishing the Soldiers Avenue  Honour for its Centenary Year 2019 
  • Continue to closely scrutinise all significant Development Applications in Freshwater for compliance with planning requirements
  • Getting the basic necessities of life such as provision of fresh fruit and vegetable; public toilets and footpaths upgraded.
  • Ensuring Freshwater’s fair share of the Council Capital Works Budget.
  • Revitalise the weed-infested southern headland of Freshwater Beach with volunteer and professional assistance.
  • Continue to apply for Grant funding from the three tiers of government for various projects in Freshwater.