BEACH RESERVES MASTER PLAN EVOKES WIDESPREAD COMMUNITY DISCUSSION AND INPUT.
Council put the Draft Master Plan on display in late November 2017, with submissions to be received from the community by Feb.4, 2018. Some expressed concern, that with the community moving into summer holiday mode, the draft Plan would not get the deliberation it deserved. This has proved not to be the case.
The widespread discussion and concern expressed by the community has led to a number of community meetings with Councillors and the Mayor. These have been specifically around the issue of parking and loss of green space in the Beach Reserve A number of constructive proposals have been put forward to improve parking and traffic movement without compromising on existing green space and these have been put directly to Council
Of special note is the formation of a Freshwater Park Group comprising residents nearby to both Undercliff and Moore Roads. They compiled a petition with 576 signatures to reinforce their proposals. These have already been the subject of meetings with the Mayor and senior Council staff.
Council will also be meeting with the bush regeneration group who have been patiently improving the bushland along Lumsdaine drive and Carrington Parade.
The proposed route of the Coastal Walk scythes straight through this bushland rather than straddling the Coast, as does the current Boardwalk.
The ball is now squarely in Councils court, and we await further developments.
VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS THREATEN ITS FUTURE.
Two DA’s lodged in late December 2017, for construction of 35 apartments on vacant land behind the northern side of the Village. This land, now zoned commercial, had never been built on and one of the blocks was owned by the one family for the last 70 years. It recently sold to a developer, IPM Holdings, which immediately lodged a DA. These blocks are uncomfortably close to the Harbord Electricity Sub Station and its 14 KV transformers and magnetic fields.
One DA (2017/1287) proposes 24 bedrooms to be located 3 metres from the Sub-Station, and we are of the view that this is unsafe, unhealthy and poor urban planning.
At the time of writing, FOF and 30 other residents have now lodged objections. Of course we will need more, and we now have until Mid-march to lodge. These have mainly been on the grounds that the residential accommodation is accessed by driveways that flow onto busy Lawrence Street. This is in contravention of the Freshwater Village provisions within the Warringah Development Control Plan. There is also not underground parking for visitors or retail customers. These DAs will take much but given nothing in return.
Interestingly the Developers have not received one submission of support.
NOTIFICATION MAP CONTROVERSY
During this DA process, we discovered that only a small number of surrounding properties were being notified of these DAs. Of particular note was the adjoining Kahana building in 18 Marmora St., which has its western wall abutting the proposed development. The newly installed residents were not notified, even though the development proposal affects them mightily.
For development proposals of such controversy, widespread notification would have been the norm. Once upon a time the community was letterboxed, and then it was reduced to 300 residences, and now it is a mere 79 properties being notified.
FOF is raising this with Council as it appears that Developers are seeking to have minimal notification by treating these DAs simply as “Alterations and Additions”.
BABY HEALTH CENTRE CLOSURE
Our Baby Health centre is no more and has closed, without any fanfare, after 50 years of excellent service.
The Department of Health has moved it to a new consolidated Community Health Centre.
Mothers seeking post-natal assistance are now forced to drive to Warringah Mall to obtain these essential services. This involves competing for a car spot in a building designed principally for the B-Line bus service traffic. While it has the advantage of having specialist health services in situ, the days of the leisurely walk to the Village for the Mothers Group meeting and breast-feeding advice, appear over. Village cafes serving coffee to this clientele will also notice their absence.
NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL AS A VILLAGE LANDLORD
Both the Harbord Literary Institute and the Baby Health Centre are buildings under the care and control of Northern Beaches Council. Both are in the western end of the Village and are heritage-listed. Council, for planning purposes is also a major landlord in Freshwater Village.
With the Baby Health Centre now vacant, questions arise as to its future use.
ARMISTICE DAY 2018 IN JACKA PARK AND SOLDIERS AVENUE.
A family friendly remembrance service will be held on 11 November 2018, Each year, our Nation pauses on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November to remember the 60,000 Australians who lost their life in this tragic war. This year has special significance as the Centenary of the conclusion of a tragic, prolonged War.
Did you know that: –
- The Soldiers Avenue of Honour and Jacka Park are now known as the Freshwater Anzac Precinct.
- The Soldiers Avenue of Honour (established in 1922) is unique to Sydney.
- Soldiers Avenue and Jacka Park were declared a community war memorial in 2016 by the State Government.
- Trees in Soldiers Avenue are heritage-listed and the Heroes Tree was first planted in 1923. Each tree was planted to recognise the service of a local soldier.
- We are progressively installing bronze footpath memorial plaques adjacent to designated trees for soldiers who saw service in this War.
- We have also compiled 20 histories of Freshwater soldiers and their descendants, many of whom still live nearby.
- 129 men from Freshwater served in WW1 from a total Freshwater population of less than 1500. 34 were killed in action. This loss still reverberates with their families today.
This annual Armistice Day event is organised by the Harbord RSL Sub Branch and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group.
APARTMENT COMPLEXES NEAR COMPLETION
The 26“Freshwater’apartments on the former Harbord Growers Site are nearing completion and readying for occupation. Already major internal fit-outs are proceeding apace and scaffolding systematically removed. This apartment block is about 6 months overdue. Finishing touches are being placed on the facades. Friends of Freshwater, at the Approval stage, managed to get concessions on provision of a baby change room in the new public toilets as well as external seating and bike racks. The Super IGA will have 1200sqs of retail space.
The look of the external façade with its muted sandstone cladding is in keeping with the requirements of the Freshwater Village DCP provisions.
There has been much conjecture over the occupants of the third retail space, after Cellarbrations withdrew its Liquor Licence application. Latest mail from our Village snout, is that it will be a restaurant selling Japanese-styled food.
Underground parking for both residents and customers will be a welcome addition to the Village. We will welcome the return of Bakers Delight, and a Super IGA.
At 5 Pavilion St, the 6-storey cliff-top apartment block has now assumed its permanent profile for its 6 apartments. These will be very substantial and will sell for a pretty penny This undoubtedly will be a welcome improvement on the dog of a building that it replaces.
CONGRATULATIONS TO FRESHIE’S SEAN ROUT
Freshwater’s Sean Rout was recently recognised by Northern Beaches Council on Australia Day. for his outstanding service to our community and more widely. He is an Executive Member of the Friends of Freshwater, organises both the Anzac Day Ceremony at Mckillop Park and the Armistice Day Ceremony at Jacka Park but is also closely involved with the Manly Marlins and the Manly Waratahs.
Good one, Sean!
FRESHWATER VILLAGE AS A SUSHI HUB
By mid 2018, Freshwater Village may have three outlets serving Sushi. Hiro’s restaurant in Lawrence Street has doubled its capacity, and the owner is thought to be opening a Sushi Bar in Freshwater Village Plaza (where a well-liked Pharmacy used to be). In addition, a Japanese Ramen noodle establishment is rumoured to be opening in the new “Freshwater” complex.
EMPTY SHOPS STILL THE NORM IN FRESHWATER VILLAGE.
High rents and short leases continue to plague shopkeeper in the Village. Recently a three further shops had their leases terminated. “Wonders” toy shop, which serviced Freshies burgeoning 0-5 population, has moved to Darley Road, Manly. Total Beauty is to be located upstairs in the Village Plaza and Phil Murray’s Gym is also looking to move elsewhere.
It appears that the landlord, IPM Holdings must be supremely confident of getting its opportunistic DA approved.
2018 Memberships of Friends of Freshwater are due for renewal.
If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership, then hop on line to our website at www.freshie.org.au for easy subscription.
This year our projects will be focussed on:
- Seeing various aspects of the Freshwater Open 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 of Honour as part of the Centenary of Anzac commemorations.
- Closely scrutinising all significant Development Applications in Freshwater for compliance with planning requirements
“OPERATION PHOENIX” IN UNDERCLIFFE RESERVE
The Friends of Freshwater in collaboration with Northern Beaches Council and Land Care is moving to remove a major infestation of the poisonous Phoenix Palms that are dominant in Undercliffe Reserve and spreading to the Southern Dunes. Already a major specimen at the top of Queenscliff Steps has been treated for removal. The spikes of the fronds of this plant are particularly nasty as spiked contact can hospitalise people. Their large canopy also prevents the growth of native plants.