“The Duke” Newsletter September 2019


THE “DUKE”

September 2019

Friends of Freshwater
Community News
Volume 17 ,2019 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

 

WHATS HAPPENING IN FRESHWATER VILLAGE

For many residents, the amenities provided by a Village represent a second home (or a third one, if you go to work).

Freshwater Village is clearly going through a transitional phase as two, major, main street, residential/commercial developments are completed. This has taken the best part of seven years and has been very disruptive to local businesses.  When the Harbord Growers closed in 2013 and subsequently moved to Balgowlah, it left a major void in the Village which has yet to be finally filled.  It primarily supplied fresh fruit and vegetables directly from Flemington Markets, and not from a western Sydney cold store as other supermarket chains do.

Many in our community fought against an enormous 2012 residential development which would have dwarfed the Village. Out of that came a Village Master Plan which prescribed height controls, setbacks, underground parking and laneway closures.  These planning controls remain in operation, even with the Council amalgamation, and all recent construction has had to abide by these provisions.

The current state of the Village in terms of shop closures and lack of services is in part due to the lack of a Village anchor tenant, as well as capricious landlord behaviour.  This should have been resolved in October 2017 when the 1200sq retail supermarket space was completed, but it has been mired in litigation and liquidation proceedings ever since. We understand that this will be resolved soon and a suitable supermarket will be operating by year end.

We are also stuck with a small number of village landlords, a few of whom are not very community-minded. This is not going to change. One landlord with extensive holdings has, for a number of years, been tolerant of empty shops or shops with short term pop-up enterprises. This emptiness and constant departures is disconcerting for the community who would want to live in a vibrant village with active pedestrian traffic.

This landlord currently has an approved DA for demolition and construction of  his mainstream properties ( unlikely to be built), and also has recently listed them for sale ( now withdrawn from sale). In a confounding manner, he is now repairing and remediating individual premises and residential holdings above.

According to a recent Manly Daily article of 28 September, he is now proposing a New York Style delicatessen as well as Italian,Chinese and steakhouse restaurants. Of course all of these require considerable expenditure on outfitting with grease traps and fume extraction systems. Those with long memories will instantly recall that his properties have previously housed a Chinese restaurant; the Bronzed Onion; Stowaway Bar; a quality butcher shop and a Vietnamese Baker. These proposals represent a ” back to the future” approach, and for these initiatives to be successful, tenants will need to have security of a 5/5 leasehold ,fair rents, leases without demolition clauses, and support for the permanent fit outs.

GREEN SHOOTS EMERGING
There are some green shoots emerging:-
  1. A new tenant, SKYWOOD, is about to open as a bouldering centre in the former IGA site in Freshwater Village. It is currently spending < $1m on a fit out. It will be interesting to note the impact that its clientele will have on the Village.
  2. A small outdoor fresh fruit and vegetable market commenced on Sunday 25 August on green space adjacent to the Aboriginal Heritage Centre. It is being run by a local operator called Tim The Organic Scarecrow. It had been operating on a trial basis but has now been given an extended go-ahead by Council. Its quality produce has been well-received by the community. Other stalls on the site have been offering organic and eco-sensitive products that do not compete with offerings by nearby retailers.
  3. Wilson Car Parking has departed, along with its big end-of-town, automated, car park fees. The 58 car spots are now currently available for free for those wanting to shop or do other things in the village. The only downside is that the customer lift is not working, and when it does, it will emerge into a supermarket.
  4. The “Oceans” Development on the northern side of Lawrence Street is progressing well and its shops have been sold to local businesses. This will be ground floor retail with two upper floors of residential accommodation extending back to the Oliver Street Car Park. It is due to open in 2020. With some luck and a bunch of background work there may be a change from their car park access in Lawrence Street to the back of the building via the carpark on Oliver St, we will know soon.
  5. The old Freshwater Bakehouse site is going through an extensive renovation now and will soon be an exciting new food related venue to be advised by the new tenant.
  6. Our Albert Street Servo is being upgraded and renovated.
UNSAFE AWNINGS

Council inspections have led to awnings on Village buildings being in need of repair or removal.  The Awning on the Robinsons building at the western end of Lawrence Street was recently removed without the guarantee that it will be replaced. The concrete awnings on the properties extending from Dowling Street appear to have extensive spalling from exposure to salt air and water. This spalling has the capacity to cause a serious hazard and they are currently temporarily propped.
A LITTLE BIT OF FRESHIE IN ‘DOWNTON ABBEY’.
The current cinema version of “Downton Abbey” is a reminder of Freshwater’s association with ‘Highclere Castle’, the setting for the film and the television series.
One of the pioneering contributors to the establishment of Freshwater, as we know it today, was the horticulturist,Charles Holloway. His guiding hand can be seen in the establishment of Harbord Public School, the Harbord Literary Institute and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour (for which he donated the distinctive Bush Box Trees) and the Tramway which found its way to Freshwater.
Holloway had emigrated from England to Australia in 1881 and married Henrietta Fells in 1883 Sydney. He was a horticulturist, being apprenticed at 14 as gardener at Highclere Castle, which was the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon.  Highclere’s famous 1,000 acre park had been designed by renowned landscaper, Capability Brown.
(see photo from Old postcard C 1900 of Highclere found in Holloway family papers)
In Freshwater he set up a nursery business bordering Jacka Park and Eric Street, drawing its water from the nearby Freshwater Creek.This was very successful and later, with his sons, he would develop a bulb production business on land that is now the site of the Harbord Bowling Club. At one point this business was the biggest of its kind in Australia. Holloway Place, Curl Curl, is named after him.
Young Charles Holloway had a pretty impressive resume as a gardener before he arrived in Australia.  At one point he also worked on the estate of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
WHAT WILL BE THE FUTURE OF WAVES YOUTH CENTRE?
With the recent opening of the impressive new gymnasium within the revamped Harbord Diggers Club and the opening of the new swimming complex on October 9,
the Waves Youth Centre is currently dormant.
This Centre was a gift to the youth of our community from those our community who established this iconic Club. Legendary Harbord individuals such as Harry Knox, Mackie Campbell and Bill Messenger were closely involved in its establishment in 1986.When Mounties took over the Harbord Diggers Club, it quickly purchased additional assets such as the Youth Club site and the Sussex Inlet holiday facility for relatively token amounts. The Diggers Club was heavily indebted and did not have much bargaining power, whereas the Mt. Pritchard based Mounties was cash rich. Later, when acquired,Mounties Group moved these assets to non-core so that they could be dealt with in a way that did not require the full membership to vote on their future. This is the current situation and our community is rightly concerned as to the future of Waves, given that we have a tide of young people looking for outlets in a community which, other than Brookvale, has the least amount of green space on the northern beaches.
We need to be vigilant on actions taken by Mounties in respect of this site.
ONE OF OUR LAST SERVOS IS BEING UPGRADED
A servo which has been serving our community for near a century of motoring, is now being upgraded to meet the quickly advancing technology of motor vehicles. On the corner of Soldiers Avenue and Albert Street, it is a well located site and has seen many proprietors including the famous McPhee family that launched a national transport company from this site. Current proprietor, Keith Tucker, in renovating the site has found an old sewerage line running underneath as well as a large concrete plug designed to support a heavy vehicle hoist. The site should be fully operational again in the new year.
PUBLIC TOILETS IN A POOR STATE
Pity the people that need to go to a toilet in Freshwater, as it is a problematic experience. In Freshwater Village there is only one public toilet and it was built in the 1930’s and then only to serve the firemen from the nearby Fire Station. It has no hygienic facilities for men and is largely outdoors. For women it is little better but it does have hand washing facilities.
Private toilets in the Village often require a key from the local business.
In the southern Lawrence St., properties, the toilets are below standard and have not been upgraded for decades. the one exception is Little Collins Cafe which has a more than acceptable toilet facility.
At Jacka Park there is no toilet amenity but after lobbying by Friends of Freshwater this is about to change.
Likewise at Freshwater Beach the toilets located in the Surf Club which are often unsavoury, are to be renewed as part of the Beach Reserves Master Plan. They will be relocated to the southwestern edge of the Club. With as many as 10,000 people at the beach in the height of summer it is important that toilet facilities be of a high standard.
RV’S CAUSE A PROBLEM IN BEACH RESERVES
Freshwater attracts a significant passing traffic of surfers in RV’s as they move around the coastline of Australia. Unfortunately it is not well suited to this nomadic lifestyle given the fact that its amenities close at sundown and are not reopened until sunrise. Where to ablate in the intervening period. Sadly it is in the dunes or in the reserve. This is clearly unacceptable and recently Council has erected 12P traffic sites to encourage RV’s to move on promptly.

“The Duke” Newsletter August 2019


THE “DUKE”

August 2019

Friends of Freshwater
Community News
Volume 16 ,2019 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

CLEAN UP OF UNDERCLIFFE RESERVE CONTINUES WITH ANOTHER GOVERNMENT GRANT.

The weed-infested Undercliffe Reserve on Freshwater Beach’s southern headland is gradually being cleaned up.

Volunteer activity from the Friends of Freshwater over a number of years, with professional supervision from Northern Beaches Council, is now being supplemented by professional contractors, Dragonfly Environmental, on a grant of $12,000 provided by NSW Land Care to Northern Beaches Council.
Where once noxious weeds such as lantana, madeira vine and phoenix palms predominated the pathways, now beach views are re-appearing and healthy native species are coming into their own.

Century Old Time Capsule Discovered at the Harbord Literary Institute

Recently, a group including members of the Sterland family, the Mayor, Michael Regan, Council staff and former members of the Harbord Literary Institute Committee, watched as a Council worker very carefully extracted the Foundation Stone which was set in place by the Hon. A.C.F. James M.L.A, Minister for Education over 101 years ago on the 13th July 1918. This revealed a glass time capsule.

Forgotten for over 100 years, knowledge of this capsule only came to light late last year, when a worker, cleaning out a unit in Balgowlah, found an old ledger, belonging to Mr. Thomas Arthur Sterland, a former Deputy President of the then Warringah Shire Council. It was full of Manly Daily cuttings and other memorabilia spanning from WW1 years to the 1930’s and had been handed down, over the years, to a family member.  Among his many local accomplishments including the establishment of Soldiers Avenue, Tom Sterland was one of the founding fathers of the then named Freshwater Literary Institute (later changed to Harbord).  The gentleman who found the ledger was able to pass it onto Keith Sterling, a Freshwater local, who is the grandson of Tom Sterland.   He read the ledger cuttings and discovered in a Manly Daily article written at that time, that a capsule had been inserted behind the Foundation Stone over 100 years ago.

The Manly Daily article of the time had also included this information:  “The Chairman then stated that behind the tablet had been placed a copy of the local and city papers of that date, along with coins of the realm, also a type-written copy of the history of the hall”.

Needless to say, there was a fair amount of doubt that anything would actually be behind the Foundation Stone laid so many years ago.
There were gasps of delight when witnessing the first sight of the glass capsule as the stone was lifted away.

The capsule has now been taken away for investigation by experts in this
field and, once evaluated, will be on show to the public at a special presentation (date to be announced). The coins of the realm will probably be no more than tuppences, halfpennies, bobs, shillings and quid’s.

SOLDIERS AVENUE HERITAGE FOOTPATH UPGRADE COMPLETED

Again many thanks to those 121 families who wrote submissions in support of this Foot Path. It was so low on a Walk Plan priority list, that it would never have been built.  Council to its credit, and on the back of such outstanding community support, changed tack and gave the footpath immediate priority. It is now built.
Freshwater locals in and around Soldiers Avenue are understandably thrilled with this outcome.
This footpath literally paves the way for Australian soldiers to be remembered for their brave sacrifices abroad in World War I.
Freshwater identity Sean Rout thanked Council for the completed works.
“Soldiers Avenue is an iconic venue which means plenty to so many people on the northern beaches.
“When we approached Council about our plans, they were happy to accommodate what we had in mind for the community, particularly Mayor (Regan) and our local Councillors.
“It is vital we remember our fallen soldiers, they are the reason we are fortunate to live the way we do today,’’ Mr Rout said.

Northern Beaches Council Mayor Michael Regan was delighted to hear Soldiers Avenue now has its own unique honour heritage footpath.
“What a great local, community driven project. Thank you to those local legends driving this project so all of the community benefit.
“I cannot think of a better way to remember those selfless men who put their own lives on the line to ensure the future of our great nation,’’ the Mayor said. “The previous Warringah Council was happy to support this project, so it is great that the new (Northern Beaches) Council is finishing this project off.
I look forward to the end product at Soldiers Avenue.”

FRESH ATTEMPT AT FRUIT AND VEGETABLE POP-UP MARKET IN FRESHWATER VILLAGE

Council has accepted a proposal from a Freshwater local, Tim, the Organic Scarecrow, to bring pop-up stalls to the Harbord Institute pocket park (See grassy area near Vintage Cellars).

It is clear that the demand from the community to access fresh fruit and produce is very strong.  Organic Scarecrow have been encouraged to trial a solution.
Tim from the Organic Scarecrow will bring a small, quality offering of organic and chemical free produce to the village.  The seasonal supply will include leafy greens, fruit, vegetable, yogurt, eggs, olive oil and local honey.  Bulk wholefoods, such as flour and nuts, and deli cheeses and olives are also potential inclusions.
Council had previously heard of the business community’s reservations about a large market, and have shared this feedback with Tim.  The Organic Scarecrow is a small family business, and wants to see Freshwater Village succeed.  He will be letting customers know about the great flowers, meat, bread, fish, coffee, fashion and homewares that are in the village – and won’t be selling these items himself.  We encourage local businesses to refer their customers to Tim too!

The Organic Scarecrow pop-up will be a modest scale.  Initially it is expected that up to five marquees will be erected on the site, which is adjacent to the Vintage Cellar car park.  Starting on Sunday 25 August 2019 the Organic Scarecrow will be on site for four weeks.  After those four weeks, Council will undertake a review of the operation to consider extending their permit.

SUPERMARKET SAGA CONTINUES INDEFINITELY

The Freshwater community is still without an essential food provider as wrangling over the empty 1200sqm space at the “Freshwater” continues.

Amid unconfirmed allegations that the landlord has gone into receivership, reports of recent creditors’ meetings and that legal action for recovery of debts is afoot, it is unclear as to which supermarket operator will eventually trade from the retail space.
The community has lived with the rumour that either a Super IGA or Woolworths would be the retailer.  Friends of Freshwater has been unable to substantiate either as the occupant.
Whatever the case it would take at least two months from a decision for an operator to be in a trading capacity with fit out, stock and staffing.
The site has been empty but ready for occupancy since October 2018.
Needless to add that this lack of an anchor tenant is having a debilitating impact on the vibrancy of the Village, shopkeepers’ trading capacity and its pedestrian traffic.

FRESHWATER VILLAGE. WHAT CAN WE DO AS A COMMUNITY?

It has been 5 years since the Growers Market ceased operation in the Village and the absence of a major supermarket with essential grocery items and fresh fruit and vegetables is keenly felt, especially by the shopkeepers who specifically gain from a major anchor tenant nearby.
However, we can do something about this by deliberately purchasing products from these traders.  Purchasing meat from the gourmet butcher, fish from our fishmonger, bread and baked items from two outlets, gifts from local shops, hairdressing, fashion, sheets and towels.
The old rugby adage applies equally to Villages…USE IT, OR LOSE IT.

FORMER IGA SITE BEING TRANSFORMED TO A BOULDERING CENTRE

A development application has been assessed and approved by Northern Beaches Council for this site. It has been lodged by Sky World Climbing and the cost of set-up work currently being undertaken is listed as $625,000. It is intended to use the premises as a recreational facility for 100-150 mainly mature age audience.
Bouldering is a fast growing sport which will be featured at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo. The listed proprietor is already a member of the Australian Climbing Team.

NEW WAY OF BUILDING “HITS” FRESHWATER

In the last couple of weeks you may have seen a new house built in an astonishing ‘2 days’ in the block next to the ‘overflow’ car park at Freshie beach. It’s creation came from delivery on the back of 5 very large truck trailers and then got loaded onto its prepared site. It was actually built in a factory in Melbourne and took 4 days to be transported here on these trailers.

It arrived early on the thursday morning but it’s final transit along Albert St and ultimately down Ocean View Rd was not incident free. One of the buildings was too high and ‘hit’ overhead power lines and cables. Bringing live wires, damage and blackouts for many in the street.

But all ends well and the new residents will be moving in later this month.

JOIN the Friends of Freshwater for 2019- 2020

If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership for 2019-2020, then hop on line to our website at www.freshie.org.au for easy subscription.
This year 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.

 

“The Duke” Newsletter June 2019


THE “DUKE”

June 2019

Friends of Freshwater
Community News
Volume 15 ,2019 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

SUPERMARKET SAGA CONTINUES INDEFINITELY

The Freshwater community is still without an essential food provider as wrangling over the empty 1200sqm space at the “Freshwater” continues.
Amid unconfirmed allegations that the landlord has gone into receivership, reports of recent creditors’ meetings and that legal action for recovery of debts is afoot, it is unclear as to which supermarket operator will eventually trade from the retail space.
The community has lived with the rumour that either a Super IGA or Woolworths would be the retailer.  Friends of Freshwater has been unable to substantiate either as the occupant.
Whatever the case it would take at least two months from a decision for an operator to be in a trading capacity with fit out, stock and staffing.
The site has been empty but ready for occupancy since October 2018.
Needless to add that this lack of an anchor tenant is having a debilitating impact on the vibrancy of the Village, shopkeepers’ trading capacity and its pedestrian traffic.

FORMER IGA SITE LIKELY TO BE A BOULDERING CENTRE

A development application is currently being assessed by Northern Beaches Council for this site. It has been lodged by Sky World Climbing and the cost of set-up is listed as $625,000. It is intended to use the premises as a recreational facility for 100-150 mainly mature age audience. Bouldering is a fast growing sport which will be featured at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo. The listed proprietor is already a member of the Australian Climbing Team.
Council will convene a Panel session to deliberate over the DA and those that made submissions on the impact of the development will be invited to present their objections in person.

BUSH TUCKA ON THE MENU


It is refreshing to observe that our noted restaurant, Pilu at Freshwater, is using bush tucka on its menu.  We discovered a chef collecting tetragonia (native spinach) in nearby Undercliffe Reserve.  It is used by the restaurant, when blanched, as a garnish for a variety of fish dishes.
Tetragonia is grown as a ground cover and weed suppressant and is plentiful in the Reserve.

FOF PRESIDENT ON QUEENS BIRTHDAY HONOURS LIST

Our President, Peter Harley, has been recognised in this year’s Queens Birthday Honours List with an OAM.  The citation reflects on five decades of volunteer, community involvement across a range of organisations including those in Freshwater.
Many people conveyed their best wishes, for which he is appreciative and humbled.

IS THIS THE SMALLEST BUILDING BLOCK IN FRESHWATER?

On Palomar Parade at Freshwater’s southern extremity is a block of land the size of a pocket handkerchief that has a house under construction. For years the presence of underground utilities has meant that it was left undeveloped. No longer, as the photo attached suggests.

FURTHER PHANTOM CARVINGS HIGHLIGHTED?

Our article on the phantom carver, Mick Leslie, brought forth other sightings of his carvings.  Residents of Curl Curl Parade have been well aware of his animal and train carvings on sandstone near to the stairs to Corella Street. See photos attached.

FINALLY!  PUBLIC TOILETS IN JACKA PARK.


Is this going to be the new site?

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).
It has been a long time between pit stops and local neighbours will be mightily relieved.
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.
It is thought that the existing Playground site will be used as an exercise gym structure.

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 Sculptureis 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,
36 WYNDORA APARTMENTS – Progress to Completion

While the apartment complex at 36 Wyndora Rd – opposite Foam St is moving towards completion, it is easy to forget the widespread community opposition to its construction in the first place.

Friends of Freshie took up the cudgels for the local residents who took exception to a suburban house being demolished and being replaced with an apartment complex beside them.  So did the then Warringah Council who opposed it. Likewise, when it was taken to the Land and Environment Court, it was similarly refused. The developer then went to the State Government with a SEPP55 proposal for Over 55 and Disabled accommodation. It was approved with a reduction in apartments from 10 to 9 and with lift and disabled access requirements. Being at the base of a steep street, Foam Street, it also had to have costly, additional, storm water retention systems to deal with overflows.

Friends of Freshie will be keenly observing that the owners of these apartments are in fact people over 55 years of age or with disabilities as specified. There has been a tendency for this provision to be flouted.

SOLDIERS AVENUE HERITAGE FOOTPATH CONSTRUCTION TO COMMENCE

Work will commence on July 2 on a heritage footpath down the northern side of Soldiers Avenue. This will extend from Oliver Street to Eric Street.
It will enable the insertion of plaques in the footpath to mark both the Centenary of the Avenue of Honour in November this year and further recognition of our forebears who gave service in World War 1.
The Friends of Freshwater is appreciative of your outstanding support to press Council to upgrade the priority this heritage section of footpath in Soldiers Avenue from medium (never to be built) to be constructed in the 2019-2020 Capital Budget Year.
The Soldiers Avenue of Honour is celebrating its Centenary in November this year. It is listed as a Community War Memorial and its Queensland Brush Box 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.

PROPOSED ROAD CLOSURE AND SALE OF LAND—PART BRIDGE    STREET AND ADJOINING 20 BRIDGE STREET.

Friends of Freshwater Inc has made a submission in respect of the above sale proposal by Council of land that forms an important viewing platform atop Queenscliff Steps.
We are of the view that this is an exceedingly poor urban planning decision and one that would be abhorrent to the Freshwater community for the following reasons :-

  • This land has long been used as a viewing platform for surfers, international visitors and the local community. It has a commanding untrammelled view of Freshwater Beach.
  • It is a much valued community asset
  • It is immediately adjacent to Council’s proposed upgrade of the Palm Beach to Manly Coastal Path.
  • Storm water emanating from Crown Road and Pavilion Street hard surfaces flow directly through many drainage pipes nearby and into Undercliffe Reserve. In major storm events water overflows across the land in question.
  • This part of Bridge Road is used a vehicle turnaround for traffic and a common drop-off point for pedestrians, given the paucity of parking available below.
  • If this sale is concluded the community will be in a position of trespassing on private land which was once freely accessible.

For anyone who would like to make a similar submission, send via email to the Property Team, council@northern beaches.nsw.gov.au Submissions close on 28 June next.
PAID PARKING IN THE FRESHWATER COMPLEX WAS A FAILURE.

We are very pleased to observe that signage requesting payment for parking has been removed and that the boom gates for the 58 space car park are now open without charge.

Wilson Parking have left the Village and taken all their automated equipment with them including signage. Hopefully, never to return.

 

The underground car park in the new Freshwater Apartment complex had to date been a monumental failure with minimal occupancy.

It  suffered from two key factors. Firstly, its one-hour restrictive free period of parking, and secondly the fact that its lift operates to a locked and unoccupied supermarket. People who park there would have to walk out up a steep ramp. There have also been issues with credit card payment processes.

In the last edition of the Duke, we mentioned our concern at the arrival of this big end of town. parking operator, Wilson Parking, and its prohibitive requirements for the 58 car underground parking facility. Feedback from this article confirmed that the community and nearby businesses were 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 would have  cost $6.00 for the second hour, $11 for the third and $18 for the fourth. It was also a cashless payment system.

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

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. Clearly people boycotted it, and it failed.

A critical factor in the life of the Village is the linger factor. 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 would have had an obvious negative impact.

JOIN the Friends of Freshwater for 2019- 2020
If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership for 2019-2020, then hop on line to our website at www.freshie.org.au for easy subscription.
This year 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.

“The Duke” – May 2019


THE “DUKE”

May 2019Friends of Freshwater
Community News
Volume 14 ,2019 Update from The Friends of Freshwater Inc.

THE POWER OF MANY WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS

In a recent edition of the Duke, we called for public submissions to be submitted by members to Northern Beaches Council on the provision of a heritage footpath for the Soldiers Avenue of Honour.
Through social media and email, the Friends of Freshie sought to lift the priority of this foot path from one which would likely never be built to one that would be built in the near future. This would enable the timely installation of plaques to commemorate the Centenary of the Avenue of Honour (which was first named by Council in 1919).
Council received 151 submissions from across the northern beaches to its Walking Plan, of which 120 were from Freshwater concerning the heritage footpath in Soldiers Avenue.
The weight of these submissions was such that Council made special provision to commence work immediately.
It has decided to: -Complete the Project by Remembrance Day 11th Nov 2019

  • leave adequate space between the proposed footpath and the kerb to allow for garden beds and trees in the future
  • install some plaques on behalf of the committee. FOF to provide numbers of plaques they have available for install.
  • liaise with FOF once the project is set out onsite to determine the location of plaques to be installed.
  • install concrete blanks in the footpath for future plaque install. Peter to determine number and locations of blanks.
  • carry out repairs to existing footpaths on Soldiers Ave as part of the works

It just goes to show that well-written submissions in large numbers have their own persuasive strength. Many thanks to all those who made submissions. More strength to you.
The overall Walking Plan was approved by Council on 22 April 2019.

THE PHANTOM CARVER IS TERMINALLY ILL

If you look closely, while walking around the coast of the northern beaches, you will observe random rock carvings of animals, aboriginals and even trains.  In Freshwater, on both headlands we have rock carvings along the paths. These are the work of Mick Leslie, also known as the “phantom carver”.  For many decades he has been making his mark on our sandstone outcrops. They are not to everyone’s liking, and some even regard them as environmental vandalism, but they have stood the test of time, and Council is considering including them in its register of public art. Some of his carvings constitute way marking and this is so at Queenscliff Steps where his carving of 1880, at both ends, dates the arrival of this important thoroughfare.

Mr. Leslie, now 92, is terminally ill with cancer and is thought to have not long to live. His carvings will live on as a memento.

THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE…. FRESHWATER STILL WITHOUT A SUPERMARKET (Update)

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 have left for sites in Manly obviously 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?
There has been no significant work on the Super IGA since we last reported. It is still likely that the eventual, probable, anchor tenant of the Retail space in the “Freshwater” complex is the Karellas Group, who are associated with the IGA/Metcash for basic grocery items, but operate under the Supa mart 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.

INDOOR BOULDERING CENTRE PROPOSED FOR FORMER IGA SITE

A DA has been lodged BY SKYWOOD CLIMBING with Northern Beaches Council for an indoor bouldering facility with potential to accommodate 100-150 persons.
This former retail space still has refrigeration and a loading dock suitable for a large fruit and vegetable outlet.
During the public submission phase Council received mostly adverse submissions citing noise, traffic and closeness to residential properties.
Given that there will be no change to the building structure with only interior modifications including toilet and showering facilities, it is likely that the DA will be approved.
Bouldering, like its close cousin, Rock Climbing is a fast growing sport and has been recently included in the Olympics. It is not rock climbing as most of the activity is horizontal movement only. This means that the various climbing challenges do not require height. It is a sport for adults and young adults and attracts senior school participants.
Of note is the fact that rocks at the northern end of Freshie beach have been used for bouldering for a long time.
One of Skywood’s prime movers is Yossi Sundakov-Krumis who has been selected as a member of the Australian Climbing Team.
Approval of the DA will involve a change in building use to Recreational Centre, Indoor.
It is clear that this Centre will place additional pressure on parking in the Village plaza as participants are likely to seek parking for hours rather than minutes, as was the case with the previous supermarket.

5 PAVILION STREET APARTMENT COMPLEX

From Freshwater’s uninhabitable, ugly duckling, to an impressive apartment complex, the transformation of 5 Pavilion Street has been remarkable.  With its apartments recently selling for $5m and $6m, others appear to agree.
Friends of Freshie previously agreed with the approval of this apartment complex subject to a geotechnical survey, when it came up for consideration in the Land and Environment Court.

FARMERS’ MARKET INITIATIVE (update)
We reported in the last edition that Council has sought tenders for a fruit and vegetable market to be held each Sunday in the Oliver Street Car park. These closed on 28 February.
We have been advised by Northern Beaches Council that Cambridge Markets was the successful tenderer. It will commence on a weekly basis from Sunday 19 May offering a range of fresh fruit and vegetables.

HAVE YOU HEARD OF GEOCACHING?
Geocaching is a real world outdoor treasure hunt that has a number of sites in Freshwater. It enables the exploration of interesting locations using GPS receivers. Each player has a personal code and, upon location of the cache, is required to record the date and time of location. If the cache is in the form of a gift, the participant has to replace it with equivalent or better gift.
This worldwide activity is an innovative way of learning about the nooks and crannies of our neighbourhood.

RESCUING FRESHWATER BEACH’S SOUTHERN HEADLAND

Come and join a keen group of Freshwater volunteers that has been patiently removing a major infestation of weeds that had threatened to takeover Freshwater Beach’s southern headland.
Over the last few years these Friends of Freshwater members have removed tonnes of noxious weeds and replaced them with native species.
This is very satisfying “work” and the “workplace” views are unbeatable.

Now that the cover of poisonous phoenix palms, lantana, madeira vine, morning glory and Crofton weed has been removed, surfers can now clearly see the shape of waves from vantage points around Queenscliff Steps.
The pathways through Undercliffe Reserve on this headland are an integral part of the NSW Coastal Path and are used by many international visitors.
Come and join with us in this vegetation rescue.
We meet at Queenscliff Steps in Freshwater on alternative Thursdays and our next session is on Thursday, 9thMay at 1pm for two hours. For more details, contact harlquin@gmail.com

PHASING OUT THE FRESHWATER CLASS FERRIES FROM THE QUAY TO MANLY RUN.


There was widespread community concern at the prospect that the Freshwater Class Manly Ferries might be scrapped.  These have been plying the Harbour since 1982 and have provided yeoman service to our northern beaches community and to international visitors.
These ferries have an indelible association with Freshwater. Not only is one of the class so named, but the Member for Manly at the time the ferries were constructed at the Newcastle State Dockyards and then put into service, was Alan Stewart who still lives in our community. His explanatory words on the history of Freshwater are located on a plaque that is affixed amidships on the Freshwater Ferry. (See photo attached). It is worth a read if you get a chance.  Subsequent Members for Manly including our recently re-elected Member, James Griffin, have also been strong supporters of the Ferry Class and its renowned ability to ferry large numbers of passengers to and from Manly Wharf.
These double ended ferries were built to last and the hull life can be extended into the future.

ABORIGINAL HERITAGE OFFICE OPENS IN FRESHWATER

Did you know there are over 1000 sites of Indigenous culture and heritage on your doorstep in northern Sydney?
The Aboriginal Heritage Office, now based in Freshwater, proudly display a vast array of local cultural artefacts in their education and museum space. The new facility also boasts an outdoor space for school and community education sessions.
Their collection ranges from Aboriginal shellfish hooks through to wooden artefacts, some of which are dated back thousands of years prior to colonisation.
AHO Manager David Watts said the Office provides support to Council and the community when it comes to the protection and management of more than 1000 Aboriginal archaeological heritage sites. They also deliver important education programs to students.
“Delivering these services had become a major challenge in our (previous) cramped office space at Manly,” Mr Watts said. “We are delighted to now have the space to better service the community and raise awareness about Aboriginal culture and issues.”
Northern Beaches Council Mayor Michael Regan said he was pleased Council was in a position to support the AHO in finding an appropriate home, better suited to its needs.
“The AHO plays a vital role in helping develop a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture among school children and the broader community. We are very proud of our involvement with such an important community service.”
The Aboriginal Heritage Office, now in its 20th year, is a joint initiative involving Northern Beaches and five other councils: Lane Cove, North Sydney, Willoughby, Ku-ring-gai and Strathfield.
The new office space location is 29 Lawrence Street in Freshwater and is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 4pm.
Personal tours can be arranged online: http://www.aboriginalheritage.org/contact/contactform/

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.au for 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.

“THE DUKE “ Newsletter December 2018

FRESHWATER VILLAGE STILL WITHOUT A SUPERMARKET OVER SUMMER.

The ongoing saga of a new Supermarket for Freshwater Village continues, with the expansive retail space at 22-26 Albert Street remaining empty for the foreseeable future.  Neither the developer, Chris Rose, nor the lessee, Karellas Group, is commenting and rumours abound. In an attempt to get accurate information, Friends of Freshie wrote to the Managing Director of the Karellas Group, Vasili Karellas seeking a date for commencement of trade. As yet, no response.

WHO IS THE KARELLAS GROUP?

The 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 a March/ April start.

FARMERSMARKET INITIATIVE

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 %

 

Based on this response we have written to Northern Beaches Council seeking its support for the Market in 2019. We are aware that the highly successful Frenchs Forest Markets will soon be looking for a new site as their current one is about to be demolished. An opportunity arises.

PAID PARKING IN FRESHWATER IS A WORRYING DEVELOPMENT.

The arrival of a big end of town parking operator, Wilson Parking, into the Freshwatercomplex at 22 Albert Street, is a concerning development. This is so, because 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 sets a worrying precedence given 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 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 two weeks. 

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 linger factor. 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.

ZAKOS VILLAGE PROPERTIES NO LONGER FOR SALE

Five commercial and residential holdings in Lawrence Street, Freshwater, extending from the arcade through to Dowling Street were put up for sale by the owner, for $30m.  These properties are the largest single land holding in the Village and have been owned by the Zakos family for many decades. Expressions of Interest closed on November 14 and the suits+ clipboards were all over the Village at the time.

Apparently they are no longer for sale.

The Friends of Freshie is concerned that many of the shops are now empty with no apparent urgency to be filled. This includes 4 shops in the Arcade. Advertising signage atop the premises is also outdated and needs to be removed. Likewise, toilets are in need of upgrading and fire protection systems brought up to modern day standards

OF CREPES, GELATO, BREAD AND SUSHI

Soon to open in Freshwater Village are shops catering for a wider culinary taste. The former pharmacy site in the Plaza will open as a creperie and a gelateria. We see the return of Bakers Delight to the place near where it previously existed and the arrival of Teru Sushi (a sushi train restaurant) run by Hiro’s restaurant owner Francis Kim).

These are all welcome arrivals.

Harbord Literary Institute turned 100.

It is one of the last of its kind still standing and still serving its community during the day as a community kindergarten and library, and at night as a meeting place and activities centre. Political parties have held branch meetings there since the 1930’s.

A Centenary Celebration was held on Saturday, December 1, with more than 300 in attendance.  Its history was detailed by speakers including Local Studies Librarian, Michelle Richmond, and former local teacher and historian, Keith Amos.

Everyone recounted the various uses of the Hall for a wide variety of functions. Mayor  Regan also revealed that he had his engagement party there.

In order to recognise the contributions of those now deceased who have contributed their time to the Literary Institute over 100 years, the Freshwater Community Bank has provided a community partnership grant to enable a permanent legacy of those people to be framed and placed on the wall of the meeting room. This represents a small permanent legacy of the Centenary.

PUBLIC MURAL COMPLETED IN FRESHWATER VILLAGE PLAZA

As part of a community development grant gained by Friends of Freshwater Inc. for installation of public art in the Village Plaza, two northern beaches artists, Jaimee Paul and Miguel Gonzalez painted the mural with Freshwater themes across the southern wall in the Plaza. These artists were drawn from a list of community artists compiled by Northern Beaches Council. Another young budding artist, Annika Mulcahy, also has had her work incorporated into the mural complete with her signature.

The mural has been well received and is an attempt to give the Plaza more vitality.

Explanatory signage has also been erected at part of the project.

ARMISTICE DAY CENTENARY PRODUCES A LASTING LEGACY FOR FRESHWATER.

Armistice Day 2018 was a major community event held in the Freshwater Anzac Precinct memorials at Jacka Park and Soldiers Avenue of Honour with more than 500 in attendance. Both sites were formally registered in 2016 with the State Government as Community War Memorials. Soldiers Avenue has local heritage listing for both its trees and plaques.

In the wake of the Centenary, Freshwater now has 11 new bronze footpath memorial plaques installed in Soldiers Avenue beside heritage-listed trees, recognising the WW1 service of local soldiers.  Two significant bronze sculptures located in Jacka Park representing WW1 returning soldiers and nurses, as well as a commemorative bench to honour the centenary. This bench is permanently placed at the entrance to the Avenue of Honour, near its Albert St. entrance.

These legacy items were funded by various State and Federal government grants obtained by the Friends of Freshie on behalf of other stakeholder organisations.

OUTSTANDING RESULTS FOR BALLY BOYS.

We are indeed spoilt for excellent secondary schools on the northern beaches. The recent 2018 HSC results again confirmed the emerging academic reputation of Balgowlah Boys Campus.  It is now the most academically successful public comprehensive boys school, based both on its HSC and its Naplan Literacy and Numeracy results. In HSC English results, in particular, the Campus was 7thin the State, ahead of many Selective Schools including Manly Campus. It rose from 96 to 62 in the State overall.

Not surprisingly, parents have also noticed, with 260 boys enrolled for Year 7 in 2019, of which 75 are coming from Harbord Public School alone.

Dux of Bally was All Rounder, Joshua Smith, who also won a Freshwater Community Bank Tertiary Scholarship valued at $5,000. Joshua had previously attended Harbord Public School. His Principal, Paul Sheather, is also a proud Freshie person.

UNDERCLIFFE RESERVE GETS ANOTHER GRANT FOR BUSH REGENERATION

Land Care have provided a further $12,000 for professional work to be undertaken in Undercliffe Reserve. This will complement the volunteer work being done by Friends of Freshwater. If you would like to join with us on alternative Thursdays, then get in touch with us via this Facebook site or our website as per below.  You will be most welcome.

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 for easy subscription.

In 2019 our projects will be 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 of Honour as part of the Centenary of Anzac commemorations.
  • Closely scrutinising 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; and public toilets and footpaths upgraded
  • Ensuring Freshwater’s fair share of the Council Capital Budget.
  • Revitalise the weed-infested southern headland of Freshwater Beach. With volunteer and professional assistance.
  • Closely scrutinise all significant DA’s.

“The Duke” Newsletter August 2018

IS FRESHIE BEING SHORT-CHANGED BY ITS COUNCIL?


 

Freshie is going through a major phase of development, the like of which we may never see again.

All of the developments, including the $200m New Dawn Diggers; The $20m “Freshwater”apartment and retail complex:“KOA”atop Soldiers Avenue and the recently approved “Oceans”, have paid S94 contributions to Council. These are substantial, but it is apparent that none of these contributions, not one dollar, will find its way back to our local community. 100% will be devoted to Dee Why Town Centre and its surrounding infrastructure projects.

It is also clear that our community’s requirements for footpaths, public toilets and upgraded public spaces are low down the pecking order and with no special priority.

In short, we are being short-changed by the voracious demands of town centre developments.

Friends of Freshie Executive has prepared a set of questions for a meeting with the Mayor, who is also one of our Curl Curl Ward councillors, to discuss these issues.

 

REZONING OF FRESHWATER VILLAGES PUBLIC CAR PARKS

Council is proposing to reclassify the two public car parks in Freshwater Village (the Oliver Street car park and the Lawrence Street car park) from their current zoning of “Community Land”to “Operational Land”.

It needs community concurrence to do so.

Carpark near Community Centre

Carpark back of Lawrence Street

The Friends of Freshwater is of the view that this is a timely initiative and, on balance, is in the best interests of the Freshwater community. We do have concerns as to pedestrian safety, particularly with the safe movement of children from Harbord Kindergarten across the Oliver Street car park.

We also have concerns for the Waves Youth Centre and its future, once the Mounties Group complete its Harbord Diggers redevelopment and the gymnasium is transferred there from its temporary site in the Waves Centre. Will this be the subject of re-development, and how will it impact upon the car parks?

 

“Community Land” as a planning provision, means that it can only be used for public purposes and is usually associated with open space such as public parks and recreational purposes. It cannot be used for private purposes such as allowing the Freshwater Village shopkeepers fronting the northern side of Lawrence Street to have legal access to their properties via these car parks. Currently all deliveries to them are from Lawrence Street. Rezoning to “Operational Land”allows this to occur from the rear of their properties. This will significantly reduce risk to pedestrians on Lawrence St. .and ease traffic movements.

 

 

FRESHIE COMMUNITY GARDEN COMPOST PROJECT GATHERS MOMENTUM

We set out this year to upgrade our capacity to handle the substantial green waste generated by the Community Garden, as well as cater, more effectively, for the fruit and vegetable scraps being supplied from the kitchens of apartment dwellers.
In the process we have built 3 large green waste bins to create healthy compost for re-use in the Garden. These bins will not have either food waste or invasive weeds, and are lined to prevent entry of vermin. These bins will also be aerated, manured and watered regularly.

With the help of the Kimbriki Eco Centre, we have also gained 6 large compost bins for handling fruit and vegetable scraps. People using these bins will be urged to contribute to the making of the   ” compost recipe”by adding sprinklings of dolomite, rock dust, coffee grounds and leaf litter. These bins will also be watered and aerated regularly by our garden volunteers.
A simple coloured coding system will inform as to which bins are being filled and which are curing.

Again, no weeds, meats or plastics should be placed in these bins. It is also an unfortunate fact that so-called biodegradable plastics do not break down in the lower temperatures of these bins.

This Composting Project is being developed at minimal cost and using recyclable materials wherever possible. We are thankful of the community gardeners who have given generously of their time.

 

ABOUT THE FRESHIE COMMUNITY GARDEN

Our Freshie Community Garden has operated for the last five years, at Crown Reserve, Freshwater, on land allocated by Northern Beaches Council to the Friends of Freshwater Inc. (FOF). All members of the Community Garden are also members of the FOF. The It is alongside an alternative pedestrian route between Freshwater and Manly. The Community Garden is run by its gardeners as a vibrant green space designed to not only produce edible produce for allotment holders, but also to promote sustainable living practices, healthy exercise and community engagement. Wherever possible, equipment and materials used in the garden are derived from local recycling. We are also appreciative of the goodwill of the local community and local organisations.

Currently it accommodates 38 garden allotments tended by 60 gardeners and their families. In 2018, we are upgrading our composting capacity to support a community-wide desire to convert fruit and vegetable scraps into fertile soil.

Our Garden is increasingly used by local kindergartens and pre-schools as a site for teaching basic sustainable practices.

Prospective gardeners can contact us at this site or alternatively via our website

Public Toilets Update

 

Jacka Park is classified as a “District Park” but is almost alone on the northern beaches without any toilet facilities. Users of the children’s playground have long complained about this situation, and Friends of Freshie, in 2016, managed to get it inserted on the Capital Projects Priority List for Warringah Council’s Parks and Foreshores Strategic Plan. All that went awry with the Council Amalgamation and we are now back to Square One competing with 30 other public toilet projects for funding. As for the kids, they are going in the bushes or wherever.

 

We are also concerned about the inadequate public toilet facilities in Freshwater Village. These were constructed 88 years ago and have no handwashing amenities in the men’s toilet, and the toilet block is open to the elements in wet weather. Again, nothing has been done to rectify this situation.

MASSIVE IMPACT OF SALT SPRAY ON BUILDINGS

Look around and you will observe the impact of salt spray on our medium density buildings. Remediation work is being undertaken on many buildings but none so extensive as that of “El Hacienda” in Undercliff Road. This prominent building has had all its ornate balustrades removed and balconies stripped. There has also been a need to replace some windows. This has become a major project and indicates the corrosive capacity of salt spray.

 

FROM UGLY DUCKLING TO ELEGANT SWAN

We have commented previously on the prominent, apartment complex at 5 Pavilion Street and its occupancy of a magnificent site atop Curl Curl Headland with expansive views north to Palm Beach.

This 12 apartment building was previously in a dilapidated state, having been declared uninhabitable by NBC.  Its new incarnation as 6 single floor apartments will shortly be available for occupation.

Having appeared before the Land and Environment Commission on aspects of this development, FOF is delighted with the outcome. This building and its ornate brickwork cladding is a 1000% improvement on the previous structure.  More importantly it rectifies off street parking, and other deficiencies of the previous building.

 

4 of the apartments have already been advertised for sale at prices north of $5m per apartment.

 

An elegant swan indeed.

 

WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE “FRESHWATER” (FORMER GROWERS SITE.)

 

Hindmarsh Constructions completed its construction of the Apartment and Retail building in Albert St., for its Mosman-based developer, FW Projects, but this was after

the previous Construction company SX Projects went into liquidation. The Project is more than a year behind schedule.

 

It now appears, even though an Occupation Certificate has apparently been issued by Council, everything has seemingly slowed while a range of rectifications are completed in the space for the anchor tenant and in the lower garage area.

Only a small number of owners have been allowed to move into their apartments. There has been an eerie silence about the building, and the Duke senses that the only obvious activity is that of dollars burning. Spare a thought for those who bought off the plan (as some did 6 years ago) and who are constantly rearranging their lives to cope with the delays.

 

Of course this has a more than passing interest to other businesses in the Village who are waiting upon an uptake of passing pedestrian traffic.  “The Freshwater”has provision for 56 parking spaces for its retail customers. The previous Growers had 35, so this will be a big boost to the Village when the complex opens. One hopes that it is sooner rather than later.

 

FLANNERY’S WHERE FOR ART THOU

 

We reported on the prospect of the organic food retailer Flannery’s taking up a leasehold in the Freshwater Village Plaza. A hitch has apparently occurred as to the extent of Flannery’s liverage on the side of the building.  Flannery’s were seeking near total coverage, which would have prevented other tenants advertising their presence.

 

Apparently the impasse is close to being resolved.

 

ANOTHER FRESHWATER TELCO 4 and 5G TOWER ISSUE

 

Vodaphone and Telstra have been installing a 4/5G Tower atop the Polar Bar two-storey building at 87 Harbord Road. The immediate community has not been properly consulted, and Vodaphone merely sent a letter to Council on 1/12/17 indicating its intentions, and mentioning that it was placing an advertisement in the Daily Telegraph, with a 10-day turnaround for the community to raise any concerns.

This has distinct echoes of the OPTUS Mckillop Park Tower fiasco and the Friends of Freshwater thought that we had overcome the sneaky approach of Telcos to proper community consultation on Tower infrastructure.

The protocol developed included proper notification of the community plus the lodgement of a DA so that the normal planning processes would apply.

 

Vodaphone is now hiding behind the Federal Telecommunications Act to justify its actions.  Although we thirst for mobile data capacity, this is not the way to achieve it.  4G Towers were meant to be on the roof of tall buildings not small residential buildings with no EMR measurements undertaken. We need to stop this blatant disregard of the community.

 

 

DEVELOPERS EYE FRESHWATER VILLAGE BACK PRECINCT.

 

Developers currently have two DA’s before Council for development of residential and retail accommodation on land that has never been developed before. Both IPM Holdings, who recently purchased a large, long held-block, from the Roberts family, and neighbour, Francis Kim (proprietor of the recently expanded Hiro’s Restaurant) now have applications being assessed by NBC. The Friends of Freshie has found significant deficiencies in both these applications including close proximity to an ever expanding source of Electro-Magnetic Radiation from the AUSGRID sub station, and various non-compliances with the LEP and Freshwater Village DCP. Both seek access to their developments from Lawrence Street when access from the rear should have been sought. In both cases, these DA’s are opportunistic.

DA2017/1287 proposes 20 bedrooms in close proximity to the sub-station fence. There is a probability that some of these might be occupied by children and for them the possible risk of exposure is elevated.

We think that this is not worth the risk and is indeed poor urban planning. Fortunately, Council’s Environment Health section has recommended refusal. This is on the basis that” theapplicant provides details of the long term effects of EMF and how exposure will be addressed”.

I

n its submission to this DA, AUSGRID advised that the development be no closer than 3 metres to its boundary, which would severely compromise the viability of the development.

 

Both developments have been in the process of Council assessment for months and are problematic. A panel process was convened, Friends of Freshie was in attendance to raise its concerns. DA2017/1294 was approved but with the proviso that entry be from the rear of the site rather than from its Lawrence Street Driveway.

 

Freshwater Village Back Precinct includes the Literary Institute, former Baby Health Centre, Guide Hall, Waves Youth Centre (now a temporary Gym). The 5-story Telstra building (which is used as a de-facto telecommunication tower) and the Ausgrid Electricity Sub-Station, as well as two land holdings at the rear of Lawrence Street. There is also the Oliver Street car park, which is zoned for community use but ought to be zoned as operational land.

 

Friends of Freshwater has written to Council seeking place management emphasis on the precinct, given that Council is both a prominent landlord as well as the consent authority for the Village.

 

HARBORD LITERARY INSTITUTE  2018 CENTENARY

 

The unique Harbord Literary Institute is in its 100thyear of operation, and Council is planning for an appropriate p celebration of its longevity.

 

The Institute, uniquely, continues the same activities as when it was first established. It still has a library, run on a voluntary basis, after Council closed its Branch.  These dedicated volunteers keep the library flame flickering in Freshwater. It also has a meeting room which is well used for political and community meetings. Its Hall is booked for cultural and community gatherings, and by day, is a long-standing Community Kindergartens. Its former tennis court is now utilised for children’s outdoor play.

 

 

WHAT USE THE VACANT BABY HEALTH CENTRE?

 

Mums and their new born children are now forced to seek early childhood services in the multi-storied bun rush that is the new Brookvale Community Health Centre, adjacent to Warringah Mall.  This involves finding parking in the Complex and getting to the designated floor of the building with pram and necessities. Needless to say that young Freshie mums are scattering to other nearby suburbs for their mothers’ groups rather than using this facility. DID THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH THINK ABOUT ITS CLIENTELE AND THEIR NEEDS?

It is a shame, as the Freshwater Early Childhood Centre worked perfectly well.

 

Which begs the question as to what is going to be the further use for this Council Asset?  We have heard scuttlebutt that it may be a site for an Aboriginal Heritage Centre.

 

NEW DIGGERS IS PARTIALLY OPEN BUT WHAT IS FUTURE OF WAVES CENTRE?

 

The Mounties Headland Site is now open with completion of an operational club, some residential accommodation and a day care facility now operating.

 

The impressive new Club was officially opened on 30 June after a gala occasion was held beforehand on 28 June. Work is continuing apace on other areas and the construction of the swimming pools/gymnasium/ residential tower, is well underway. Soon a massive number of concrete trucks will begin deliveries in order to lay the foundations for this final stage.

 

At the completion of this project, community attention will revert to the other Mounties Group asset in Freshwater, the Waves Youth Facility.  This site was established by members of the Freshwater community via the Harbord Diggers Club. It was meant to be both a lasting legacy and gift to the youth of our community.  With the quiet removal of the site from the core business of Mounties, its Board is apparently free to use or dispose of the asset as it wishes.

 

Of course, with a burgeoning youth population, a revitalised youth centre of the kind that was previously operated and staffed by the Harbord Diggers, would be well-received by the community.

 

 JOIN the Friends of Freshwater in 2018.

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.aufor easy subscription.

This year our projects will be 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 of Honour as part of the Centenary of Anzac and Armistice commemorations.
  • Closely scrutinising all significant Development Applications in Freshwater for compliance with planning requirements

 

 

“The Duke” Newsletter May 2018

NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL APPROVES FRESHWATER COASTAL SPACE MASTER PLAN

 

At its last meeting on 22 May, Council approved its Freshwater Coastal Space Master Plan.

 

A summary of the changes made since the draft plan are on our home page for your reading.

It should be noted that the Beach Reserves have not received any attention from Council since the 1980’s and there are areas of great neglect. Playgrounds are run down, public toilets outmoded and walking tracks eroded.

 

Many proposals in the Draft Plan, which caused great community concern, have either been removed or modified.

These include:

  • A proposed car park for the Reserve adjacent to Gore Rd. (Gone)
  • A shortened turnaround at Moore Rd. (Gone)
  • Lumsdaine Drive one-way (Gone)
  • A raised boardwalk across the northern dune to the Surf Club(Gone)
  • A road from Undercliff Rd., to service Pilu restaurant (Gone). The former road will be sealed.
  • Reduced parking at McKillop Park to enable green-space picnicking (Gone)
  • Green Space between Ocean View Road and Kooloora Ave. (Gone) although a small strip along the dune edge has been proposed.
  • Seating and terracing in the green space above Moore road (largely Gone)

Council approved the conversion of the overflow car park (formerly an in-filled Freshwater Creek) to be officially a car park. This had some opposition from some locals who wanted to see it retained for occasional recreational use.

The Board Walk Missing link has been resolved with its extension from Lumsdaine Drive through to Mckillop Park and thence to the northern end of Freshwater Beach at Ocean View Road. The Walk will be constructed along the rock platform so as to not disturb a healthy stand of native vegetation. This was a great win for bush regenerators. Russell Beardmore, Tanya McAllen and Harry Eliffe who raised their concerns with the draft proposal directly on site with the Mayor and senior management.

New Public toilets have been proposed for construction on the western end of the Surf Club.  Likewise, new playgrounds are proposed to replace the existing two that are antiquated and too close to roads and passing traffic.

 

There will be a pedestrian footway up Bridge Road to the Queenscliff Steps as another part of the Coastal Walk connection. Pavilion, Undercliffe and Freshwater View Reserves are also specified for upgrading.

 

Overall the Reserves precinct will gain an extra 35 car spots from the proposal and maintain green space in largely its current configuration.

 

The Coastal Walk extension looks to be first cab off the rank for construction work. This will be paid directly from the amalgamation funding provided by the State Government.

 

WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE “FRESHWATER” (FORMER GROWERS SITE.)

 

Hindmarsh Constructions has completed its construction of the Apartment and retail building in Albert St., for its Mosman-based developer, FW Projects, but everything has seemingly come to an abrupt halt.  The building was set to be completed in June 2017 and is now a year behind schedule.

Are there structural defects, which need to be rectified before the building can get its Occupation Certificate from NBC?  Is there a contractual legal impasse? No prospective retail tenants are fitting out their premises nor have apartment owners moved in.  There is an eerie silence about the building, and the Duke senses that the only apparent activity is that of dollars burning. Spare a thought for those who bought off the plan and are constantly rearranging their lives to cope with the delays.

 

The changes to legislation which now mean that all construction defects have to be rectified before an Occupation Certificate is issued by Council are apparently at the heart of the delay.

 

Of course this has a more than passing interest to other businesses in the Village who are waiting upon an uptake of passing pedestrian traffic.  “The Freshwater” has provision for 62 parking spaces for its retail customers. The previous Growers had 35, so this will be a big boost to the Village when the complex opens. One hopes that it is sooner rather than later.

 

FLANNERY’S WHERE FOR ART THOU

 

We reported on the prospect of the organic food retailer Flannery’s taking up a leasehold in the Freshwater Village Plaza. A hitch has apparently occurred as to the extent of Flannery’s liverage on the side of the building.  Flannery’s were seeking near total coverage, which would have prevented other tenants advertising their presence.

 

Apparently the impasse is close to being resolved.

 

ANOTHER FRESHWATER TELCO 4G TOWER ISSUE

 

Vodaphone is currently installing a 4G Tower atop the Polar Bar two-storey building at 87 Harbord Road. The immediate community has not been consulted, and Vodaphone merely sent a letter to Council on 1/12/17 indicating its intentions, and mentioning that it was placing an advertisement in the Daily Telegraph, with a 10-day turnaround for the community to raise any concerns.

This has distinct echoes of the OPTUS Mckillop Park Tower fiasco and the Friends of Freshwater thought that we had overcome the sneaky approach of Telcos to proper community consultation.

The protocol developed included proper notification of the community plus the lodgement of a DA so that the normal planning processes would apply. Vodaphone is now hiding behind the Federal Telecommunications Act to justify its actions.  Although we thirst for mobile data capacity, this is not the way to achieve it.  4 Towers were meant to be on the roof of tall buildings not small residential buildings with no EMR measurements undertaken. We need to stop this blatant disregard of the community.

 

 

DEVELOPERS EYE FRESHWATER VILLAGE BACK PRECINCT.

 

Developers currently have two DA’s before Council for development of residential and retail accommodation on land that has never been developed before. Both IPM Holdings, who recently purchased a large, long held-block, from the Roberts family, and neighbour, Francis Kim (proprietor of the recently expanded Hiro’s Restaurant) now have applications being assessed by NBC. The Friends of Freshie has found significant deficiencies in both these applications including close proximity to an ever expanding source of Electro-Magnetic Radiation from the AUSGRID sub station, and various non-compliances with the LEP and Freshwater Village DCP. Both seek access to their developments from Lawrence Street when access from the rear should have been sought. In both cases, these DA’s are opportunistic.

DA2017/1287 proposes 20 bedrooms in close proximity to the sub-station fence. There is a probability that some of these might be occupied by children and for them the possible risk of exposure is elevated.

We think that this is not worth the risk and is indeed poor urban planning. Fortunately, Council’s Environment Health section has recommended refusal. This is on the basis that” the applicant provides details of the long term effects of EMF and how exposure will be addressed”.

I

n its submission to this DA, AUSGRID advised that the development be no closer than 3 metres to its boundary, which would severely compromise the viability of the development.

 

Both developments have been in the process of Council assessment for months and are problematic. If a panel process is convened, Friends of Freshie will be there to raise its concerns.

 

Freshwater Village Back Precinct includes the Literary Institute, former Baby Health Centre, Guide Hall, Waves Youth Centre (now a temporary Gym). The 5-story Telstra building (which is used as a de-facto telecommunication tower) and the Ausgrid Electricity Sub-Station, as well as two land holdings at the rear of Lawrence Street. There is also the Oliver Street car park, which is zoned for community use.

 

Friends of Freshwater has written to Council seeking place management emphasis on the precinct, given that it is both a prominent landlord as well as the consent authority for the Village.

 

HARBORD LITERARY INSTITUTE CENTENARY JULY 2018.

 

The unique Harbord Literary Institute is in its 100thyear of operation, and it is unclear as to what Council is planning for any proposed celebration of its longevity.

With its organising committee disbanded (a casualty of the Council amalgamation) the usual planning has not occurred.

 

The Institute, uniquely, continues largely the same activities as when it was first established. It still has a library, run on a voluntary basis, after Council closed its Branch.  These dedicated volunteers keep the library flame flickering in Freshwater. It also has a meeting room which is well used for political and community meetings. Its Hall is booked for cultural and community gatherings, and by day, is a long-standing pre-school. Its former tennis court is now utilised for children’s outdoor play.

 

 

WHAT USE THE VACANT BABY HEALTH CENTRE?

 

Mums and their new born children are now forced to seek early childhood services in the multi-storied bun rush that is the new Brookvale Community Health Centre, adjacent to Warringah Mall.  This involves finding parking in the Complex and getting to the designated floor of the building with pram and necessities. Needless to say that young Freshie mums are scattering to other nearby suburbs for their mothers’ groups rather than using this facility. DID THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH THINK ABOUT ITS CLIENTELE  AND THEIR NEEDS?

It is a shame, as the Freshwater Early Childhood Centre worked perfectly well.

 

Which begs the question as to what is going to be the further use for this Council Asset?

 

NEW DIGGERS SET TO OPEN BUT WHAT IS FUTURE OF WAVES CENTRE?

 

The Mounties Headland Site is nearing part completion with some residential accommodation and a day care facility soon to be occupied. The impressive new Club will officially open its doors on 30 June and there is a gala occasion being held beforehand on 28 June. Work is continuing apace on other areas and the excavation for the swimming pools/gymnasium/ residential tower, is well underway. Soon a massive number of concrete trucks will begin deliveries in order to lay the foundations for the second stage.

 

At the completion of this project, community attention will revert to the other Mounties Group asset in Freshwater, the Waves Youth Facility.  This site was established by members of the Freshwater community via the Harbord Diggers Club. It was meant to be a lasting legacy and gift to the youth of our community.  With the quiet removal of the site from the core business of Mounties, its Board is apparently free to use or dispose of the asset as it wishes.

 

Of course, with a burgeoning youth population, a revitalised youth centre of the kind that was previously operated and staffed by the Harbord Diggers would be well-received by the community.

 

 JOIN the Friends of Freshwater in 2018.

If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership, then hop on line to our website at Membership link for easy subscription.

This year our projects will be 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 of Honour as part of the Centenary of Anzac commemorations. 
  • Closely scrutinising all significant Development Applications in Freshwater for compliance with planning requirements

 

_____________________________________________________________________

The Friends of Freshwater Inc. publishes “the Duke”Newsletter as a service to its membership and the wider Freshwater community, and all the views and opinions expressed in it are those of the Executive of FOF Inc.  If you wish to become a member or renew your membership, further contact can be made with us either via our website www.freshie.org.au; or via our email address friendsoffreshwater@gmail.com; or via our face book site Friends of Freshwater Inc.; or via our formal address at PO Box 663, Freshwater NSW 2096.

“The Duke” Newsletter March 2018

KOOLOORA AVENUE PINES

The recent poisoning, in late 2017, of one of the 22 Norfolk Island Pines along both sides of Kooloora Avenue is indicative of the increasing tension between individual and community amenity. The tree died in quick time, and Council, at substantial cost, was forced to remove it. A new, mid-size tree, has just been planted as a replacement (see picture attached).

This stand of heritage-listed trees was originally planted by Harbord Public School children in 1936 as part of an Arbour Day Program, which enabled street trees to be planted throughout Harbord. Long standing local residents such as Keith Sterland, well remember planting Street trees while at School.  Arbour Day is now known as National Schools Tree Day, and is held on the last Friday in July each year.

Kooloora Avenue has Freshwater Creek running to the ocean along its northern side.  The Creek is now encased in a Storm Water pipe.  These trees would have thrived on the additional moisture provided by the creek.

 

Norfolk Island Pines are a common feature across the east coast of Australia.  According to famous botanist, Joseph Maiden, who wrote about them in “Flora and Fauna of NSW “in 1902, these trees, apart from providing shade, revel in the sea air, have narrow leaves and a conical shape that offers little wind resistance.

“Kooloora” is said to be a local Aboriginal word possibly meaning ‘fresh water’. The Avenue was previously named Freshwater Ave until Council changed the name in 1932.

The heritage listing of these trees was, in part, based on the fact that they are socially significant as plantings by the local school. Although some are in indifferent health they are a prominent visual element in the Freshwater Beach area & are representative of seaside plantings & association with recreation/holiday themes.

 

FRESHWATER’S HERITAGE SITES

 

Developments in Freshwater often raise questions of the suburbs’ heritage. Here are the 16 sites that are currently listed as local heritage sites.

·       Former Harbord Uniting Church Corner Albert Street and Ocean View Road
·       Duke Kahanamoku Statue and Memorial Park 77 Evans Street
·       Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club Freshwater Beach
·       Freshwater Rock Pool Freshwater Beach
·       House known as “Melrose” 56 Harbord Road
·       Street Trees Kooloora Avenue
·       House known as “Felicita” 46 Kooloora Avenue
·       Building known as Harbord Literary Institute Corner Lawrence Street and Oliver Street
·       Building known as Early Childhood Health Centre 29 Lawrence Street
·       House 35 Marlborough Avenue
·       Harbord Beach Hotel 29 Moore Street
·       Street Trees Soldiers Avenue
·       “Freshwater” Restaurant 80 Undercliff Road
·       Harbord Public School Corner Wyadra Road and Oliver Street
·       Jacka Park Memorial Garden Corner Wyndora Avenue and Oliver Street
·       Street trees Wyuna Avenue

This list is constantly being updated.

 

 

HARBORD BEACH HOTEL RETURNS TO ITS HERITAGE COLOURS

 

Recent renovations to the heritage-listed Harbord Beach Hotel (aka “the Hilton”) have included a return to the white liverage first used in 1928. For much of its recent life, it has been painted a predominant sand colour.

 

 

 

 

CENTENARY YEAR FOR THE HARBORD LITERARY INSTITUTE.

 

The Harbord Literary Institute is in its 100thyear of operation, and as yet the community has heard nothing from Council as to any proposed celebration of its longevity.

With its organising committee disbanded (a casualty of the Council amalgamation) there is no capacity for the community to have any input. This is left to anonymous “Asset Managers” who administer the premises.

 

In 1918, it held many “Welcome Back” functions for local returning service personnel from the war fronts of Europe.

 

The Institute, uniquely, continues largely the same activities as when it was first established. It still has a library, run on a voluntary basis, after Council closed its Branch.  These dedicated volunteers keep the library flame flickering in Freshwater. It also has a meeting room which is well used for political and community meetings. Its Hall is booked for cultural and community gatherings, and by day, is a long-standing pre-school. Its former tennis court is now utilised for children’s outdoor play.

 

WHAT USE THE VACANT EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTRE?

 

Mums and their new born children are now forced to seek early childhood services in the multi-storied bun rush that is the new Brookvale Community Health Centre, adjacent to Warringah Mall.  This involves finding parking in the Complex and getting to the designated floor of the building with pram and necessities. Needless to say that young Freshie mums are scattering to other nearby suburbs for their mothers’ groups rather than using this facility.

It is a shame, as the Freshwater Early Childhood Centre worked perfectly well.

 

Which begs the question as to what is going to be the further use for this Council Asset?

 

WITHER WAVES YOUTH CENTRE?

 

The Mounties Headland Site is nearing part completion with some residential accommodation and a day care facility soon to be occupied. Work is continuing apace on other areas and the excavation for the swimming pools/gymnasium/ residential tower, is well underway.

 

At the completion of this project, attention will revert to the other Mounties Group asset in Freshwater, the Waves Youth Facility.  This site was established by members of the Freshwater community via the Harbord Diggers Club. It was meant to be a lasting gift to the youth of our community.  With the quiet removal of the site from the core business of Mounties, its Board is apparently free to use or dispose of the asset as it wishes.

Of course, with a burgeoning youth population, a revitalised youth centre would be welcomed.

 

VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS THREATEN ITS FUTURE (update)

Congratulations to the 70 concerned residents who have lodged submission against DAs that if approved will determine the future character of Freshwater Village. These DAs are currently being assessed by Council.

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.

Submissions against the Developments 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 no underground parking for visitors or retail customers as there has been with other Village developments.

These DAs will take much, but give little to the community or the Village in return. Needless to note that there has not been one submission in support.

Interestingly one Development Applicant, IPM Holdings, has purchased the former Anglicare site in upper Wyndora Avenue and is currently selling its town houses known as “the Pavilions”prior to completion in June this year.

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”.

HARBORD ELECTRICITY SUB STATION CONCERN

Friends of Freshwater has written to Ausgrid on 14 March asking it to fully wall its open-air sub-station. We are of the view that the time has come for a public safety approach to be taken to the radiation emissions from the site. These should be isolated by the construction, on 3-sides of the site, of a brick wall lined with metal to ensure that emissions are contained and earthed. Gone are the days when a simple wire fence and precautionary signage will suffice.

We are yet to receive a response.

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.aufor 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

 

 

“The Duke” Newsletter February 2018

 

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.

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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 FRESHIES 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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Duke” Newsletter November 2017

FRESHWATER COASTAL OPEN SPACE DRAFT MASTER PLAN RELEASED FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION

At its meeting on 28 November, Northern Beaches Council approved a recommendation to release its Freshwater Coastal Open Space Master Plan for public comment.

This Draft Plan was prepared by Council staff with input from a project team consisting of reps from Freshwater SLSC, Harbord Diggers, Friends of Freshwater and people drawn from the local community. Funding for its implementation is to be drawn from the Amalgamation funding provided by the State Government.

From the perspective of the Friends of Freshwater, this is a once in a generation opportunity to inject some fresh thinking into the workability and amenity of these spaces.

We have been campaigning for a number of years for the missing link of the Coastal Walkway to be completed from South Curl Curl through to Ocean View Road; the two beachside playgrounds to be upgraded; removal of weed infestation in Undercliffe Reserve, and a Management plan for Freshwater View Reserve.  The current Diggers development also provides the opportunity to have a fresh look at the configuration of McKillop Park and surrounding streets.

It is without doubt that Freshwater Beach and the surrounding public open space forms some of the most stunning sections of the Palm Beach to Manly Coastal Walkway. The park area immediately behind the beach has been developed in an ad hoc fashion as land was acquired by Councils over a period of time, and is dominated by car parking. This dominance compromises the ability of this important space to function in a way that best serves the community.  Additionally, access to the beach area and adjacent headland reserves such as McKillop Park and Freshwater View Reserve, is far from ideal.

Maps of the three principal areas under consideration are attached. They extend from Queenscliff to South Curl Curl.

Public submissions are being received by Council on its website and at drop-in sessions that are being held adjacent to the Kooloora Avenue playground this Saturday, 9/12, from 8-11am, and on Wednesday 13/12 from 8am to 11am. Council can also be contacted on 1300 434 434.

Should you have any concerns about aspects of this plan, we urge you to put your thoughts in writing to Council.

Needless to add that Friends of Freshwater will also be making a submission to Council

MAGICAL MOMENTS FROM ARMISTICE DAY CEREMONY

An Armistice Day Ceremony to commemorate those men and women who served in WWI, was held in Jacka Park on the eleventh hour of the 11 November, as it has been done for the best part of a century. More than 400 attended including local dignitaries, defence service personnel and descendants of those who gave service. More importantly, Armistice Day is about recognising the fragility of peace and the impact of war on families. This is as poignant now as it was then.

The lessons of the 5 years of intense war during 1914-1918 still reverberate almost a century later.

In the Freshwater Anzac Precinct of Jacka Park and later in the Soldiers Avenue of Honour there were some magical moments on this day that illustrate the essence of peace and the depth of emotions for forebears long departed.

Pippas Peace Prose

Pippa Ravenscroft is the 2017 School Captain of Harbord Public School and within a few months, a high school student. She spoke of peace in her own crafted prose at the recent Armistice Day Ceremony.

Peace is special. So special, that sometimes we dont notice it, ad take it for granted, as it has always been there. And it hasnt.

But in my lifetime, peace is all I have known.

In Freshwater, my generation has grown up in a community that is safe. We’ve never had to worry about living in fear. When youre not living in fear, you have the freedom to be hopeful about what you can achieve in the future.

Peace is extremely precious and we have to look after it. We wont always agree with one another, but if we treat others how we like to be treated, and look at things from other peoples perspectives, it could help create a more peaceful future.

Future peace lies in our hand and I hope we dont throw our chances away.

I hope that people never have to wake up in fear for the future

I hope for a world where everyone lives in peace and harmony.

MARY SUGGATE AT HER SON, BILLYS TREE.

A cameo theatre-in- education role was conducted at the Suggate Tree on the corner of Soldiers Avenue and Marmora St.  Local Soldiers Avenue resident, Wendy Machon played the role of William “Billy” Suggate’s mother, Mary, who planted the tree in 1925.

Suggate died, aged 19, a century ago, in the battle for Passchendaele, Flanders, Belgium.

As “Mary” explained, Dad and I were never able to visit where our beautiful boy was buried. We shared our grief with dozens of our neighbours. With so many sons and husbands lost, we needed somewhere to grieve. Many towns and villages came up with the idea to plant a special tree for each soldiers memory. Our good friend, Mr. Holloway, donated the trees in this memorial street from his nursery. This is our Billys memorial tree, planted on this corner by Dad and I.

It didnt need to rain; our tears did that.

A century later, Harbord Public School, Deputy Principal, Brian ORourke unveiled a footpath memorial plaque at Billys Corner.

 

CONTAINER RECYCLING SCHEME OFF TO A SLOW START IN FRESHWATER

The State Government has embarked on the roll out the container deposit scheme across the northern beaches. However, there are very few reverse vending machines to cope with the demand and only 16 shops on the northern beaches allocated as collection points.

In Freshwater, only Polar Bar on Harbord Road is so licensed.

Soft drinks, juices, flavoured milks and bottled water have all gone up in price, while a carton of beer has increased by $4 a carton due to the introduction of the scheme. An apparent short term windfall for the bottlers.

Friends of Freshwater is a strong supporter of the Scheme due to the experience of plastics fouling the beach.

 

TREE REMOVAL

The poisoned Norfolk Island Pine in Kooloora Avenue, on which we reported last month, has been removed by Council. This tree had its roots poisoned by someone wishing to gain an unexplained advantage.  It will be replaced by a new pine in this heritage listed stand of trees.

PUBLIC ART PROJECT

We are still seeking further formal feedback on the first of our public art project pods…. the First Peoples Pod.

Many people have sought more information about the Aboriginal Artist who painted the pod façade. Leanne Tobin has worked as an artist for three decades. She is of Darug descent and grew up in Western Sydney. In 2011, Leanne won the Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize for her art work, “Defending Country”. She is currently the Artist in Residence at Blacktown Council’s Art Centre.

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AND ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

In response to a spate of anti-social behaviour at Freshwater beach which has involved under-age drinking, and widespread community concern, Northern Beaches Council and the local area Police Command have resolved to establish an Alcohol Prohibited Area to cover the beach reserves from Undercliffe Road in the south, the public car park adjacent to Freshwater Beach extending to Ocean View Road.  In addition,

An Alcohol Free Zone will be established for Freshwater Village to included public roads, footpaths and carparks within the area from the corner of Oliver and Lawrence Streets through to the junction of Albert St. and Ocean View Road. Police assert that these are needed public space management tools to combat anti-social behaviour associated with excessive consumption of alcohol.

TIM TRUMPER

Freshwater resident, Tim Trumper, has recently been appointed Chairman of the NRMA after being a Board Member since 2014. His Board responsibilities as a Director in that period have included the Northern Beaches, where he has been active in a wide range of motoring issues. He has been vocal on upper age driving limits and has stated that our view is that there is no driver upper age. Its about your driving ability and your awareness of that ability

Tim is closely monitoring new motoring technologies such as the introduction of driverless cars and alternative fuel sources.

HIGH RENTS KEEP SHOPS EMPTY.

One of the downsides of sky-high real estate prices is that the assessed value of property keeps rising, as do rates and taxes.  Landlords have to pay these increased costs and often pass them on to tenants in the form of higher rents.

In Freshwater, a real estate hotspot, commercial rents are inordinately high.  This has led to a number of shops becoming vacant and remaining unfilled for lengthy periods. Something has got to give.