Even though this is a holiday month and, particularly on sunny days, our beaches are packed, the year 2022 has started while we are still in the midst of the pandemic. In fact case numbers have never been so high in NSW although there are signs they are coming down. The people of the Northern Beaches achieved outstanding results with vaccinations and 95 % of our residents are double vaccinated. The best protection now against Omicron is to get the booster dose at NSW Health Clinics (Mona Vale Hospital is administering vaccinations). You will be eligible for the booster if you have had your second COVID-19 vaccine three or more months ago. Whichever vaccines you have had for the first two, you will now be able to access Pfizer or Moderna for your booster. More information is available on:
Notwithstanding Covid many things are happening in Palm Beach and Whale Beach and your Committee is working hard to safeguard your interests. Work continues on the Local Environment Plan (LEP) and the Development Control Plan (DCP) which gives us the best chance of protecting our environment and ensuring that developments taking place do not damage the area we value so much. Residents’ wishes must be included in the local character statements which will form part of the LEP and we urge you to make your views known when the next period of consultation begins. There are a large number of developments planned for our area and we ask you to make submissions on those which concern you. Other priorities for us are the Walkway from Whale Beach to Palm Beach along Whale Beach Road which has been delayed for so long with additional difficulties now from road subsidence which is being rectified and the developments taking place along the road. We will also continue to press for a Walkway along Barrenjoey Road and a safe footpath and steps on the corner of Surf Road as well as a footpath down the length of Surf Road to Barrenjoey Road.
Since the Council Elections in December we have had a change in the representation for Pittwater Ward. Our Councillors now are Rory Amon who has moved from Narrabeen to represent us, together with Michael Gencher and Miranda Korzy the new Councillors. We will invite them to attend our Coffee Mornings when we are able to meet face to face to hear their priorities and it will give us the opportunity to detail our concerns. Michael Regan was again elected Mayor by the new Councillors at a meeting in December.
DRAFT NORTHERN BEACHES ENVIRONMENT STUDY
Our email gave you advance warning of this but the Council would like your feedback via Have Your Say on this study which sets out short-term and ongoing planning rules supporting and informing the Local Environment Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP). It is divided into sections: Healthy and valued Coast and Waterways; Protected and enhanced bushland and biodiversity; Greener urban environment; Low carbon community with high energy, water and waste efficiency; Impacts of natural and urban hazards and climate change
There is also a Study Snapshot. The Council would like your feedback so that the study can be refined and the new planning framework developed. Please have your say by 15 February 2022:
Palm Beach and Whale Beach have become even more attractive as places to live since many companies are continuing to allow employees to work from home several days a week and this has contributed to the substantial turnover of houses in recent months and the large number of developments under construction or being planned in the area. Residents were already concerned about overdevelopment and there is no doubt that houses being constructed are getting larger and the bulk and scale of them is changing the character of our suburbs. We will endeavour to alert you to the major development applications for our area and we urge you to make your own submissions as, even though we represent the views of the majority of our members, our submission still counts as one only.
More than 40 people attended the ceremony to mark the naming of the landing on Observation Point as Herminie’s Landing. This was in recognition of Herminie Swainston’s substantial contribution to the Palm Beach area through St David’s Anglican Church in Barrenjoey Road, the Bible Garden, local bush care and extensive lobbying to preserve the natural environment and prevent commercial exploitation. Her energy continued until shortly before her death as she was very much involved in the layout of the Palm Beach Walkway recognising how it would be valued by the community because of its outstanding location. She continued to strive for the best possible outcome. Mitch Geddes welcomed those present which included four generations of Herminie’s family – her sister Jenny, sons Paul and Mathew and daughter Sarah and the latest member, her great grand daughter. Jenny cut the ribbon framing the artwork featuring crucifix orchids associated with her mother and important to Herminie and the family. The artist Kevin Diallo, who was also able to attend, was congratulated on the simple elegance of the design – appreciated by the family and appropriate to the location. Also present were two of the NB Councillors for Pittwater, Rory Amon and Michael Gencher and the family expressed their gratitude to the Council and the PBWBA for their persistence in ensuring that the project went ahead in this most unusual of times. Herminie’s house looked over Observation Point. In fact her father, who was a surveyor, was involved in the design of the road leading to it and the family have been associated with Palm Beach since her parents spent their honeymoon on the same hill in 1926. The house remains a family house, owned by her children, and will continue to be used by them.
TRANSFER OF WOOLWORTHS AVALON STORE TO A METRO
Following the concerns and misgivings expressed about Woolworths’ decision to make their Avalon Store into a Metro and consultation with residents in Palm Beach, Whale Beach, Avalon and Bilgola the residents’ associations in these suburbs have been having discussions with Woolworths executives about what the changes will mean, particularly to prices of goods in the store.
Woolworths are running two online information sessions on Wednesday 2 February (5-6.30pm) and Saturday 5 February (10-11.30am.) Visit woolworthsmetroavalon.com to register for a session. Registration closes 24 hours before the start of each session. There will be a short presentation about the new Metro store, followed by a Q&A session. The leaflet which has been distributed to local households explaining the changes is attached. The changes will mean that the store will be shut for three months starting after Easter.
CURRAWONG BEACH COTTAGES
The Currawong land parcel was purchased by the Labour Council of NSW in 1949 and operated for 60 years as a union workers’ holiday camp although it was first settled in 1823 by John Clarke a military veteran. It was sold to William Burke in 1824 and later to the Wilson family when the property was known as Wilson’s Beach. In 1908 it was acquired by the Stiles family and in 1917 Dr. Bernard Stiles, a local physician, built the homestead, Midholme, which still exists today and is heritage listed. The Labour Council built 10 cottages for use by their members and these are also on the heritage register. In early 2007, Unions NSW sold Currawong to developers amidst much controversy and in 2008 the property was included in the State Heritage Register. It was formally acquired by the NSW State Government in 2011 with Pittwater Council being appointed to manage the site and Currawong State Park was established. The Currawong State Park Advisory Committee was set up in May 2015 to ensure its sustainable land management and to maintain its tourist, heritage and recreational value. Today it is safely in public hands and managed by Northern Beaches Council.
Currawong is accessible only by water and is serviced by the The Basin and Mackerel Beach ferry or water taxi. The NSW Government has funded an upgrade of three of the cottages, including new bathrooms, and the games room. As we reported in last month’s Newsletter, the NB Council Building Assets Team has been commended for these upgrades in the annual Building Designers Association of Australia National Design Awards. Further work will take place this year.
Accommodation can be booked through the NB Council and enquiries can be made by email – firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone (02) 9974 4141
ILUKA ROAD BURGLARY
At about 1 am on Friday 21 January two cars were stolen from a driveway in Iluka Road by a group of teenage boys. Please keep your cars locked, particularly at night, and the keys out of sight.
PALM BEACH VILLAGE
Our recent survey highlighted members’ concerns that the character of Palm Beach was in danger of disappearing and its historical significance overlooked. With this in mind we have been examining the historical centre of Palm Beach, known to many as “the village”, to document the character of the area and some of the history of this important shopping and business centre of Palm Beach. Our aim is to preserve its character and to safeguard it into the future. We are at present drafting a submission to NB Council, particularly important now as the new LEP and DCP for the LGA is currently being prepared. If you have any relevant information which might help us please contact: email@example.com
CHANGE OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR STATE MEMBER
Rob Stokes, who was formerly Minister for Planning and recently also for Transport, has been appointed the NSW Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport with which he says he is delighted. His focus will be on delivering the right infrastructure in the right place at the right time. He has appointed Kirsten Fishburn to the new role of Deputy Secretary, Cities & Active Transport at Transport for NSW.
WHALE BEACH ROAD
To the great inconvenience of residents, the single lane restrictions in Whale Beach Road with an automated light system, continue along with four major construction projects in the road. Structural damage to the road and the culvert beneath it has yet to be fixed and, meanwhile, the noise and dust, together with the loss of parking spaces and danger to pedestrians, is making living conditions in the area extremely difficult. We are having discussions with the Council regarding:
Large scale building projects unsuitable to the area and not envisaged in zone E4 (environmentally sensitive). This is an important part of the drafting of the new LEP. Clause 4.6 which enables developments on a scale outside current building regulations. Inadequate control of building sites and their effects on the residents and nearby roads . Traffic Management Plans which need to be carefully drafted and enforced . Detailed conditions governing the build which should be imposed before a Construction Certificate is issued.
Link to https://www.smh.com.au/national/renovators-turn-exclusive-whale-beach-road-into-a-battleground-20220112-p59ns6.html
RUBBISH & RECYCLING
Recently the western end of Beach Road at Station Beach was left littered with broken glass and assorted rubbish. A community-minded resident kindly cleaned it up and following consultation with Northern Beaches Council the litter bin has been reinstated and the area cleared. We thank them for taking very prompt action.
We all generate waste, but we can all play a part in minimising how much waste we produce, increasing how much we can recycle, and helping reduce carbon emissions.
To help our community understand how much waste is generated and how we can work together to reduce, reuse and recycle, Council has created an interactive community dashboard. The dashboard allows you to view waste data for both the Local Government Area (LGA) and your suburb.
- Palm Beach residents generate 1154kg total waste per person per year (not bulky goods)
- Whale Beach residents generate 1784kg total waste per person per year (not bulky goods)
- Approx one third of this is vegetation/green waste.
The dashboard: Open the waste dashboard
- Allows you to see the waste generated in your suburb
- Shows what materials make up your waste
- Indicates how seasonal trends affect the waste that is generated.
We’re all used to checking in to venues using QR Codes so it is also pleasing to see that NB Council have placed a QR code on selected bins located in busy areas such as Pittwater Park. You can scan the QR code or phone 1300 434 434 to report an overflowing bin.
RESCUE ON THE BARRENJOEY HEADLAND
There was a difficult rescue on the Barrenjoey Headland on Sunday 16 January when a woman fell on the north-eastern side of the headland. Fortuitously, she was spotted by a passing boat who contacted police and they were assisted by Fire and Rescue NSW, Surf Life Saving NSW Palm Beach, the Rescue Helicopter and three Ambulance Crews. She suffered leg injuries and was flown to Royal North Shore Hospital in a serious condition. This accident took place at 8 am in broad daylight and reinforces our concerns that to establish Governor Phillip Park and Barrenjoey Headland as an Urban Night Sky Park encouraging visitors at night to unlit and difficult terrain is a dangerous risk.
DA 2021/2362 1105-1107 BARRENJOEY ROAD/43 ILUKA ROAD
(CORNER OF BARRENJOEY ROAD AND ILUKA ROAD)
(DEMOLITION WORKS AND CONSTRUCTION OF A SHOP TOP HOUSING DEVELOPMENT)
This development involves the demolition of the existing building in a prominent and historic area of Palm Beach and the construction of 5 retail spaces and 3 x 1 B/R serviced apartments on the ground floor and 8 x 3 B/R apartments on the two floors above. It will replace the current 2 ½ storey shop top housing development. Basement parking for 31 cars is proposed including 3 visitor spaces, 3 serviced apartment spaces, 9 retail spaces and 19 residential spaces. It would have a flat roof with a communal space and does not comply with the height restrictions required by the LEP (8.5m) and a variation is sought under Clause 4.6 to 10.96m (variation of 2.46m). There are currently 21 trees on the site. The development application details removal of 7 of them with the trees to be retained including the significant trees on Barrenjoey Road although the artist’s impressions clearly do not show these existing trees, only those on public land (they are pictured in the photograph above). This open area in front of the current building would disappear to be replaced by a covered walkway in front of the larger building. A 4 sqm landscaped area is envisaged at ground level at the front. The total ground floor area of the proposed development is 2253 sqm. There would be a 3.5m setback to the primary frontage and 1.75m setback to the secondary frontage on the corner site. The scale of the proposed development is very much larger than the current building and will change the character of the shopping strip known to locals as ‘the village”. If you wish to make a submission please do so by 8 February 2022 https://eservices.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/ePlanning/live/Public/XC.Track/SearchApplication.aspx?id=2052592
DA2021/1164 521 BARRENJOEY ROAD, BILGOLA BEACH
The application for the construction of a dwelling house and pool above the Bilgola Bends has been turned down by Northern Beaches Council. The Council is not aware of what steps the developer now proposes to take.
AVALON BEACH CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
The first land grant in the Avalon area was 60 acres to John Farrell in 1827 but the suburb was built on land granted in 1833 to Father Joseph Therry, a Catholic chaplain. It was, however, not named Avalon until 1921 when the developer A J Small chose the name after the final resting place of King Arthur according to mythology. At this time the area was subdivided and provision was made for the parks and open spaces which are so prized today, namely Dunbar Park, Angophora Park, the Golf Course and Public Pathways. The name was changed to Avalon Beach in 2012.
A Centenary Celebration Committee has been set up and also The Avalon Beach Culture Collective whose aim is to promote and support cultural activities in Avalon. They have been working on events for some time with the support of Northern Beaches Council and sponsorship from local traders. The Centenary logo was designed by Bruce Goold, the Palm Beach based artist and print maker, and features a jubilant cockatoo with wings outstretched in celebration of the centenary. Planned events include an Exhibition of 1100 local photographs by Avalon Beach Historical Society, art exhibitions, the planting of 100 advanced native canopy trees organised by Canopy Keepers and many other events to be detailed shortly. On 19 March 2022 there will be a Centenary Celebration Day in Dunbar Park which will showcase community groups, musicians, dancers, interactive art projects, aboriginal storytelling, boomerang painting and weaving workshop.
There is also a photographic exhibition at Mona Vale Library themed on Avalon’s past.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
- The first Committee Meeting for 2022 will be held on 14 February at 7pm on Zoom.
- The first Coffee Morning of the year will be held on Monday 21 February at 10.30 am.
This is to be confirmed depending on circumstances and availability of a venue.
If you have any concerns or would like to discuss anything with us please contact us on : https://pbwba.org.au or PO Box 2, Palm Beach 2108.
Stay safe and well and get your booster.
Prof. Richard West
President 0407 942 941