Friends of Freshwater Inc.

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Nov 2014:


See "the Duke" 

If recent Development Application Approvals in Freshwater are any indication, Developers have discovered a failsafe loophole that allows them to demolish existing dwellings in order to place unit blocks on land otherwise reserved for residential housing. In 2004, the Department of Planning introduced a planning instrument designed to stimulate housing for seniors or for people with a disability. It was amended again in 2009. It started out as a noble objective, but is currently being rorted by developers seeking to override local planning rules. They are seeking to place medium density housing where low-density residences have been built.

Recently, a developer has been seeking to replace a substantial dwelling of historic interest at 36 Wyndora Ave. 

The local community has been up in arms at this prospect and has raised their objections 'en masse' with Warringah Council, but their concerns have been overridden by the Developer’s lodgment of a DA for Seniors Living on the site. 

All the local planning rules that specify zoning of land, are effectively rendered null and void by the SEPP (Housing for Seniors and People with Disabilities). At a Development Assessment Panel meeting on 12 November, where the developer did not even have the courtesy to turn up and to hear the community’s concerns, the demolition of 36 Wyndora Ave. was approved for a seniors living development of 9 Units. 

At the Panel Meeting, Friends of Freshie Deputy President, Phil Curry, expressed the concerns of the community that “all large blocks of land may come under pressure for development under this SEPP”. The Panel in its report stated,
” Whilst this might be so, the Panel is bound to consider the application under these provisions and not any future changes that might occur to the statutes.”

Across our community we have many houses with enlarged backyards, which will come under the scrutiny of developers, given these key decisions, and we can anticipate further Seniors Living applications in the future.


Nov 2104:

The Consent Authority, the East Region Joint Regional Planning Panel has given approval to a $150m development on Freshwater headland involving 97 Seniors Living apartments, a revamped Harbord Diggers Club and a 90 person child care facility.

Construction work on the biggest project in Freshwater’s history will commence in 2015, and will involve a massive demolition of the current building and parking areas, and the excavation of the site down to 3 levels to permit a 580 space car park for club patrons and seniors living residents.  A new gymnasium and pool area will be housed on the southeastern side of the site facing Evans Street. The child care facility will be housed on the south west side of the site facing Carrington Parade, while the Diggers Club will be housed underneath the residential podium and will face South Curl Curl and have one of its three entrances facing Lumsdaine Drive.

July 2014:
A contingent of the Freshwater community turned up at a Land and Environment Hearing before Commissioner Gavin Brown at the historic 36 Wyndora Avenue house on August 7. This Hearing was held because the Developer, Moore Development Group (trading as MODOG Pty Ltd) referred the matter to the Court, after its DA had been knocked back by both Warringah Council and the Warringah Development Assessment Panel (MODOG didn’t even attend the WDAP hearing).

See more : 'the Duke' Newsletter

Mounties Headland Site moves closer to a Stage 2 Development Application

The largest ever development in Freshwater’s history, the proposed $110 mill redevelopment of the Mounties Group Harbord Diggers site, moved a step closer with the public presentation of architectural designs on 19 July. These have been drafted in accordance with the planning decision of the Joint Regional Planning Panel of 8 August 2013. The winning consortia of Architectus+JMD Design + the local Manly-based firm, CHROFI, has introduced a number of important improvements. These include the relocation of the gymnasium to a ground and first floor space, fronting Evans Street, placing the swimming pools immediately underneath. In the original concept plans the gym was largely underground, being underneath the apartments and located on the north-eastern end of the site. Gym patrons would have seen their splendid views towards NZ effectively privatised. The architects have also addressed the underground nature of the new club site by introducing a southern “Palm Valley” to bring natural light into the club on both its northern and southern boundaries. Entry to the Club and its facilities will be from both Evans Street and Lumsdaine Drive.

Dale Hunt, Mounties GM for Northern Sites, states that “the Mounties Group has taken on board the concerns of the local community”.

Read online here the new article in the Manly Daily Sat. Sept 7 2013

More from the Manly Daily on Freshwater Village feel:

Manly Daily
23 Nov 2013

Manly Daily
7 Sep 2013

Update on Soldiers Avenue campaign for State Heritage

Manly Daily
29 Aug 2013

Further to John Morcombe's excellent coverage of the Soldiers Avenue State Heritage issue, in April 2013, we commissioned a study of the 66 Trees that comprise the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Living Memorial. This is part of a program to prepare for the Centenary of Anzac in 2015.

These trees are locally heritage listed but it is our contention that the Avenue of Honour, including its plaques and memorials, ought to be upgraded to the State Heritage Register. We are of the view that it is the last remaining in tact Avenue of Honour in suburban NSW. The eastern sector of the Avenue was clearly planted in the years after World War 1 as part of an Australia wide movement to create a Living Memorial to those who served. The western sector was largely planted after World War II.

The planting of Avenues of this kind was intensely personal and, in our then fledgling community, produced strong community involvement and passion. Marches down the Avenue of Honour on Commemoration Day continued for more than 50 years.

We call upon any of the families involved with the Soldiers Avenue of Honour who have pictorial and family historical records of these times, to make contact with us at our email address below or at 
Peter Harley
PO Box 663 
Freshwater NSW 2096
This is extremely important to sustain the State significance of this Living Memorial

Update on Harbord Diggers Development

On the 8th August 2013 the East Region JRPP approved a much abbreviated DA for the Harbord Diggers Headland site. 

The Mounties has gained interim approval to utilise the current building envelope of the Diggers Club for an " adaptive re-use" in the public interest. The public interest in this instance being seniors living and other services. However this future building has been heavily pared down by at least 50% from its current dominance. It will also be subject to a 6.5 metre setback to Evans Street for the whole of the building. The north-facing section of this building will also be one floor lower than is currently the case, reducing the profile when viewing from the north.

The other site building envelopes will also be less massed and require 3 metre building setbacks on the third level of each building.

The JRPP also made orders in respect of landscaping which will allow for deep soil planting to further screen the bulk of these buildings from surrounding streets.

The request by Mounties for up to 125 apartments on the site was clearly regarded as an ambit claim and the new requirements will ensure that fewer apartments are constructed.

In the final moment of last night's proceedings, Mounties agreed to take up some of the urban planning suggestions put forward by Warringah Councils' urban planning consultant, Gabrielle Morish, and this led to the JRPP being able to mediate an outcome.

Friends of Freshwater presented its objections along with other objectors. Only two spoke on behalf of Mounties, although its staff and supporters were in attendance having been bussed from the Club.

The next steps include Mounties lodging a SEPP1 application to Warringah Council to gain approval for the adaptive re-use of the building envelope for a purpose other than that of a registered club. It has stated that it will conduct an architectural competition as part of the next phase of this development process.

Please see Boel Erickson's article in tomorrow's Manly Daily for more information

As usual we will closely scrutinise further steps in this DA process, and keep you informed of what is happening.

Peter Hartley -

Peter HarleyThe Mounties Development Application 2013/0412 is now before Warringah Council for assessment by May 24, 2013 and any submissions at Council are due by this date.

See our response to date:

This facebook page here is the official voice for " Friends of Freshwater Inc " - for latest info, news and community details and feedback


As foreshadowed at the recent Opening of the Shade Cover in Freshwater Village Plaza, free Wi Fi coverage has been installed by Warringah Council for Freshwater Village, extending from the junction of Lawrence and Oliver Streets through to the junction of Albert Street and Moore Road.

Access to this free Wi-Fi service via smartphone or tablet can be made by selecting FreeWiFi@Freshwater, waiting for the logon screen with the Warringah Council logo to appear, and then clicking on the line that says, “ Click here to log on to Warringah Council free Wi-Fi service”.

Already the Duke has spotted people with tablets using this free service outdoors in the Village.

Community Garden open

Freshwater Community Garden officially opened!

After the great efforts by the FOF Committee and especially the special efforts of Roy Buirchell we now have an officially opened and beautifully functioning community garden. More Pics here

See here for story link from Manly Daily

Freshwater Village Shade Cover installed by Warringah Council furnished by Freshwater Community Bank

see Newsletters

 "the Duke" - March 2013 for more details

Free Wi-Fi for Freshwater Village Plaza.

Warringah Council has announced that it will be installing Free Wi-Fi for the Freshwater Village Plaza. Now we will be able to use the Shade Cover and new street furniture as an outdoor office. That is unless you work for Google or Yahoo




A fantastic street festival was held in the Village on Sunday September 16th - with the street closed for most of the day to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Freshwater Community Bank.

 ORGANISERS of Celebrate Freshwater are asking residents whether the fair should be held annually.

A large number of people - including local school students, community groups from Harbord Bowling Club and a band called Hailstone - turned up to the corner of Lawrence St and Albert St on Sunday.

Freshwater Band

The bank's business development coordinator Melanie Carson was amazed by the attendance.

Given its success, the bank is considering staging the fair every year.

"That could well be possible," Mrs Carson said. "It's a big investment on our part and we had 30 volunteers.

"It will be interesting to see the response from the community. If we're able to to garner support for this to be held annually, it could well be."

Would you like to see the event become an annual one?

see latest Newsletter for more details

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Harbord Diggers New Development Plan

2cProposed architects view of one  option(2c)

After quite a wait and a somewhat questionable consultation process with the local community, the MOUNTIES' on behalf of the Harbord Diggers Club has finally released their vision and alternative options for the site development. 

It is now up to us, the Community to ensure that in the subsequent period we have a voice in determining a satisfactory outcome.

MOUNTIES' the owner of the prominent Harbord Diggers site includes plans for up to 125 seniors living units.

The club wants to build the seniors units on its current site and to construct a new club near Lumsdaine Drive that would "capture the views to Curl Curl Beach".

Mounties has been trying for years to upgrade its ageing premises with several proposals have been refused.

Recently Mounties Group confirmed it had lodged a site compatibility application with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to gain in-principle support of its latest plans.

This is because its R2 low-density residential zoning prohibits independent seniors living development.

If approved, Mounties would then be able to lodge a development application with Warringah Council.

The club hopes to build a seniors development up to three storeys, with between 75 and 125 units, each with one to three bedrooms and basement parking.

The new club building would be up to two storeys and include a gym and pool.

The car park on Crown land next to Mackillop Park would be revegetated for public use. 

For more information from Mounties see:

 Soldiers Street Avenue of Honour !!
Possible undergrounding of poles and wires in this section of the "Soldiers Avenue of Honour"  will prevent this annual indiscriminate lopping of these heritage listed trees. 

One bough that was lopped would have taken 40 years to grow.


Ausgrid now regard this heritage-listed treescape as " contestable" and there is the possibility that undergrounding of utilities can occur prior to the 2015 Centenary of Anzac. 
We are thankful for the contribution of Mike Baird to facilitate the process thus far. Friends of Freshie will now meet with Ausgrid to take the process further.

Now we know why the steel Crosses on the Heroes Tree plinth are always at an angle.

We ought to feel optimistic that we can put an end to this carnage.

You have your own Community Garden!

Latest News:

A new Committee was elected at a meeting held last Sunday morning at the area allotted for the community (off Crown Rd) for creating a Community Garden. 
The news is good as the Council has approved a grant of $5,000 and this committee  will be submitting full plans and beginning an improved local resource

Freshwater Garden

To see full details of this development they are available at< click here>
Your choice:
The community has one voice, it has been heard.

The latest information is that the community has been heard and all major projects are currently as of July 16 2011 are on hold.

This website and the Facebook page with a link above  are the primary means of contact and communciation with the Freshwater community.
It includes the latest information, developments and events of interest. It is also provides the means to manage membership.

If you love Freshie, get involved!

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