Northern Beaches Council has revealed its proposals for the Freshwater Beach Masterplan, which includes several upgrades to the seafront parkland adjacent to Freshwater Beach.
Council is inviting the community to visit their website to view the project concept and accompanying images of how the finished result will appear. Feedback or suggestions on how to refine the project proposals are welcome until 14 August 2022. Construction is expected to commence around April-May 2023.
The designs include a new playground, a lookout with terraced seating, designated seating areas, grassed picnic areas with shelters, picnic tables, and electrical BBQ’s as well as new ramps and footpaths to improve accessibility.
Friends of Freshwater community organisation were closely involved in the planning process, which they said took five years. A spokesperson told Manly Observer that, on seeing the proposed Masterplan, they will recommend Council prioritises the toilet facilities. “The provision of public amenities should be brought forward for 2023 implementation rather than being on the backburner,” they said.
When Manly Observer visited the space we asked passersby for their opinion. Freshwater resident Sharyne Mullen told Manly Observer, “It all looks pretty fabulous and will bring more people to the area, but, unfortunately, they haven’t addressed the need for more parking to accommodate them.
“Personally I would like to see the overflow car park incorporated into the plan along with better beach access for parents with prams and trolleys who have to struggle with the current goat track. Council have tried to remedy one section but their pathway stopped halfway!
“A third BBQ for the picnic area would be a good idea, too; It’s such a large area.”
Northern Beaches Mayor, Michael Regan, said the works had been some time in the making, with the original masterplan adopted by Council in 2018.
“We now have concept designs that we are sharing with the community to get their input to hopefully move closer to implementation.
“The proposed works to the beach front are the first major renewal works undertaken since the 1980’s.”
“The Masterplan will see upgrades to several public open spaces to meet the future recreation need of the community, improving connectivity and celebrating the heritage of the area.”
Boardwalk extension and artwork
In a related project, Northern Beaches Council approved a boardwalk extension linking McKillop Park on Freshwater headland with the boardwalk to South Curl Curl Beach, which will be installed in 2023, as part of the Coast Walk and Public Art project.
This will include a “commanding, yet elegant public artwork at Freshwater headland and a further playful installation at Freshwater Beach.”
According to Council’s website, “First Nations Public Art team mili mili has been commissioned to create a new public artwork at McKillop Park at Freshwater’s headland as part of the Coast Walk Public Art project. mili mili is an established First Nations’ art and design studio co-founded by award winning designer and artist Nicole Monks.
“The concept was inspired by the signal fires lit by Aboriginal people on headlands along the east coast as a system of communication, and by traditional Aboriginal structures called gunyas. The artwork integrates seating which will provide a place for the public to engage, sit and rest on site, without obstructing the views of ocean and sky.”
You can learn more about artist Nicole Monks in this video.
Surf Club awarded NSW Govt grant
Meanwhile, Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) has secured a $150,000 grant in the NSW Government’s Surf Club Facility Program.
James Griffin MP, Member for Manly, announced recently that Freshwater SLSC was among 23 Surf Life Saving Clubs across NSW to share in more than $3.6 million for the upgrade, restoration and construction of surf life-saving facilities as part of a four-year $16 million commitment from the NSW Government.
“It’s vital that our local life savers have modern, fit-for-purpose facilities to enable them to protect both visitors and locals at our beaches,” Mr Griffin said.
The funding will be used to refurbish the kitchen and bar area in the Freshwater room.
Freshwater Beach Masterplan and community feedback: