URGENT - Opposition to design & construction of proposed Mona Vale Beach Amenities Block

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Northern Beaches Council is the second stage of their Mona Vale Beach planned upgrades and is now about to build a huge oversized concrete toilet block and amenities building at Mona Vale's northern corner. 

The plans have been drawn up and people are not really able to visualise just how MASSIVE this building really is...

The above image shows the current toilet block (in the blue outline) and then the proposed two-part building which the Northern Beaches Council has outlined it is looking to build. 

It is not too late if we ACT NOW, immediately contacting the council and it's member Rob Stokes to change their plans before they get the go ahead on any construction.

Whilst we appreciate upgrades and the efforts of our council members, unfortunately this plan will completely change the beachfront of Mona Vale FOREVER with an over 330 square meter negative impact on the most prime part of the beachfront.

The environmental impacts of this are not to be ignored. North Easterly and Westerly winds which blow sand down towards the pool and northern area of the beach will be greatly affected, potentially re-shaping the beach and surf in ways we're not yet aware of. 

Used by locals and visitors alike since the early 1930s to watch the surf, whales and sun, this will now be dominated by a massive building, blocking views and taking away prime areas for relaxation and recreation.

The council have promoted this with the upgrade of the Mona Vale Surf Club, which has now been granted extra space for the Members Only SLSC. Pushing the public amenities, like the toilets and the professional Lifeguards to a new spot, in the prime northern corner of the beach.

Please take in the fact, that the new proposed SLSC building will have NO PUBLIC TOILETS anymore (it will have toilets / amenities for members), anyone on the beach will either have to cross all the way to Apex Park or walk to the new proposed mega block at the northern end. Also please take note under this proposal, THERE WILL BE NO LIFEGUARDS in the new SLSC building from Monday to Friday in Daylight Savings months. Two irrational decisions that have been made in amendments to the original SLSC DA after it was pitched in October 2018.  

This is why we need to get the help of Rob Stokes our Member for Pittwater in assisting us to change the design before construction. (Email. pittwater@parliament.nsw.gov.au / Ph. (02) 9999 3599)

And Warringah Mayor Councillor Michael Regan. (Email. Michael.Regan@northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au / Ph. 9942 2422)

The proposed building we believe is far too big. Even on the busiest days of the year this summer, there have been no lines coming from the proven sufficient toilet block, which only has two toilet cubicles and two showers for both men and women and they are proposing up to SIX in each, a total of 12 toilets PLUS an additional unisex shower and toilet which will only create waste and smell on our prime beachfront.

On top of this they are adding in a lifeguard storage room and ANOTHER set of bathroom facilities for the lifeguards AND Jetski storage taking up 62㎡

The solution we support is to minimise it's size, by keeping the favoured outdoor showers, still upgrade and expand the toilets and showers (but not by quadrupling it's size).

There is another set of toilets and family change rooms being added within Apex Park across the road which is yet another reason not to expand with such excess.

The main issue is having the overtly over the top storage rooms for jetskis and separate toilets for the Lifeguards. This is a detriment to the beach when a storage space for it, can still fit within the current SLSC building (where it has always been, closer to the patrolled flagged area down the beach away from the rip and sharing resources with the SLSC, keeping in mind the Lifeguards are only active through the Daylight Savings months, for the rest of the year this appears to be an UNUSED jetski carpark in the most prime area of our beach).

This proposed oversized building, will potentially attract more tourists to live in their vans in the carpark and use the toilet block which will be bigger than any toilet block we know of on the East Coast of NSW.

We must act IMMEDIATELY to voice our opinions and be heard on this matter. Until the concrete is poured, we have a chance to fight this and protect our beach.

Please sign this petition and let's all act to do what we can before it's too late and we have to live with this proposed eye sore. 

Please see more information on this link - https://yoursay.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/MonaValeSLSC/mona-vale-beach-amenities-and-lifeguard-storage

 

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Update 4th of February.

On the 28th of Jan, Northern Beaches Council CEO Ray Brownlee and the team from Northern Beaches Council, the Lifeguard Association and President of the SLSC for met onsite at Mona Vale near the current toilet block. It great of them to attend and give their time.

This meeting was in response to the first community meeting held there, to go over the revised plans that were created to reduce the imprint of the building they originally proposed (shown in the image above).

They provided plans for a building which has substantially reduced the imprint and brought back views from the north of the amenities block into the up to Warriewood. It is still larger than the current toilet block but a big improvement, opening up views where the outdoor showers currently are.

The main thing that did was remove the unnecessary amount of toilets, still doubling the amount but keeping it as a smaller footprint. Another big saviour was they removed the jetski storage. However the lifeguard viewing area appears that it will remain within the design unfortunately.

This has been justified by the SLSC President on hand who says there is a need to patrol the Basin area from this vantage point. To note, the lifeguards and their storage were originally part of the original 2018 October SLSC DA design but since the ‘need for more space for the SLSC’ has been addressed by the Northern Beaches Council with the subsequent amendment to the October 2018 DA, which removed the lifeguards and the public toilets. It has since become a priority from the SLSC that patrolling the Basin is a priority and hence they need a viewing area at the northern end.

Northern Beaches Council CEO Ray Brownlee listened to the communities feedback present and wrapped up the meeting with the following bullet points which we have bolded below:

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·       The existing toilets will be rebuilt in line with option 1 (the smaller of the two options presented), ensuring that increased capacity and circulation is met

·       A new lifeguard facility, being either one in line with option 1 or a stand-alone hut, will be built after discussion with Surf Life Saving to ensure best outcome

NB. We responded that we would be in favour of the most minimal impact in size to the beach front area. When we suggested the small landing tower as in the south end (like the simple wooden one currently used next to the flags by the lifeguards), we of course did not consider the details of new OH&S requirements from the Lifeguard’s Association, which might mean an even larger separate build to achieve this.

We also communicated our favoured position (as was vocalised by many present at the meeting), is as per the October 2018 plans of the SLSC which featured the Lifeguards viewing and storage within this building.

·       Council will propose and consult on an additional set of amenities to the south of the Surf Life Saving Club building

NB. We communicated that the petition signee’s favoured position on this would be for them to be reintegrated back into the SLSC as per the original plans presented in the October 2018 DA for the SLSC.

Ideally, if it were possible (although this sounds like it’s not feasible due to the land size given to the SLSC’s rebuild) they would be able to extend the building slightly to the south to make space for these within the building. Failing that, to remove space from a less utilised part of the SLSC build for the greater community, like the SLSC gym for example to make space for public amenities for the greater public.

We also have communicated that we believe perhaps the answer to this is the SLSC members toilet being opened up for everyone in the public. Which works within the footprint of the new SLSC and the amended DA.

Failing these other solutions, creating a building for toilets at the south of the SLSC would be an option, as this is necessity for the public as again noted by the comments via the petition so as to provide safe access for children who would otherwise be required to cross Surfview Rd to reach the nearest alternate toilets that are being newly built within Apex Park.

So yes in failing all other options, it appears the community would support the additional set of amenities at the south end of the SLSC building as a solution to no toilets in the SLSC for the public.

·       The amenities block in Apex Park will continue as planned

NB. We believe this will be a great addition to the for families who use this area with their kids at the play equipment, for people who use the BBQs and for PT sessions that use this space for training and exercise.

·       The Surf Life Saving Club building rebuild will continue to progress as planned

NB. We communicated that it appears to be the wishes of the 700+ people of community from comments on the petition they would strongly support amending the DA:

- To represent the original plans as per October 2018 which included the Lifeguards and their equipment and public toilets/ amenities

- Or to extend the building to provide space for the necessity of public amenities and the Lifeguards reintegration into the building

- Or alternatively, reducing space from what could be considered non-necessities of the new build, like a reduction in the size of SLSC gym, SLSC amenities etc to make space for the nippers, lifeguards and public toilets that the greater public will use

- Or perhaps sharing the SLSC member amenities / toilets within the building, so they can be used by the greater public and members together

The President of the SLSC at the meeting said this will be a very much a community based building that the whole public are welcome to use, not a members only building which we said everyone will appreciate and hope carries on into action. Another reason they should be open to sharing the SLSC amenities with the whole community.

We also communicated that we’re all very excited about the new SLSC it will be fantastic for the community and are thankful to the council and stakeholders for their work in getting this to be a reality.

·       Council will update the YourSay page with its planned approach

NB. This will be an important part of communicating to the council our thoughts on this project. We will send out an update to all the members on the petition on when this has been updated on the site to ensure our voice has been heard and done through the channels which they prefer.

Keep your eye out for petition updates coming soon in the next week.

Thanks again for all your support with the sharing, commenting and signing the petition!

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We thanked the Northern Beaches Council for consulting with the community through this process and reviewing the design. 

These buildings are long term assets that will affect areas that the community will use every day of their lives for the next decade and more so we owe them thanks for enduring to get it right.