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Royal Far West Redevelopment

By Manly Community Forum
Published in Development
2 min read

While everyone’s focus has been on the gaudy signage of Chemist warehouse in the Corso and demanding that Council do something about it, signage has been exploding around the corner all over the Royal Far West site.

As it happens neighbours in the area have received a notice of a ‘Proposed Modification’ of the RFW plans to develop the site. This coincides with the retirement of Lindsay Cane AM after many years as the CEO of the Royal Far West and her subsequent appointment as the RFW Project Director and Client Representative of the $300million RFW beachfront redevelopment.

The Royal Far West Concept for Development was approved in 2013 by the NSW Department of Planning. Since then, the Royal Far West has completed stage 1 & 2 which was to demolish the old Elsie Hill building and build their world leading Centre for Child Health and Learning. In addition, No 16 South Steyne (now the new South Steyne Medical Centre) has been sold, no longer forming part of the RFW site, and the old NSW Department of Education Royal Far West school building opposite the Whistler St car park entry previously owned by the State Government NSW Department of Education has been closed and ownership transferred to the Royal Far West Charity.

To check the details google NSW Major Projects Royal Far West or follow the link http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=10672 The details of modification proposal is the last document in the Application and Declaration folder.

Now, with Stage 3 & 4 about to be commence, and the original Planning Assessment Commission requiring some changes, the community has till the 30 August 2021 to comment on a proposal to amend the original Concept Plan which was for a mixed use development with associated hospital facility, indicative building envelopes for buildings to a maximum height of 8 storeys, tourist and visitor accommodation, residential, retail/commercial and hospital medical uses to a maximum FSR of 3:1, basement car parking for 184 car spaces, and landscaping areas.

The RFW appointed Murcutt Candalepas Architects for this project and they have identified that the outcomes sought by the RFW design brief, together with the modification requirements at Part B of the Concept Approval, cannot be achieved without modifying the arrangement of approved uses, the approved building envelopes in terms of heights and setbacks, the scope of works to Drummond House and the associated Heritage Conservation Management Plan (CMP). Their new amended Plan has taken account of the Planning Assessment Commission report and confirms that in relation to required modelling of the intersection of South Steyne and Wentworth Street and the entry/exit off Wentworth Street (opposite the entry to the Council car park) it has been resolved to remove this secondary vehicular access point from Wentworth Street.

The RFW has confirmed that the proposed modifications do not involve a hotel use or proposals for any licensed premises.

In brief the modification proposal seeks to modify the Royal Far West Concept Plan, including:

  • Changes to the approved building envelopes, including building layout, heights and setbacks;
  • Demolition of the rear of Drummond House and replacement with a new Royal Far West guest accommodation building;
  • Conversion of the approved hotel and commercial use building to a residential and commercial use building;
  • Changes to the ground floor retail fronting South Steyne, including addition of pedestrian connections to a new publicly accessible courtyard;
  • Extension of the basement car park; and
  • Increasing the total number of residential apartments from 46 to 58.

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