The NSW government is seeking public feedback on the draft master plan to redevelop the former Manly Hospital site as a health precinct.

The 6.18 ha site was closed when the Northern Beaches Hospital opened in October 2018. Since that time questions have been asked about proposed use of the site.

Member for Manly James Griffin said of the plan, “We’ll use a good portion of the original buildings and create purpose built facilities in partnership with others to bring some life into the site.”

The only confirmed plans to date were a November 2018 announcement of Australia’s first Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice. The hospice has been the recipient of a $5m donation from Manly philanthropists Mr Greg Poche and Mrs Kay van Norton Poche.

Community consultation on future use of the site delivered a vision statement that the site should be, “A vibrant health and wellbeing sanctuary which welcomes and supports the needs of the local and wider community – achieved through innovation and balance.”

Over 250 community members provided feedback at drop-in sessions and a similar number provided feedback online. Six guiding principles were established to achieve the vision.

  1. The community will have continued access to the Site for social/recreation activities and use of public/private services.
  2. The rainforest area will be permanently reserved.
  3. The services developed on the Site will contribute to the health, wellbeing and care of the community.
  4. The services provided from the Site’s uses will address a defined community need for which there are tangible and ongoing benefits.
  5. A diverse range of services and partnerships will be pursued which leverage the greatest collective value for the community.
  6. The services and infrastructure proposals for the site must demonstrate financial sustainability.

A draft master plan created by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment seeks to:

  • Retain the heritage buildings and re-purpose them
  • Preserve and improve accessibility of the natural heritage of the site
  • Reduce overall building scale and bulk on the site
  • Open up the site to Darley Road and prioritise pedestrian access
  • Connect the Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice into the precinct
  • Ensure no single use of the site dominates the whole site
  • Preserve the core of the precinct for pedestrians
  • Provide vehicle access to parking on the periphery
  • Provide a space for formal events and a space to celebrate aboriginal culture and environment
  • Frame a plaza area with food venues to meet the needs of workers and visitors

The site is currently zoned for medical use only. Council will need to be involved in rezoning to allow additional uses such as:

  • Restaurant or café
  • Neighbourhood shop
  • Seniors housing
  • Educational establishment
  • Community facility
  • Group homes
  • Function centre
  • Centre-based child-care facility
  • Indoor recreational facility

The Department is asking people to review the master plan documents and provide feedback to by close of business Monday, 31 August 2020.

Image: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment