Plans for Manly Cove will see the old aquarium demolished and Manly Wharf upgraded.

Transport for NSW (TfNSW), which owns both sites at Manly Cove, have released concept designs for two projects, to redevelop Manly Wharf 3 and enhance the area of the former Manly Sea Life site which will be funded as part of the NSW Government’s $205m maritime stimulus program.

TfNSW is proposing to tear down the old aquarium building which it says is run down and structurally unfit for reuse. The plan aims to open up sight lines to the heritage buildings behind, including the Manly Pavilion building and better connect them to West Esplanade and the beach via an open promenade.

The proposal is to widen the boardwalk sufficiently to allow outdoor dining and provide recreational opportunities. TfNSW are also seeking feedback on potentially including a wharf structure to allow pick up and drop off from vessels.

Member for Manly James Griffin said the proposal offered a rare opportunity to increase public space on Sydney Harbour.

James Griffin

James Griffin

“The community has so far overwhelmingly shared a view that the former Manly Sea Life building is not suitable and should be removed, returning the area to the community and expanding public waterfront access.

“I committed to delivering a great community outcome with the old Sea Life site. This project is planning to reunite the beautiful heritage buildings on the West Esplanade with the waterfront, while expanding the boardwalk with space for recreation and outdoor dining options,” said Mr Griffin.

Also proposed is a renovation of Manly Wharf 3 which will see most of the existing wharf structure removed and replaced. The design aims to provide improved connectivity to Wharves 1 and 2, along with a covered waiting area with seating and a hydraulic platform which can rise and fall with the tide.

The changes will allow passengers with mobility issues to more easily embark and disembark from vessels. The current structure is a wooden jetty with tidal steps. The upgrade is slated to commence in 2023 and take around 8 months.

According to Mr Griffin, the Manly Wharf 3 upgrade will improve accessibility and increase protection for commuters from the elements.

“The wharf upgrade is great news for customers and staff who will benefit from improved safety, more efficient boarding and disembarking and better pedestrian access.

“The proposed Manly Wharf 3 upgrade has been designed to seamlessly fit with surrounding buildings and landscape and will include a hydraulic platform with a fixed waiting area, customer seating, weather protection and gangways. I look forward to the community providing feedback,” said Mr Griffin.

The plans can be viewed online via an interactive portal that shows before and after pictures of the proposed changes. TfNSW is asking for community feedback on the proposed changes until 5.00pm Friday, 28 January 2022.

Images: Transport for NSW

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