Stage 3 - Public Exhibition - FAQs

What is the intent of the masterplan?

Council is developing a long term strategy to deliver to the community a connected network of open space for recreation.

Freshwater’s highly valued and frequented coastal open space, and the lack of connectivity to adjoining areas means it’s time to consider the long term strategy to deliver public open space to enhance the recreation amenity.

The key component of the draft masterplan is the enhancement of open space for recreation that is connected throughout Freshwater Beach Reserve and surrounding residential areas to the north and south, including the coastal walk; the provision of community valued open space amenity and facilities; the enhancement to historically significant natural and cultural landscape elements; and the recognition of Freshwater Beach as a ‘meeting place’.

The current open space network contains fragmented recreation spaces, playgrounds, picnic areas, park furniture, BBQs, two beach carparks, a grassed seasonal overflow carpark, and a path network.

The draft masterplan is being considered due to the increasing demand on the area for open space for recreation use, created by its popularity from an increasing population. The need to accommodate the future needs are met with a challenge of lack of connectivity to surrounding open space and the desire to create a functional space that brings the community together. 

What are the community benefits and facilities provided by the draft masterplan that improve the lifestyle for residents and visitors?

The draft masterplan is focussed on delivering an enhanced open space for recreation as part of the Freshwater Coastal Open Space network, with the following key provisions proposed:

Freshwater Views

  • Accessibility, through a connected and safe path system
  • Improved recreation amenity at Freshwater View Reserve and Pavilion Reserve, including shade tree planting, seating and enhancing view opportunities

Freshwater Beach

  • Accessibility, through a connected and safe path system
  • Improved recreation amenity within the existing open space area at the end of Moore Road, including large open grassed area, small playground, picnic facilities, seating, shade tree planting, and enhancement of the view opportunities to beach and ocean
  • Recreation and public ‘meeting place’ area around the Surf Club, including large open grassed area, children’s playground, picnic facilities, seating, shade tree planting, and a public amenities building with a café/kiosk, family change rooms, female and male change rooms, showers and toilets
  • Recreation amenity in the existing carpark location that provides additional and connected parkland from Ocean View Road to Moore Road. This area is proposed as a large open space area useable for varied recreational and social activities, and provides access to the boardwalk and path connection to the swimming pool

McKillop Park

  • Accessibility, through a connected and safe path system
  • Improved recreation amenity at the headland reserve, including open grassed area, improved amenity for events and weddings, picnic facilities, seating, shade tree planting, and enhancement of the view opportunities 
  • Reclamation of public open space where the Harbord Diggers external carpark existed. This area will be provided as parkland suitable for community use, including enhancement of historically significant elements and spaces such as the RSL memorial and the further embellishment of the Surfers Walk.

What is the timeline for the masterplan?

Council will seek to prioritise works over the next five years and into the future as funding becomes available, to complete components of the masterplan. 

Council, in establishing work priority, will seek to enhance the amenity of the open space area in an orderly manner to achieve the following objectives:

  • Improve the quality of the open space to facilitate community use and safety.
  • Improve the relationship with surrounding uses including the surf life saving club, swimming club, and existing residential and commercial areas.
  • Improve the connectivity to public places and the surrounding areas.
  • Encourage more active travel for the local community with amenity improvements for pedestrian and cyclists.

What were the key findings of the Community Working Group?

Council established a Community Working Group to develop a vision for the space and to collaborate with us to develop a draft masterplan.  Appointed according to the published Terms of Reference, the group consisted of the following members:

  • 6 local community representatives randomly selected from applicants who submit expressions of interest (filled)
  • 2 representatives each from Freshwater Surf Club, and Friends of Freshwater (filled)
  • 1 representative each from Freshwater Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the Bush Group, Mounties, families with young children representative, and a person who is aged between 18 and 25 years (filled)
  • 1 representative each from Freshwater Swimming Club, regular reserve hirer from a personal training group, and person representing cycling enthusiasts  (not filled)

Summary of Working Group outcomes

Workshop 1 

  • Issues and opportunities discussed
  • Key resolution: establish a long term strategy with emphasis on connectivity, community value, natural landscape character, increased open space for recreation, pedestrian amenity and safety, infrastructure and maintenance management, heritage, opportunities for views, concern for lack of facilities 
  • Scope – resolved that 3 context areas would be included in the draft masterplan: Freshwater Views, Freshwater Beach, and McKillop Park

Workshop 2 

Established a draft masterplan vision as follows:

An uplifting and integrated coastal open space which enhances the natural beauty, and encourages physical, visual, cultural, social and historical connection

A strategy concept was developed as follows:

The Working Group providing key components to consider during the formulation of a draft masterplan, including:

Freshwater View

  • Accessibility: coastal link to Queenscliff and Manly
  • Safety: clear pedestrian link and opportunity for an alternative or safer viewing platform to the coastal area
  • Heritage: to respect the history and enhance features of Freshwater View Reserve

Freshwater Beach

  • Accessibility: connections to surrounding areas such e.g. to Freshwater Village, Queenscliff, South Curl Curl
  • Views: opportunity to maximise view to the beach
  • Potential activities: increase opportunities for various activities
  • Spatial organisation: design spaces to minimise conflict between people and vehicular movements, recreational and parking
  • Dune system management 
  • Reserve management, especially during special events
  • Land capability and feasibility for various uses

McKillop Park

  • Accessibility: opportunity for continuous link and all ability access to swimming pool and South Curl Curl
  • Environmental planning: opportunity to create link which respect the environmental features 
  • Natural landscape value and significance of the area as a Headland (i.e. protection of landscape value)
  • Signage: directional and interpretational to reflect the history of the area
  • To reduce conflicts between pedestrians, car parking and access

Workshop 3

Council staff presented a preliminary draft masterplan to the Working Group which reflected feedback and scenarios produced at the second working group meeting. A brainstorming session to work out the elements was discussed such as accessibility and connections, management of the dunes, open space use, recreation, parking, and interpretation of history.

The result of this meeting translated into a draft masterplan. 

Internal Council business unit review conducted with feedback incorporated and presented to the Working Group.

Workshop 4

  • Review of final draft masterplan
  • Following discussion, plan as presented reached agreement on scope and content for working group developed draft masterplan for public exhibition

How does the masterplan enhance the open space amenity?

The draft masterplan provides additional open space for recreation and is proposed as continuous parkland from Undercliff Road to Ocean View Road behind the dune system of Freshwater Beach. 

The draft masterplan provides opportunities to support various passive and active recreation and community activities within a parkland setting, uninterrupted by the movement of cars, thus improving the safety with the open space.

An additional 4,000 square metres of open space will be delivered by the draft masterplan for the recreational and social benefit of the community.

Additionally, Freshwater View Reserve, Pavilion Reserve, and McKillop Park open space areas will be improved to enhance the amenity for passive recreation. These Reserves provide outstanding views of the coastline that is highly valued by the community.

How does the masterplan improve accessibility?

The draft masterplan provides a connected pedestrian and cycle network to improve accessibility throughout the Freshwater Beach Reserve, including access to the swimming pool, the road network, and connections south to Queenscliff, and north to Curl Curl.

Additionally, the headland between Freshwater and Curl Curl shall be connected to the open space area that was previously the Harbord Diggers carpark. This area shall be utilised as community open space, and is connected to the existing surfers walk that will be enhanced to recognise significant cultural and historical aspects of the area.

How does the masterplan recognise the natural beauty of the beach, coast and headlands?

The draft masterplan retains the natural environment.  The sand dunes and remnant bushland are protected.  Access to enjoy the natural environment is enhanced through provision of boardwalks and viewing platforms.  This will allow the community to enjoy the beach, the coast and the headlands within a natural open space setting rather than a built upon setting. 

How does the masterplan address car parking?

A key decision of the Working Group was to produce a draft masterplan that recognises a long term strategy for achieving the best land use in association with the preservation of the dune system. It was determined that open space is the best land use to be associated with the beach and dune system as a function of beach and recreation lifestyle.

As such the draft masterplan relocates carparking to adjoin residential areas to allow for a continuous open space to dominate the landscape character of the area.

Currently there are 196 permanent car spaces within the Freshwater Beach area, including the end of Moore Road, the end of Kooloora Avenue, and the end part of Ocean View Road, that are utilised by beach goers. The seasonal overflow car parking (grassed open space on the Reserve) can accommodate, on average, 95 car spaces.

The draft masterplan proposes to move the permanent parking closer to the residential area, thereby creating a large continuous open space area which will not be used for overflow parking.

The draft masterplan provides for 216 permanent car spaces within the Freshwater Beach Reserve.  In addition there will be four spaces for people with disabilities.

The draft masterplan provides for the investigation of changing Lumsdaine Drive along the McKillop Park headland to a one way traffic roadway to provide an additional 65 permanent car spaces (subject to RMS approval).

Archive Stage 1 FAQs

SUPERCEDED - Why is the top of McKillop Park Reserve Excluded from the study area?

In response to an original question, the following answer was prepared and published, however after the first Drop In Session on 22 March 2017 and the discussions that ensued, the whole of McKillop Park is now included in the study area.

The Freshwater Coastal Open Space master plan is focussing on linking the open spaces to facilitate supporting activities and improving connectivity in relation to our recently released ‘Connecting Northern Beaches’. Considering the history and the importance of McKillop Park Reserve, the exclusion is to allow for an opportunity to plan for more specific design outcome tailored to the future character of this area.

Why do we need the revitalisation of this area?

Freshwater Beach is known for its beauty. In order to preserve and enhance the beauty of this area, we need to plan for the future of this space and what it looks like 5-10 years from now. Considering  the last major restoration in the reserve occurred in 1980, it is time we start to think about what we can do to prevent this place from potential deterioration. The community has a chance to be part of this planning process and to shape the future of Freshwater Coastal area.

Are we going to have more car spaces?

A parking study is outside the scope of this project. However, in order to plan for the most efficient use of space with adequate parking, we need to consider many aspects which can contribute to such demand. Stage 1 engagement is intended for scoping and visioning of this project. We want to invite the community to look at many aspects which contribute to the future enhancement of the area. If you think parking is the most important issue, now is the time to make yourself heard. The next step forward depends on the outcome of this stage.

What could be included in the improved open spaces?

With this engagement, we want your help shaping the future of Freshwater Coastal Open Space. Stage 1 engagement is to gather the community vision for the area. The future draft Master Plan will be produced based on the outcome of this stage.

What is the timeframe?

The proposed timeline for this project is included in the Scoping document and it can also be found in this link.