Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why has Royal Far West chosen not to sell its site and remain in Manly?
We are deeply connected to Manly and have been on our site for nearly 100 years, providing a seaside place for recovery of country kids and their families.
We are not selling our land to a developer for a profit, but rather repositioning our landholdings to ensure the longevity and sustainability of our organisation and specialist paediatric health care services.
Our vision in this development of our land is to secure the future of RFW services for thousands of rural children while at the same time, find ways for the Manly community to enjoy our site and services, and to give back to the community that is our home.
Q: What are your plans for the development of the existing site?
To meet the growing demand for our services, we are rejuvenating the site to create proceeds that will allow us to deliver a new standard of healthcare for country kids and their families.
The vision is to create a beautifully integrated mixed-use development that is inclusive, open, and innovative. It will be one that draws people and local businesses together, with a residential community to support our work and improve the amenity for the community in which we reside.
The development includes a mix of retail/commercial lifestyle-related functions and services that contribute to our vision of delivering a place that the whole community can enjoy. The development also includes basement car parking, landscaped areas, 58 residential apartments and a revitalised guesthouse for our families and the community.
Q: What does the development mean for Royal Far West?
In the last decade we have grown ten-fold in the number of children and families we have supported and in the next decade we’ll have at least the same challenge again, with the impact of chronic drought, bushfires, COVID-19 and now flooding. The development is the key to enable us to sustainably grow our services both socially and financially to help many more country kids and families.
Q: How will the development impact children and families accessing services from RFW?
County kids are RFW’s top priority and they will continue to receive care throughout the development – either at our Centre for Country Kids (CCK) in Manly which supports around 600 kids each year (behind beachfront buildings on Wentworth St), via telecare which is also delivered from the CCK (where we deliver speech, psychology and occupational therapy to 1300 + children each year in NSW, QLD and WA), or through our community outreach programs (such as our Bushfire Recovery Program which has supported over 3,000 kids in 35 communities across NSW).
Q: Who owns the land?
RFW’s land located on Manly’s South Steyne has been gifted to us, earnt or purchased over decades in the interests of rural children and is land we own as freehold title. RFW will continue to own and manage our land holdings, and the apartments will be sold on a 99-year leasehold basis.
A public school was established on this site right early on in our operations. It became known as the Royal Far West School, to cater specially to children who required extended stays at what was formerly known as the Far West Children’s Health Scheme. In December 2018 the school was integrated into the new Centre for Country Kids (CCK) building on Wentworth Street.
Royal Far West owns the land on which we propose to build our new neighbourhood. The judicious management of volunteers and leaders of the charity over the years has made possible this valuable legacy for country children and families across Australia.
Q: When is the development happening?
Development is subject to approvals and the exact timing of various milestones can vary, however, the following timeline indicates the planning scenario we are working towards:
- Community Engagement/Consultation phase – 2021 and 2022
A number of community information sessions were held, along with face-to-face meetings with neighbouring residents, to listen to any community comments. The S75W modification of the Part 3A Concept Plan was exhibited by the Department of Planning mid-2021, with submissions from the public received and responded to. Determination of the S75W modification was granted on 20 April 2022. A Development Application, submitted to the Northern Beaches Council in July, was approved in December 2022.
- Residential sales phase – June 2023 onwards
Anyone interested in purchasing an apartment is welcome to complete the Contact Us form on this website and the agents will contact you to invite you to the Marketing Suite for an appointment to learn more about the opportunity.
- Construction phase – anticipated early 2024 onwards
The exact timing of the construction is unknown but anticipated in early 2024, and it is estimated that construction will take a couple of years.
Q: Why did you choose the architects?
We chose to partner with Glenn Murcutt AO and Angelo Candalepas because they are highly respected and awarded architects with an acute sensitivity and respect for the environment, deep understanding of the Manly area, and an innate understanding of what it means to create great places.
Glenn Murcutt AO is an internationally recognised designer and an architect. He is the only Australian Pritzker Prize winning architect (often referred to as architecture’s Nobel Prize). Glenn has a strong affinity to Manly having grown up in Clontarf and is an alumnus of the former Manly Boys High School. This strongly held local connection fortifies Glenn’s great understanding of Manly, its unique micro-climate and the community’s expectations. Angelo Candelapas is a highly awarded architect, having been honoured as a Sulman Award winner, amongst other recognitions. The combination of these two great designers, who greatly honour RFW’s work, will ensure a unique and compelling outcome for the RFW redevelopment.
Q: Who is the developer?
Royal Far West (RFW) is developing this project directly, supported by a team of specialist consultants and Development Managers. We believe that creating a new development that connects with and contributes to our local community as well as our client families, is of paramount importance. Since 1924 we have worked closely with the Manly community and will continue to do so into the future.
Q: What is the change to the site and will anything be demolished?
The second stage of our development, following the construction of the Centre for Country Kids building, proposes the following:
Demolition of Royal Far West School and the former Medical Centre (now WOTSO) building for the creation of mixed-use residential and commercial buildings and a new open public forecourt providing ground floor activation to Wentworth Street and South Steyne.
Refurbishment of Drummond House into upgraded guesthouse accommodation.
Establishment of new landscaped spaces on the ground plane with public accessibility.
Two levels of carparking for retail/commercial tenants, residential occupants and RFW.
Q: What is happening to Drummond House?
Drummond House has and will continue to be used to accommodate Royal Far West families who travel to Manly from remote areas of Australia for paediatric health care.
Drummond House is a critical part of the future campus masterplan. We plan to completely revitalise the concept of the “country guesthouse” by renovating our original 1935 guest house accommodation, to provide a state-of-the-art amenity for our clients and visitors to Manly. The proposal is to retain and renovate the front wing of Drummond House, which faces Wentworth Street. The external building fabric and facade will be retained. The rear wings will be demolished to make way for new wings and an internal courtyard to continue the important charitable care-giving role of Drummond House and the associated facilities for RFW.
Q: Will there be a hotel on the site?
No. There is no intention to develop a hotel in the RFW redevelopment.
Q: What will be the impact upon traffic and parking within the town centre?
Residential accommodation typically has less impact than other building types. Our proposed future development has onsite parking designed within the development to avoid placing any parking burden on Manly.
The approved development proposal includes basement parking spaces that have been provisioned to comply with Council’s requirements. The parking is primarily to accommodate residents, tenants and employees.
During construction, a traffic management plan will be implemented. We will consider, noise, dust, traffic and disruption to neighbours and the community.
Q: Has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way you do business?
Prior to COVID-19, Royal Far West was trailblazing with its innovative, technology-assisted therapies and services (Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy and Psychology) into rural and remote regions virtually via Telecare for Kids – delivering up to 1000 virtual sessions each week.
COVID-19 saw us super-charge our capabilities and we’ve undertaken a major scale-up of our online services, transitioning most of our traditional face-to-face programs quickly for online. We are proud to say we have been delivering 80%+ of our services during this difficult time to ensure we support as many country children and families and isolated health providers as possible.
COVID-19 has changed the ease with which families have been able to travel reliably. In adapting to that challenge, RFW has extended our community services and support direct into local communities, by offering a greater number of mobile services in situ in community. This has meant that fewer families have had to travel to Manly under duress and have been able to receive care very close to home. This is not possible in all circumstances but where we have been able to adapt our services to support families locally, we have done so with enthusiasm. We will continue to adapt to the needs of communities as challenges arise.
Q: How many apartments are proposed and how much will they cost?
Our current plans indicate we can create a residential community of 58 apartments, ranging in size, with a mix of 1–3-bedroom apartments that would cater for people in all ages and stages of life. The plans will be priced according to market demands.
Q: When do we start selling the apartments?
Apartment sales have commenced. Interested parties are invited to use the Contact Us form on this website to schedule an appointment with our Agents and learn more about the opportunity.
Q: When does the community see what is planned?
The approved Development Application can be found on the Northern Beaches Council website.
Community members can also see architectural visualisations of the residential apartments and public domain on the Aurora website.
Q: Will Dilapidation Reports be compiled for neighbouring buildings?
Yes. RFW will compile Dilapidation Reports for surrounding properties in accordance with the development consent.
Q: How is the development being funded?
RFW has secured third-party funding through a formal loan to fund the development. The development funding is completely separate from the RFW operations that fund the charitable services we offer to country children and families. RFW still relies heavily on the generosity of individuals, businesses, philanthropists and government to provide our essential services.