But temporary furniture for ‘daggy’ Corso approved

Adecision to revamp the Manly CBD and implement a trial of 10pm to 6am trading for hospitality and retail venues has been deferred by council.

Council voted unanimously at its meeting on 25 June to defer a decision on My Place: Manly which would increase outdoor dining, see more green spaces and diversify entertainment in the CBD, long slated for an upgrade to revitalise the popular sea-side district.

Councillor Candy Bingham proposed the deferral, seconded by deputy mayor Georgia Ryburn, and said that this would allow for extra consultation with the Manly Business Chamber and other representatives.

“There are certain things that we really want to work on and I don’t believe it’s there yet,” said councillor Bingham. “As it is a 10- to 15-year vision, it’s essential that we spend the time to get it right.”

Cr Bingham said it was a good decision to defer until the 30 July meeting, as council staff had spent a lot of time on the project, which involved numerous consultants.

“So giving us another month to talk with the chamber and other representatives will ensure that we can get what we really feel should be in there,” Cr Bingham said. “The Corso’s in desperate need of refreshment. Quite frankly, it’s looking very daggy.”

Plans to boost the night-time economy include trials of late-night trading, including licensed premises, and over half of submissions on My Place supported extended hours from 10pm to 6am. NSW laws allow licensed venues to trade until midnight, unless they obtain an extended trading licence.

Cr Bingham agreed that restaurants and retail premises should open later for convenience, but not pubs.

“You’ve seen what happens in the East Esplanade,” she said. “Manly just becomes a public urinal, and we really want to discourage that.”

Cr Bingham also proposed installing some temporary furniture on the Corso in time for summer so people could sit and eat their takeaway food.

“It will be temporary, but freshen up that end of the Corso,” she said.

Design options for the temporary furniture will be prepared in consultation with Manly Ward councillors with installation completed before the end of the year.

The My Place proposal will be discussed at council on 30 July.