October 22- 28, 2023: Issue 602


royal motor yacht club broken bay's 10 million entertainment upgrade needs finessing newport residents state

RMYC in January 2023 showing the lift shaft atop the right hand side of the building
The Royal Motor Yacht Club on Pittwater has submitted a proposed 10+ million dollars upgrade of its downstairs pool and forecourt area which is largely supported by residents.

However, there have been calls to take this as an opportunity to remove the old lift shaft, which exceeds the height limit, and help the council invest in a footpath outside the perimeter of the club as the upgrade is clearly aimed at increasing the capacity of the club to host visitors and problems already exist during the peak Summer periods, or for other events, with cars being parked on the council reserve, forcing pedestrians onto a dangerous section of road.

As part of this new development the RMYC will be installing a new lift closer to the main entrance of the club.

" So why not install two new lifts – new technology would then enable the existing 4 meter non-compliant one to be removed – beautifying Pittwater for all." one resident said to Pittwater Online News 

Ongoing illegal parking continues to occur in the summer months along Prince Alfred Parade. This usually occurs when a high number of boating members are using their vessels and parking in the lower carpark, use of the swimming pool is at a premium, and this easily fills the upper carpark. In addition people are using the café and bars, adding to the parking problems. 

In the majority of cases those attending the club and unable to park will then illegally park on the council strip on the western (but sometime also on the eastern) side of the road. 

In so doing, these illegally parked cars then force pedestrians to walk on the road. 

"This is extremely dangerous around the high-speed sweeping bend between 30 and 40 Prince Alfred Parade and also near the blind crest of the hill between 10 and 20 Prince Alfred Parade.

These illegally parked cars also make it extremely difficult and hazardous for residents to enter and exit their driveways.

We (residents of Prince Alfred Parade) have written on numerous occasions to Northern Beaches Council, Northern Beaches Councillors, State and Federal MPs requesting action and to minimise the likelihood of a pedestrian accident occurring. The ideal solution would be the installation of a footpath and a continuous 90° hard curb between 2 and 46 Prince Alfred Parade, thus eliminating the option to illegally park. Maybe this is something the RMYC could consider funding as good neighbours and in the spirit of giving back to the community?" another Newport resident said

Another states their experience has been, "I walk from my home with my neighbour and our dogs daily. There are many other pedestrians on this stretch of road between the two yacht clubs doing the same. I have written to council before about our urgent need for a footpath in this area. The current situation is already completely dangerous, so my concerns for the RMYC development will add a further detrimental impact on safety of a growing club in an area in desperate need of improvement."

However the proposal 'Plan of Management' document states a total of 290 car parking spaces are provided on the site and Traffic control and club buses will be provided during peak periods to ensure that all attendees arrive and exit the premises in a safe, quick and quiet manner, as follows: Vehicles will be directed to available spaces; and Additional Carparking will be made available at other locations with a shuttle bus provided. 

''This has been implemented and successful on certain events days at the club.'' the proponents' agents state

The drawings indicate that part of the proposed development has a maximum height of 12.5m to the upper most point of the building, being the lift shaft and associated overrun, and is therefore non-compliant. The noncompliance is approximately 4m or 47%. 

In seeking permission for this height breach, to provide an accessible connection between the older parts of the club and the proposed extension, the proposal cites the main roof of the lift of a 1990s extensions along with the overrun of the 1960s club building are both higher than the current LEP height limit and are already in place, stating as such compliance with a development standard is unreasonable or unnecessary, referencing the Clause 4.6 of PLEP 2014, as so many agents have for proponents.

No other part of the new proposed development will exceed the 8.5m LEP height limit. 

The proposal is for Construction of a two-storey extension to the west of the existing clubhouse to provide dining and social facilities for members - this will be on the site and footprint of the existing forecourt area and have a ground floor, second floor and rooftop dining. 

Current forecourt  building downstairs

Artists impression of proposed new development

Connecting the existing three storey structure with the proposed new one will increase the Ground floor gross floor area from 1417m² to 1476m², the First floor from 864m² to 1535m² and the Second floor 710m²  to 753m² while the Third floor will remain the same, 113m². Overall the gross floor area will increase from 3104m² to 3877m² with this design without attempting to install something that is overbearing on the landscape and sight view from the estuary, and will provide another great water views restaurant and wedding venue that will easily surpass that currently available at teh club.

The club also lists Internal refurbishment to improve amenity and upgrade member services, the provision of improved accessibility and fire safety compliance to existing parts of the building and to upgrade sustainability performance of the new and upgraded building will form part of the works, including the installation of solar panels to the existing roof deck.

The council's assessment team has also found the proposal needs finessing.

As the majority of the land based property is identified as scenic protection category 1 under the PDCP, which states that built form shall be secondary to the landscape, tree canopy shall be maintained and enhanced, minimise visual impact on the natural environment, and canopy trees are required between dwellings and boundaries facing waterways. 

Significant change is proposed to the existing condition, albeit the footprint remains relatively the same. It is suggested tree planting be incorporated into the proposal, to the west of the proposed club additions, which will help soften the visual bulk and dominance on the new works when compared to the existing. The proposal, as is, and without this response to the requirement, is unsupported.

The proposal is not supported with regard to landscape issues either.

Council’s Landscape Referral staff have assessed the proposal against Pittwater Local Environment Plan zone B7 Business Park and the following Pittwater 21 DCP controls (but not limited to):

  • B4.22 Preservation of Trees and Bushland Vegetation
  • C2.1 Landscaping
  • D10 Newport Locality

The plans show demolition and new works in close proximity to existing trees. These works include walling/fencing, the refurbishment of the pool terrace, and the construction of the new service and fire egress pathway. Northern Beaches Council's Development Application Lodgement Requirements outlines that any works within 5 metres of existing trees requires the submission of an Arboricultural Impact Assessment. 

An Arboricultural Impact Assessment, prepared by an Arborist with minimum AQF Level 5 in arboriculture, is required to determine the existing trees significance, what impact the proposed works will have to existing trees and the appropriate tree protection measures, and that it shall be noted that the property is identified as Pittwater Spotted Gum Forest EEC.

Landscape referral will continue their assessment upon receipt of an Arboricultural Impact Assessment that identifies all trees in the vicinity of the works.