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 redevelopment 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 redevelopment 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 plans are subject to planning approval.

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 will include a mix of retail/commercial lifestyle-related functions and services that contribute to our vision of delivering a place focused on health and wellbeing the whole community can enjoy. We are also planning, basement car parking, landscaped areas, 58 residential apartments, a revitalised guesthouse for our families and the community.

Q: What does the redevelopment 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 redevelopment is the key to enable us to sustainably grow our services both socially and financially to help many more country kids and families.

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 redevelopment happening?

Redevelopment 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:

  1. Community Engagement/Consultation phase – Second half 2021 and first half 2022

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. We anticipate submitting a Development Application to the Northern Beaches Council in May.

  1. Residential sales phase – anticipated second half 2022

Expressions of interest in residential property will commence following DA lodgement with sales to follow post DA approval.

  1. Construction phase – anticipated early 2023 onwards

The commencement of construction is dependent upon the relevant statutory planning approvals. The exact timing of the construction is therefore unknown but anticipated early 2023, 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 redevelopment, 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 & 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: What is happening to Royal Far West’s old head office (medical centre) on South Steyne?

As you may have seen, we have partnered with WOTSO to activate the building for use as a co-working and office accommodation space. Manly has a chronic shortage of office accommodation and we have received very popular feedback to date. If you are seeking office accommodation, please drop by and see if the WOTSO team can help you out.

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 future development proposal includes basement parking of not less than 184 car spaces, that would be 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 the 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 1–4-bedroom apartments that would cater for people in all ages and stages of life. The plans will be priced according to market demands and are subject to planning approval.

Q: When do we start selling the apartments?

Apartment sales will commence after DA approval is granted, anticipated in 2022.

Q: How do I register to buy an apartment?

You may complete the Contact Us form on this website. We will put your name on a list for Expressions of Interest, and when the sales process starts one of our agents will contact you.

Q: When does the community see what is planned?

Community members have been invited to make comment to the S75W modification of the RFW Concept Plan publicly exhibited by the Department of Planning since the second half of 2021. The approved modified Concept Plans can be found on the Department of Planning website.

The design will be refined in more detail as part of the Development Application being prepared for submission to the Northern Beaches Council in mid 2022, when the community will see the architectural designs and visualisations and can make further comments/feedback. Community members are invited to register on our website to receive notification of Community Information sessions.

Q: Will Dilapidation Reports be compiled for neighbouring buildings?

Dilapidation Reports are mandated by Council in conditions of consent and RFW will certainly be complying with consent requirements.

Q: How is the development being funded?

RFW has secured third-party funding through a formal loan to fund the redevelopment. The redevelopment 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.