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 approval.

The vision is to create a beautifully integrated mixed-use development that is inclusive, open, and innovative. It will be one that draws different people and local businesses together, with a high-end residential community to support our work and improve the amenity for the community in which we reside.

The development will include a mix of lifestyle-related functions and services that contribute to our vision of delivering a place focused on health and wellbeing the whole community can enjoy, in addition to developing approx. 58 residential apartments, and revitalised accommodation in Drummond House.

Q: What does the redevelopment mean for Royal Far West?

In the last decade we have grown ten-fold in the 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 and COVID-19. 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 from the beginning of our operations. It later 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 all the parcels of land on which we will build our new complex. 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 RFW Concept Plan has been exhibited by the Department of Planning and determination is anticipated late 2021. In 2022, we anticipate submitting a Development Application to the Northern Beaches Council.

  1. Residential sales phase – anticipated first half 2022

Market research and expressions of interest in residential property are likely to commence in 2022 with the commencement of sales to follow, subject to prior planning approval.

  1. Construction phase – anticipated second half 2022 onwards

The commencement of construction is dependent upon the relevant statutory approvals. The exact timing of the construction is therefore unknown, and it is envisaged that construction will take a couple of years.

Q: Why did you choose the architects?

We chose to partner with Glenn Murcutt 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 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 also being a Sulman prize winner amongst other recognitions. The combination of these two great designers 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 excellent, specialist consultants and Project 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 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 accommodation.
  • Establishment of new landscaped spaces and sensory garden on the ground plane with public accessibility.

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 residential 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 institutional 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?

In the short-term, 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, in accordance with the Concept Approval Instrument, that would be provisioned to comply with Council’s requirements. The parking is primarily to accommodate residents, tenants and employees, and should not be a major impost on the surrounds.

During construction, a traffic management plan is implemented with a view to minimise the impact of vehicle movements associated with construction.

Q: Has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way you do business?

Prior to COVID-19, Royal Far West had already been providing a proportion of our services (Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy and Psychology) into rural and remote regions virtually via Telecare – in fact delivering over 500 sessions per week.

COVID-19 saw us super-charge our capabilities and we’ve undertaken a major scale-up of our online services, transitioning our traditional face-to-face programs quickly for online. We are proud to say we are delivering 80% of our services during this difficult time to ensure we support as many country children and families as possible.

Q: How many apartments are proposed and how much will they cost?

Our current plans indicate we can create a residential community of approx. 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. It is too early for us to predict any pricing.

Q: When do we start selling the apartments?

Following the planning approval process the design and configuration of apartments will be confirmed. Apartment sales can commence after planning approval, anticipated in 2022.

Q: How do I register to buy an apartment?

You may complete the Contact Us form on the 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 were invited to make comment to the S75W modification of the RFW Concept Plan publicly exhibited by the Department of Planning in the second half of 2021. The proposed 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 2022, when the community will see the architectural designs and visualisations and can make further comments/feedback. At this time we can also take expressions of interest from community members interested in commercial or retail spaces, and residential property. 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.