December 10, 2010

Watsons Bay – First Village

It was really great to have over thirty people attend the meeting at the Vaucluse Yacht Club on Monday night and to have so many thoughtful contributions. Thank you for your participation and show of support. We are all fortunate to have in our community such a rich blend of experience, enthusiasm and talent. 

While the meeting was precipitated by our grave concerns with particular instances of over- development, the view was also strongly expressed that to gain traction with Woollahra Council we must approach this matter strategically. We need to develop a broad community platform to buttress the already well-articulated Development Control Plan of Council and enable us to project our objectives in a clear and determined, yet positive manner.

It was therefore proposed that we develop a ‘business plan’ that will:
state clearly what it is we seek to protect and preserve
define the often intangible nature of what needs to be protected not only for current
residents but for the broader community and future generations
provide the basic framework for the tactical initiatives to be undertaken to achieve our ends. 

Some of the issues raised that we will consider in framing a business plan are:

  1. Creating greater awareness of Camp Cove/Watsons Bay as an historical area – with the aim of making preservation of the area a Sydney-wide concern.
  2. Enhancing understanding of the unique and fragile nature of the environment – to preserve the village feel of the community with its supportive open spaces.
  3. Engaging with Council in a positive manner, drawing on our knowledge of the area and suggesting enhancements that provide an historical interpretation of the area, including signage and other supportive material.
  4. Getting to know councillors for the ward – and their voting records on major development proposals.
  5. Supporting Councillors who are passionate about the area
  6. Exploring some form of association with the Vaucluse Progress Association and any other community groups to provide greater leverage to our specific objectives for Watsons Bay
  7. Creating several sub-committees to focus on historical promotion and interpretation,as well as development and planning.