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BEACHES

SORRENTO FORESHORE FROM FERRY TO BATHS RESTAURANT

 “Masterplan 1” has been put up on the Council website for public comments.  We think it seems to be an expensive, unattractive & inappropriate mismatch of styles & materials & doesn’t address function or respect the history of this particular area.  Listed below are the maintenance & upgrades required that we believe would future proof this area & make it more inclusive.

REPLACEMENT FENCE & LARGE INCLUSIVE BOARDWALK AREA BEHIND:

The area that includes the dilapidated timber fence & the area behind it really needs work. This fence could be replaced with a cypress pine or white closed top picket fence. Behind the new fence could be a large boardwalk (38mm wharf decking) area that goes from the Baths Restaurant boundary to the opening in the fence in one direction, & out to where the beach sand erosion is. This boardwalk would be totally inclusive & large enough for everyone to share, with a long seating bench against the fence and perhaps a higher table top bench with areas that wheelchairs could fit under looking out over the bay, also fixed stools at the end closest to the ferry facing the bay.

HALTING FURTHER BEACH EROSION BY INSTALLING LOW SEA WALL:

The erosion issue in this area needs urgent attention, with chunks of grass  attached to sand being regularly lost.  To stop the erosion there could be a low solid timber sleeper retaining wall (probs only 2-3 sleepers high) which could be incorporated into the front edge of the proposed boardwalk area.  Ideally this could be made from reclaimed wharf timber.  It could continue the rest of the way either to the end of the fence or to be level with the Rotunda. This wall would allow parents to sit & watch very small children play in the sand & on the edge of the water – apart from walkers, these are the regular users of the sandy part of this beach. The small sea wall would look great, not be too invasive, and will ensure that the erosion is halted.  Please note, there is already a small sleeper wall next to the stepped area.

PATH & SEATING:

This path definitley needs immediate work, foot traffic has worn a new path into the grassed section to avoid puddles. The rest of the paths in this area are ok until we can afford something other than exposed aggregate.  Unattractive &  uncomfortable the undersized boxy seating should be replaced with something with a more organic shape that is definitely not too modern, to offset the harsh squareness of the seawall steps – maybe even just even shaped bench seating with backs.

AMENITIES:

The existing toilets wouldn’t need to look much different from the outside, just completely gutted & refitted to include only ambulant toilets, the extra room in the ambulant toilet could suffice for changing. 

MEDIUM ROCKS AT END OF EXISTING SEA WALL/STEPS:

Medium sized limestone rocks should be placed at the end of the wall to give it a more naturally attractive junction with the sand.

GARDEN BED:

There is also a small garden bed which could be removed altogether by widening the path, or be left to naturally re-grass itself.

SORRENTO FORESHORE UNDER CYPRESS PINES

OVERVIEW OF AREA UNDER CYPRESS PINES:

 Wow, what an amazing opportunity to create something magnificent, inclusive & highly functional we have in the area between the Baths restaurant & the new amenities block.  Currently a wasteland, it is perfectly set up for a shady relaxing area for everyone to enjoy, just by adding huge boardwalks (made from 38mm thick wharf decking), seating & bench tables.  In the shade of the Cypress Pines, the transformation would be not only spectacular, but functional & totally inclusive.  These additions would not interfere with any works deemed necessary for the Cypress Pines.   Access to this area would be by changing the dodgy steps at the end of Bowen Road to a wide sweeping ramp with handrails & carrying out maintenance work on the nearby bitumen ramp.  

DERELICT TOILET BLOCK

The existing derelict toilet block could be re-purposed as a storage facility for beach wheelchairs, mats, umbrellas etc. The addition of a couple of ambulant toilets along with a bench, lockers & kitchen area would be perfect – and wouldn’t be too expensive as services should still be there.  With a large Aged Care facility planned for just over the road & another one on Melbourne Road, this area if done right would be well used year round by everyone.

VEGETATION BETWEEN CYPRESS PINES & BEACH:

This is a general depiction of the vegetation on the foreshore between the Cypress Pines & the beach. To optimise this area, some of the taller vegetation in certain areas will have to be swapped for indigenous ground cover. 

SORRENTO FORESHORE BOWEN RD TO WEBSTERS CORNER

POTENTIAL CAR PARKING AREA BETWEEN WEBSTERS CORNER (ST PAULS RD) & BOWEN RD:

Currently this area is a bit of a wasteland, the partially grassed, muddy area between Websters Corner (St Pauls Rd) and Bowen Road could be an attractive carparking area – we currently have major issues with not enough parking close to the beach. It could be a really attractive and functional area if planted with significant specimen trees and clever screening where possible. It is close enough to the shopping strip to easily walk, but the Sorrento Shuttle could also be in operation during January.

BITUMEN PATH BETWEEN WEBSTERS CORNER & BOWEN ROAD:

This very popular path has been half resurfaced & needs to be completed for both able bodied and those with mobility issue. Post & Rail is plain embarrassing.  

NARROW RESERVE ON SHOULDER BEHIND WIRE FENCE AT ROAD HEIGHT:  

The narrow garden be is overgrown and full of dead trees, dead shrubs and dead branches which should be removed and mulched.  A section of this area (before the Cypress Pines) would be absolutely ideal for our true indigineous tree – The Moonah (as pictured above).  They could be planted enmass with a clean mulched base and really showcase these magnificent trees and there twisting limbs for generations to come (and they can be uplit at night  

OUTDATED ROUND POST & RAIL FENCE ON DRIVE INTO SORRENTO

The post and rail on the drive into Sorrento looks a lot like crooked teeth, with different heights, spaces and dangerous bolts hanging out the back. There is no practical reason for the rails, if they were meant to keep the fence straight they are failing. When possible, remove all dated treated pine post and rail fences and replace with 150x150mm square cypress pine bollards spaced to prohibit cars, they dont have to be any closer than that. Materials from the fence could be repurposed for boat racking on the foreshore.

SORRENTO FORESHORE WEBSTERS CORNER PLAYGROUND

WEBSTERS CORNER PLAYGROUND:

In area near neighbors fence, scrape all vegetation and mulch or remove from site. Replace fence as it is falling over, replant with advanced and juvenile Sheoaks enmass and pinebark/mulch – no underplantings. This will give neighbouring house privacy as well as a beautiful backdrop for those using the park. No underplantings will ensure relatively low maintenance, tie in with the playground base and will give children a place to play. We also need historical signage, it makes super interesting reading. The steps to this playground need to be changed into and inclusive ramp, the compacted soil/sand in this area makes wheelchair movement in this area possible.  It would also be graeat to have a platform swing for children in wheelchairs.

WEBSTERS CORNER PLAYGROUND CARPARK:  

A relatively large part of Websters Corner carpark has a raised grassed area, this could be excavated and levelled to double the carpark in size by scraping the area from near existing bitumen path and building a retaining wall.  This space is totally wasted at the moment and  extra car spaces are desparately needed. 

BEACHES – GENERAL

BOATS, DINGHYS & CATAMARANS ON THE BEACH 

With over 100 scattered between the Baths & the SSCBC, it is an issue that takes up a lot of space.  We suggested boat racks (which is also in the Coastal Management Plan), boats to be numbered & have a rack with fees payable to the Council.  We also suggested racks be installed gratis to the SSCBC for their use.  And really, is there ever enough room on the foreshore for catamarans?

BEACH BOAT STORAGE

These are the suggested type of boat racks which are located in Camerons Bight.  Boats are numbered & have their designated space, fees would be payable to the Council.  We also suggested racks be installed gratis to the SSCBC for their use.  

 

UPDATE: This is in the Coastal Management Plan to be implemented, they are happy with the numbering system & are strongly considering the free racks for SSCBC.

WESTERN SISTER RAISED WALKWAY – SORRENTO

We have been pushing a concept to all departments, including the Council, DEWLP, Parks Victoria, State Govt & Federal Government without luck.  We proposed a timber walkway that wraps around the Sister & ends in Sullivan Bay – with full wheelchair access from the carpark.  Fingers crossed for this one. 

UPDATE:  The Western Sister Masterplan addresses the park and the car parking area only – will keep presenting the walkway and keep our fingers crossed.

 

PORTSEA SEA BATHS

The vision is to see a magnificent, unapologetic and extremely functional structure that provides all the amenity of the once beautiful beach it will be replacing – just without the sand.  We are looking for a concept that not only carefully considers the site, the environment and the Portsea we all know and love, but is able to lift the spirits of all those who visit.

The demise of the Portsea Beach since the 2009 dredging is well documented, but it’s not until you go there can you fully appreciate the complete devastation of this entire area.  It is confronting and overwhelming to see the “we give up” Sand Bags, a run of “we don’t care” orange tape temporary fencing and randomly scattered Rocks where the sandy beach used to be.  We are hoping this concept brings back hope and heralds an exciting new beginning for this amazing and visually stunning part of the world.

The image above is of the ones Bondi.  There are 35 Sea Baths in Sydney, & 100 along the east coast of NSW.  They look like they could have been built 100 years ago or yesterday.  Something like this would overcome the erosion problem & provide a great asset to Portsea, Tourists, Visitors & locals who like an icy dip.

UPDATE:  This project has gained momentum and community support, we have a well considered brief and are looking at making it become something more tangible.  

ROADS

PT NEPEAN ROAD CROSSINGS  SORRENTO

Crossing between Rusty’s & the foreshore requires nerves of steel, especially when you have children & a dog!  We have requested zebra crossings on Nepean Highway, The Esplanade & a small one over Italico service road.  They are to let people know where to cross & drivers to be aware people may be crossing. Vic Roads hasn’t got the budget for it, but our local State Member (Chris Brayne) is putting it to the Minister for Roads – fingers crossed!

UPDATE:  It is now with the Victorian  Minister for Roads & will be chased up mid 2020. 

UPDATE:  Apparently our current State Govt. can’t afford the paint & signage for this project.

PATH ON HOTHAM ROAD BETWEEN PORTSEA & SORRENTO

As there are a lot of side roads & houses that feed on to this 80km/hr road, it would benefit a huge amount of residents if a safe pedestrian walkway was made along Hotham Road between Portsea & Sorrento. 

UPDATE: We have been advised the Council is all over this with designs for a pedestrian footpath being developed in this financial year, they are also looking to reduce the speed limit.

ST JOHNS WOOD RD BLAIRGOWRIE

Add wide bike lanes to this road, the terrain on both sides of the road is already flat and graded. Currently there is a well made and well used path running the full length of St Johns Wood Rd, the Bike Lanes would complete the project and keep everyone safer.

SAFE PEDESTRIAN/TROLLEY CROSSING AT BACK OF RITCHIES IGA – SORRENTO

There is currently no way to get a trolley or even walk to & from Richies IGA without walking on the road – which is the main entry & exit to the carpark.  This is a dangerous situation.

SORRENTO SHOPS

UGLY PLANTINGS STRAIGHT FROM A CHEAP HOUSING ESTATE                 WE CAN DO BETTER

CURRENT STREET TREES

Behold, the grim & austere Sheoak – planted extensively through the Sorrento Shopping Precinct in the ’80s, along with gaudy, shapeless Bottle Brushes & a few other inappropriate shrubs.  Very recently Eucalyptus trees were planted & there are more bottlebrushes planned for the future, this is the final nail in the coffin, ensuring Sorrento will look impoverished & lacking class until they are replaced.   We also have at least one completely dead tree & several others with dead limbs.

SUGGESTED STREET TREES

Whilst still the compromise of an Australian Native Tree, the Native Magnolia Luscious is a great street tree at 7-12 metres tall with shiny green leaves.  It is Drought & Frost Tolerant.  There are also a lot of other beautiful native trees and shrubs that would enhance the street rather than detract from it.  We need a whole new planting  plan for the shopping precinct, that will ensure maximum impact for minimum dollars.

EMPTY SHOPS

Unfortunately empty shops a sign of the times, but in a resort town they should be played down.  Re-useable large format photographic images of Sorrento could be placed behind the glass shopfront, which can be rolled up for easy installation, removal and storage.  Glazed doors left clear to enable a sneak peek inside to those interested – the “for lease” sign should also be on the door.  Shopfront glass on empty shops should be cleaned prior to December.

TOWN SQUARE

Covid has changed the way we live &  we now need more open space for cafes.  George St could be closed from Morce Avenue end of Toilet Block to Ocean Beach Road to create a Town Square, with seating, tables, umbrellas & pedestrian only access.  This will give traders much needed outdoor space for takeaway dining.  With three clearly marked pedestrian crossings within metres of this road, it is very difficult to get into or out of George St without holding up traffic for kms.  It will also stop people trying to enter Ocean Beach Rd from George St which is hazardous at best.  In addition, by extending the median strip, it would create a lot of additional car spaces in Ocean Beach Road

CLASSIC BOLLARDS INSTEAD OF OVERSIZED, CHUNKY & DATED BOLLARDS

Clearly the message just isn’t getting through, SORRENTO IS CLASSICALLY BEAUTIFUL, please stop trying to modernise her for the sake of it.  Classic Bollards like those pictured above would have been perfect & would still look great years from now.  The recently installed  bollards  in Ocean Beach Rd Shopping Area already look dated and it will only worsen – did I mention that they were also ridiculously expensive & there are serious cracks in quite a few? 

WEEDS OR MORE VERY UNATTRACTIVE PLANTINGS

These unfortunate, sad looking, messy plants have been purposely planted – we’re just not sure to what end.

SPORTING FACILITIES

SORRENTO SPORTING GROUND UPGRADES

The David MacFarlan Reserve is home to the Sorrento Football & Netball Club, the Sorrento Cricket Club & the Sorrento Tennis Club, The Sorrento Bowling Club, The Sorrento Netball Club, The Sorrento Sea Scouts and the run out area for the CFA.  We are all working together to get the best outcome for everyone.

We are currently in discussions with the Council re the Masterplan & are hoping for a positive result.

SORRENTO

LARGE CYPRESS PINES NEAR THE BATHS RESTAURANT – SORRENTO  

 These iconic Sorrento landmarks are near the end of their practical life & according to reports they will have to be removed in approx 5 years, leaving a huge hole in the beach & street scape.  We need to plant new similarly significant trees, (ideally Moreton Bay Fig – Ficus Macrophylla or Cypress Pine)  when the staggered removal of the Cypress Pines begins.  This has to be sorted out well ahead of time.

BLAIRGOWRIE

SIGNAGE TO INDICATE HOW TO GET PAST BLAIRGOWRIE YACHT SQUADRON ALIVE

There should be adequate signage that shows how to get past BYS without walking on the Nepean Highway, which is dangerous. For almost 6 months of the year dogs are not permitted on the beach after 9am. So if you are at the adjoining Dog Beach and you need to get to Blairgowrie after 9am, you have to choose between a safe passage and possible fine, or the dangerous option of walking yourself and a dog on Nepean Highway. There is an alternate route which involves crossing at the Carpark lights and taking the “loop”, but its not obvious – there should be signs as you leave the Carpark and approach BYS, and also at the lights.

UPDATE:  Small signage has been put in but will it be enough?

 

BLAIRGOWRIE RESERVE BETWEEN SHOPS & NEPEAN HIGHWAY

This underutilized area could be both attractive and useful. Currently there are no public toilets in the Blairgowrie Shopping Strip, with people having to cross Nepean Highway to find public toilets on the foreshore – there should be a toilet block on this area and also a shaded picnic area. It would be great if in some areas there were fences to stop the threat of children running onto the road.

BIKE LANES & FOOTPATHS

To take pressure off our roads and keep us all safer, we urgently need to look at bike lanes and footpaths, especially on roads linking Nepean Hwy and Melbourne Road.  The paths don’t need to be expensive exposed aggregate, but rather a much cheaper solution.   Roads include Hughes Rd, St Johns Wood Road (bike lanes only), St Pauls Road and Canterbury Jetty Road.

UPDATE:  Currently discussing inexpensive footpath options, so we have a costings for a proposal.

RECENTLY COMPLETED PROJECTS

This includes projects with final decisions in place & timelines for their completion.

COPPIN RD/CONSTITUTION HILL RD INTERSECTION – SORRENTO

This notoriously dangerous intersection was worsened by recent footpath works.  After an onsite meeting with our former Mayor (David Gill), work commenced 2 days later and was completed in about 2 weeks. 

COMPLETED

CONTACT DETAILS

If you would like more information on our current projects or would like to provide suggestions for new projects, please contact us at:  susan@nepeanvoters.com       Susan Bissinger – 0414 305 566

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