Dee Why RSL Proposes 10-Storey Retirement Village Amidst Local Opposition

Dee Why RSL has submitted a planning proposal to the Northern Beaches Council, seeking a change in planning rules to construct a 10-storey retirement village to cater to the increasing demand for senior living spaces.

The development aims to address the critical need for units by downsizing seniors on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The club’s ambitious plan involves the demolition of an existing three-storey block and a former late-night pharmacy to make way for the expansive Oceangrove retirement village extension. 

Situated on the strategic corner of Pittwater Rd and Dee Why Pde, the proposed site currently exceeds the required height limits, prompting the request to elevate the permissible building height from 12 metres to 32 metres.

Dee Why RSL
Photo Credit: PEX2024/0002
Dee Why RSL
Photo Credit: PEX2024/0002

Despite the project’s potential to significantly alleviate the housing shortage for seniors, the proposal has yet to be warmly received by all community members. 

Over 30 public submissions opposing the project have been filed via PEX2024/0002. They cite concerns over increased traffic congestion, loss of views for neighbouring properties, and the encroachment on the Dee Why Kindergarten childcare centre, which is partially located on the proposed development site.

“We object to the approval of this proposal as the height of the new building is nearly 3 x the existing allowance and contrary to the WLEP and is of excessive height,” Ms Inger Ohlsson wrote. 

“The proposal is for 51 new units and will increase the density and increase traffic and noise pollution that are already terrible on the streets of Dee Why (Richmond Ave, Dee Why Pde, Avon Rd, Clarence Ave etc.) and Pittwater Road. 

“The proposal will set a precedent (overdevelopment), and we believe that additional senior housing can be achieved without changing the current WLEP.”

“The decision to live in a beach location was influenced by the desire for unobstructed views of the ocean and surrounding natural beauty. The construction of tall buildings would not only block these views but also detract from the unique character and charm that drew me to this area in the first place,” Ms Alison Cavill wrote.

“High-rise developments typically bring in more residents, leading to increased population density. This can put pressure on local infrastructure such as roads, schools, and utilities,” Mrs Marcela Spence stated.

“More residents mean greater demand for public services like garbage collection, emergency services, and recreational facilities. These services may need to be expanded to accommodate the increased population.”

Dee Why RSL
Photo Credit: PEX2024/0002

Despite the controversy, Dee Why RSL remains steadfast in its commitment to enhancing senior living options in the area. The club’s planning consultants have emphasised the significant waiting list for the Oceangrove residence, indicating a pressing need for such a development. 

The proposal is about expanding housing options and creating an age-friendly environment that promotes inclusivity and access to essential services.

The Northern Beaches Council is currently reviewing the Planning Proposal.

Published 2-April-2024

Historic Salvation Army Home in Dee Why Transforms into Luxury Wellness Spa

Dee Why is witnessing a transformation as the historic 130-year-old Pacific Lodge, a former Salvation Army hostel, is set to become the centrepiece of the new Hamptons development. 

The heritage-listed Pacific Lodge building on Fisher Rd, which dates back to 1892, will be integrated into the modern apartment complex, retaining its timeless elegance whilst catering to the changing needs of the community.

Hamptons, developed by the renowned Rose Group, promises an exquisite collection of one and two-bedroom apartments, with a limited release of rare three-bedroom apartments and finely-crafted penthouses. The development – CC2023/0372 will be situated on the scenic Fisher Road, offering captivating views of Dee Why Library, Council Chambers, the town centre, and the vast Pacific Ocean. 

According to Paul Ferrari, Head of Projects for Upstate Realty, the Pacific Lodge will play a pivotal role in the development’s design and landscaping. Working with heritage consultants, they aim to bring back the building to its former grandeur, preserving its rendered masonry, corrugated iron-hipped roof, tall chimneys, and veranda adorned with cast iron balustrades and columns.

Ferrari revealed that Rose Group had sought a particular tenant to complement the development and provide minimal disruption to the residents. As a result, the Pacific Lodge will be converted into a high-class wellness facility, featuring spa and beauty services. The building, being part of the strata, will have a single tenant, ensuring the preservation of its historic charm.

Dee Why Hamptons

The Pacific Lodge holds immense historical significance, originally built as a Salvation Army Home of Rest for officers in need of recuperation. Over the years, it transformed into a centre for the treatment of ‘inebriates’ and later served as the Pacific Lodge Aged Men’s Home. The Salvation Army eventually sold the property in 2016 for $25 million and moved its residents to new facilities in Collaroy. 

Recognising the importance of this heritage-listed building, public access to the Pacific Lodge will be maintained, allowing visitors to experience the wellness spa services. The site’s public footpath, the Dee Why Heritage Walk which is a part of the heritage listing, will also remain accessible from Fisher Road. 

Hamptons and the refurbished Pacific Lodge are scheduled for completion in early 2025, offering a seamless blend of contemporary living and historical elegance.

Published 21-July-2023

St. Luke’s Grammar School Gets the Green Light for $35M Expansion Project in Dee Why

The expansion plans of St Luke’s Grammar School, which involves building a new campus with a sports centre in Dee Why and North Curl Curl, have been approved.

The $35-million project, greenlighted on 19 April 2023 by Council, will add an additional 600 students to the new senior campus. The existing commercial site at 224 Headland Rd, North Curl Curl, and the heritage-listed site at 800 Pittwater Rd, Dee Why, will be repurposed for the project. 

The Dee Why location, currently occupied by commercial facilities like Fitness First, Officeworks and I-MED Radiology Network, will be converted into a senior school campus for Years 10 to 12, complete with a 300-seat assembly theatre, a 220-seat performing arts theatre, a 25-metre indoor swimming pool, a wellness precinct, a library, and student learning spaces. 

Its heritage elements as a former Top Dog manufacturing hall and Bonds factory will be retained, such as the curved canteen design and the exterior clock tower. 

St Luke's Grammar School
Photo Credit: Commercial Real Estate 

On the other hand, the North Curl Curl site will be transformed into a multipurpose indoor sports centre with two full-size and one half-size basketball courts, a dance and exercise space. The plans include a connection to the St Luke’s Grammar School Dee Why campus. 

St Luke's Grammar School
Photo Credit: SSD-10291/NSW Planning Portal

The development is expected to create 209 jobs and result in a capital investment value of $76,394,429. The project will be completed in three stages, with the first stage due to be completed in 2023, while the entire sports centre and senior campus are expected to be operational in late 2030/early 2031.

Northern Beaches Council and Transport for NSW are also preparing a transport management plan for this development to address concerns over the area’s traffic conditions. 

Published 27-April-2023

Club Active Opens in Dee Why, Helps the Over-50s Stay Active and Fit

Club Active, Australia’s only gym designed to welcome boomers, grandparents, and retirees, has opened in Dee Why. Programs tailored to age, fitness level, and individual pace. Medical-grade equipment. University-trained physiologists. Monthly workshops. Opportunities for socialisation. The list goes on!

Founded by exercise physiologist Jonathan Freeman, Club Active Dee Why is the eighth location. The first Club Active outlet opened in Tweed. The Dee Why facility, like all the other locations, prides itself in creating a fun environment, where seniors may also forge new friendships aside from achieving physical fitness among the variety of classes offered for the members.

​​”In Australia, 1 in 2 older Australians report feeling lonely at least once a week. It’s well known that being active, especially in a group environment, is a great way to improve mood and mental health,” according to Club Active.

“Movement brings people together!”  

Club Active
Photo Credit: Supplied

Club Active offers a safe and supportive environment tailor-fit for the needs of the older generation, to help them prioritise their fitness or exercise at their own pace and capacity. 

Members of the new gym may take advantage of the medical-grade gym equipment and consult with university-trained exercise physiologists on fitness areas where they could gain the most benefit.  

Club Active
Photo Credit: Supplieda

“We work closely with GPs and other medical professionals to develop chronic disease management plans and exercise prescriptions tailored to individual needs, many of which are covered by health rebates,” Mr Freeman said. 

There are even free monthly workshops to educate the community about chronic conditions and exercise and a variety of fundraising events. 

“The goal is for Club Active to become the world’s largest active over 50s community,” Mr Freeman added. “We’ll do this by improving people’s physical, mental and social well-being, by offering a welcoming, supportive and fun environment where people can exercise safely and at their own pace while connecting with a community of like-minded individuals.

Follow Club Active on Facebook for more updates. 

New Disability Housing, Lilly Pilly, Opens in Dee Why

Did you know that Lilly Pilly, a newly-opened purpose-built disability housing facility, has opened along McIntosh Road in Dee Why? 

The special home, developed by Good Housing, has five villas designed for people with disability to enjoy independent living. Each villa has a carefully planned open space for a bedroom, bathroom, and spacious kitchen. The villas also open up to a private outdoor space, where residents may enjoy their personal hobbies and activities. 

Residents also get to share a communal area where they can socialise with each other or welcome their guests. The facility is fully wheelchair accessible with an on-site manager and a 24-hour support staff.

Lilly Pilly
Photo Credit: Supplied
Photo Credit: Supplied

Lilly Pilly has been fitted with smart technologies, voice-activated features, and ergonomically designed furniture. 

The villas are open to tenants 18 to 64-year old individuals who have NDIS support. 

Good Housing Co-founder and Chief Innovator Sam Graiche was motivated to create a disability housing solution because of his nephew with special needs.

Good Housing Lilly Pilly
Photo Credit: Supplied

“We could see the impact on quality of life for my sister and the strain that it put on her relationship with other members of the family while caring for her son, so we thought that this was critically required and we set out on a mission to produce something better than what we could find in the market,” Mr Graiche said. 

With Lilly Pilly now established, Good Housing has further plans to build similar disability housing solutions in Australia within the next five years. The hope is that these NDIS registered disability accommodations will radically improve the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of residents.

Now You’re Chalking: Dad Draws Chalk Art to Amuse Toddler, Ends Up Impressing Dee Why

Sometime during the long lockdowns in mid-2021, Dee Why began to be treated to the chalk artwork of James Maltman, the creative person behind ‘Now Your Chalking.’ James initially drew interesting figures on the boring grey walls and streets outside his unit block to amuse his toddler.

But James also impressed several passersby in his neighbourhood, who enjoyed his creative doodles. This encouraged him to create more chalk artworks around the community and document everything on his Now You’re Chalking Instagram and Facebook accounts, where his followers have grown after a few months.   

The young dad of two decided to do chalk art so he and his toddler, Freddy, could get outside of the house whilst his wife and newborn napped. The worthwhile activity not only bonded father and eldest son together but some of his Dee Why neighbours even ask him to draw their favourite characters. 

The community also did chalk hunts to see where James has done his latest piece.

He also got to collaborate with another local artist for a mural with a distinctive Australian theme for New Year’s.

However, James and his family moved to Kellyville in late January 2022 for his job with a liquor retailer. He still keeps at it with his chalk art movement in The Hills Shire, where he plans to participate in street festival events.

James’ chalk artworks are often washed away when it rains or when the street cleaners do their jobs but heaps of his creations have actually been holding up in Dee Why, where people have been missing his new drawings.

They continue to follow his work on his social media pages.

Across Australia, chalk drawings and messages on the streets have given locals much joy amidst the pandemic stress. In some communities, kids draw chalk artworks together whilst getting a healthy dose of vitamin D outdoors and a mental health boost as they connect with other people without breaching social distancing rules.

Public health expert Lisa Gibbs of the University of Melbourne chalk artworks serve as a coping mechanism during the lockdowns and contribute to the neighbourhood’s beautification. Some of the adults say that creating chalk art is cathartic, beautiful, empowering and joyful — a positive experience all over.

Dee Why Property Market Shows Rapid Turnover, Remarkable 35% Growth

Dee Why, deemed ‘not so desirable’ less than ten years ago, is now in high demand, with the median house price growing more than 35 per cent and properties spending less than a month on market.

Dee Why Highlights

  • Dee Why’s median house price is now at $2,508,000 for the period October 2020 to September 2021, up 35.75 per cent from the previous period.
  • The unit market, which comprises more than half of the property stocks, also grew by 9.08 percent with the median price settling at $895,000.
  • Dee Why has the conveniences of cosmopolitan living and the beachside lifestyle, making it very attractive to numerous investors. 

House Price Growth

From October 2020 to September 2021, Dee Why has enjoyed a reputation as one of the best performing housing markets in the Northern Beaches with an outstanding 35.75 per cent median house price growth. 

The uptick has placed the median house price at $2,508,000, up from $1,847,000 in the previous year, per figures from Property Market Updates. 

There were 69 houses sold for this period with an average of 29 days on market. Three-bedroom houses were most coveted but four and five-bedroom homes were also in high demand. 

Dee Why median house price
Photo Credit: Property Market Updates

Dee Why is riding on the wave of increasing demand for houses in the Northern Beaches, which saw no house price falls during the pandemic. Investors have been flocking to the beachside due to its high liveability factor. 

Whilst Dee Why might not be the most glamorous coastal location in Sydney, it remains very affordable for many buyers who opt to settle longer, some permanently, in the comforts of its enviable lifestyle. 

Unit Price Growth

The unit market in Dee Why delivered a decent capital growth for buyers who were priced out of the top markets for this same period. 

With Dee Why’s median house price jumping by nearly 40 per cent, unit buyers are also enthusiastically joining the market. The current median unit price is at $895,000.

Dee Why median unit price
Photo Credit: Property Market Updates

This trend triggered a jump of 9.08 per cent with a whopping 640 units sold within an average of just 23 days on  market, per figures from Property Market Updates. Coveted apartments are also selling faster than houses within this 12-month period as the market turns a corner post-pandemic.  

Industry insiders said that units transactions are quicker as Sydney’s rental market improves. Despite the disruption during the pandemic, investors are slowly coming back, finding the right tenants (e.g. professionals), and cashing in on their investments. 

In fact, more than half of the unit transactions closed in Dee Why from October 2020 to September 2021 were for two-bedroom units from single or working couples with a small family. 

About Dee Why

Dee Why offers coastal living at its best with the village on one side and the lovely beach on the other side. This suburb offers all the conveniences with a high walkability factor. It has major supermarkets, commercial and retail spaces, schools, childcare and medical centres, transport connections, cafes and restaurants, a serene native bush and rain forest environment, and the beach and ocean pool all within walking distance. 

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Once dubbed as a ‘dodgy’ location, Dee Why has developed as cosmopolitan locale next to the beach, thanks to an award-winning Dee Why Town Centre Master Plan. People from all walks of life are attracted to Dee Why’s surfside vibe, with large, contemporary houses nestled alongside low-cost apartment units.    

More than a third of dwellings in this suburb are apartments from low-level to high-level boutique developments. Here, there are no shortage of apartments and less than 50 per cent of Dee Why’s dwellings are rented units. Closer to the water, however, are the older-style homes with some contemporary rebuilds.

“Dee why is beautiful, you will fall in love with the beach at first sight. It is an affordable gem of Northern Beaches while still having high property values and being in constant demand due to the beach lifestyle it offers. It is also only 30-50 mins from the heart of the CBD, yet it feels like a holiday getaway. Highly recommend to all that want affordable, close to city, safe, family-friendly areas with a beach slice of paradise right at their doorstep!”


“I lived here in previous years and moved back a year & a half ago. It has affordable beach location apartments which are predominantly popular with young families & professionals & everyone in between. It’s a beautiful area on the beachside when you get to the front there are restaurants & bars, now the area has been redeveloped towards Pittwater roadside I can see that the area will continue to improve. It’s only half an hour on the express bus to the city before 7 am and circa 45-50 min after this time.”


“Very happy with my business being on location in the area. I find that it’s rather quiet, and it’s nice to be near the sea. There are just the right amount of shops nearby and I reckon that the residential options here are sufficient if you’re single or if you’re a family or if you’re a pensioner. You should be able to find something that suits your taste here and in your budget too.”


Dee Why Priest Welcomes Church Reopening For Unvaccinated

Churches have been given the freedom to open for services for both vaccinated and unvaccinated once Sydney reaches 80 percent of the target vaccination numbers. Father Stephen Salmon of St John’s Anglican Church in Dee Why hailed the decision but affirmed that efforts to protect the unvaccinated in the congregation will continue.

Speaking in the radio show 2B, Father Stephens said that “practicing religion is a basic human right” and he is glad that the state has accorded extra freedom to religious institutions to open its doors to all worshippers regardless of their vaccination status.

The priest said that whilst congregating in churches may increase vulnerability to virus transmissions, he strongly believes that those who come to pray at St John’s Anglican Church will do their best to care and be mindful of others.

Father Stephens estimates that there will be few unvaccinated members in their congregation as St John’s supports the country’s vaccination efforts. He said that hasn’t come across any anti-vaxxers but he’s aware of vaccine-hesitant individuals who may have mental anxieties about the pandemic who seek comfort in worship. 

“They come to churches, we make them welcome. We’ll be doing as much as we can to follow the rules like masks, distancing, and the rest of it to make sure they particularly are protected.”

Former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the state recognises places of worship as essential services not recreational sites, hence its reopening is part of Stage 2 of the Roadmap to Recovery on 25 October. Under the directive, all Sydney churches should still observe masking indoors and the four square metre social distancing rule, whether the member is fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or unvaccinated. 

Photo Credit: Paul Toole MP/Facebook

Churches, however, won’t be required to check the vaccination status of those who come to hear the services. Church officials, on the other hand, will understand if the vulnerable or the unvaccinated would prefer to remain at home and hear the services via live streaming. 

By 1 December, Stage 3 of the reopening plan will allow churches to adopt a two square metre social distancing rule. At this point, the state government estimates that 90 percent of the population should be fully vaccinated. 

Dee Why Woman Reaping Benefits of New Cancer Drugs

A Dee Why local with stage four ovarian cancer has been reaping the benefits of new cancer drugs that could improve her survival rate.

Michelle Cole, the 52-year-old bus driver, has been seeing oncologist Dr Antonia Pearson at the Northern Beaches Hospital, who put her on Bevacizumab and PARP inhibitor on the very first day the Australian government made these treatments available via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). 

Bevacizumab is a “tumour-starving drug” known by the brand name Avastin. The patient is also taking Caelyx, a life-prolonging chemotherapy medication. 

Photo Credit: Northern Beaches Hospital/Google Maps

Dr Pearson said that these new cancer drugs, which have been on the market since late 2020, are helping Ms Cole live a more normal life despite her advanced condition. Since being on the treatment, the Dee Why local, who is married to Kym Weekes, could still continue driving her bus routes for at least two hours or do the things she loves, like watching the games at the Beacon Hill Football Club where she used to play.

Ms Cole learned of her cancer in 2015 received treatment at the Manly Hospital. However, after a period of remission, her cancer came back in 2019 and it has spread to other parts of her body.

According to Dr Pearson, ovarian cancer is one of the trickiest diseases to diagnose since the symptoms are common to most women, such as bloating, abdominal discomforts, and always feeling tired. However, these new therapies are extending the life of the patients, especially if they regularly work with their oncologist. 

Both doctor and patient recommend that women should get tested for tumour markers earlier for better chances of prolonging their life. 

New Council Proposal Calls for Single Lane Road Along Seafront

A proposal has been put in motion calling for the widening of the Dee Why seafront footpath to reduce traffic to a single lane. The Northern Beaches Council is inviting the local community to attend their information sessions and provide feedback about the project.

The proposed widening of the foot path, which spans the 220-metre seaside strip, will make space for a two-way bike path as well as additional public seating. With the new changes in mind, the Dee Why Beach car park will only be accessible through the seafront road. 

Photo credit: Northern Beaches Council

The seafront also has the potential to become much safer. The implementation of a 30km per hour speed limit between Oaks Ave and Dee Why Pde, in tandem with a single lane road, could reduce the odds of traffic accidents occurring significantly. To accommodate road modifications, bus services from the Strand to Clyde Rd between Howard Ave and Oaks Ave will be re-routed.

Photo credit: Northern Beaches Council

These changes are currently under consideration, and the Northern Beaches Council proposes they trial the single lane seafront road over the span of six months from July to December. It will be funded entirely by the NSW Government’s Streets and Shared Spaces Program. 

To guarantee public satisfaction with the proposal, the Dee Why community is invited to attend information sessions to ask questions and learn more about the planned changes. These sessions will be held at Dee Why Surf Club at the Strand on the following dates:

  • Thursday, April 8. 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 10. 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 15. 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 22. 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Bookings will be mandatory, and those interested in registering can visit their website. Those interested in providing feedback or giving voice to their concerns can also leave comment forms via the same link. Comments are set to close on Monday, the 26th of April. 

Should the proposal’s trial pull through, it will be implemented in the latter half of 2021, starting July and ending in December.