Mosman mayor backs down on hydra-headed 2088 suburb name change proposal

The Mosman mayor Peter Abelson says the council will back down on the proposal for the suburb to be divided into five separate suburbs, each with different names.

Under the council plan before the NSW Geographical Names Board, what was known collectively as Mosman would have become what one commentator described as "a hydra-headed" bunch of localities.

The proposal to split the suburb into five - including creating the suburb Balmoral Beach to its east, Clifton Gardens to its south-east, and Beauty Point to the north-west - will now no longer proceed.

The mayor noted in today's letter to residents that the reversal followed "the public response" during the consultation process.

Although locals already refer to these discrete areas, all of the pricey homes currently fall under the umbrella suburb of Mosman and its 2088 postcode.

As reported in by the Mosman Daily last week, the plan has received criticism from local residents and business owners.

Local Richardson & Wrench Mosman agent Robert Simeon wrote on his Property Observer blog that "the lunatics are trying to run the asylum!"

"At the end of the day it is Mosman 2088, so I see the attempt to subdivide Mosman into five new identities is nothing more than bureaucracy gone mad," Robert Simeon said. columnist Darren Moffat noted there was a suspicion amongst locals that the plan was really a stalking horse to boost exclusivity - and therefore property prices - in Balmoral Beach by allowing it to become a stand alone suburb.

He suggested Mosman would become "a hydra-headed bunch of euphemisms such as 'Clifton Garden', 'Beauty Point', 'Mosman Bay', 'Balmoral Beach' and 'Mosman'."

"Hurrah. Proposal to split Mosman into 5 suburbs ditched. Sense has prevailed!," Jon Page, the Mosman bookseller tweeted.

The plan for Mosman name changes  are on display until November 18.

The mayor's letter to residents today said he regretted "that in my recent special occasional letter discussing the possible use of geographical names in Mosman I inadvertently provided significant misinformation."

"As described there, the intention behind the council proposal for consultation on the use of historic geographic names, such as Balmoral and Beauty Point, was to allow residents the choice whether to use the local historic name or simply Mosman as was done traditionally. 

"Today, in response to Council questioning, the Geographical Names Board advised Council that it does not allow this choice.

"If an area were renamed, residents of that area would be required to adopt that address albeit that all areas would share a 2088 postcode.

"This substantially changes the nature of the proposal and is contrary to the intentions of all councillors, who I know had no plan to force anyone to change their address.

"Not surprisingly, many residents object to being forced to change their address and indeed to a forced division of Mosman.

"If the GNB constraint had been known at the time of the Council resolution to consult about possible changes, I doubt that Council would have adopted the resolution.

"The GNB has further advised that if Council recommends against the proposal following the public consultation, the proposal will not proceed.

"Given the changed circumstances as well as the public response during the consultation process, I have prepared a Mayoral Minute for the Council meeting next Tuesday, November 12, recommending that Council advises the Geographical Names Board that Council no longer supports the proposal."

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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