The Southern Regional Planning Panel has approved Eurobodalla Council’s development application for the Batemans Bay Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre.
Mayor Liz Innes said the construction tender would now proceed, possibly as early as next week.
“This is such an exciting decision and something positive and hopeful for our community after the bushfires and now the pandemic. It gives us certainty in uncertain times and I’m very pleased,” Cr Innes said.
The three-member panel unanimously approved the development application on Thursday. Lodged by Council in October, bushfires then COVID-19 delayed the outcome. The NSW Government appointed its independent panel to determine the application because Council is the owner and the value of the development exceeded $30M.
The new facility will replace the existing 50-metre outdoor pool at Mackay Park with an indoor multi-pool aquatic centre and a 350-seat performance space, joined by gallery walk that will also house visitor information. The community had an opportunity to provide feedback on three different concept layouts in early 2019.
Mayor Innes said the way is now clear for the construction tender to be released.
“We shortlisted building companies last year to tender for the work as soon as the DA was approved, so we’re ready to go,” she said.
“We hope to see a preferred builder recommended to Council in late June or early July.
“Subject to that process, demolition of the 50-metre pool and mini golf should start in August, and by early 2022 we’ll be swimming in our new pools and enjoying performances in the arts centre.”
The Council secured $51M in NSW and Australian government funding for the project in 2017. Plans were developed by NBRS Architecture in collaboration with a project steering committee and user groups, and taking community feedback into account.
“The project steering committee and the user groups deserve huge praise,” the Mayor said.
“It’s been a long journey for all of them. Now a centre that everyone in the community can enjoy year round is a step closer to reality.”
Plans, project information and a virtual tour can be viewed on Council’s website at www.esc.nsw.gov.au/mackaypark