Bathers’ Pavilion makeover refined

Bike racks and extra outdoor showers are part of the improved Bathers plans.Plans for the refurbishment of the North Beach Bathers’ Pavilion have been modified in response to public comments made during a month of consultation.The development application will be one of the city’s first projects to be determined by the new Joint Regional Planning Panel. The independent panels, introduced by the State Government in July, are now responsible for deciding on development proposals costing more than $10 million or community infrastructure and council developments worth more than $5 million.Restoration of the 71-year-old pavilion is expected to cost $5.9 million, with work to be completed over four stages.Four of the 11 projects awaiting assessment by the panel have been referred by Wollongong City Council. The others include a masterplan for a 158-unit retirement village on Hooka Creek Rd at Berkeley, and two research buildings proposed for the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus. The community lodged 95 submissions on the Bathers’ Pavilion proposal during extensive consultation in June and July.More than half the comments gave the plans the thumbs up, just over 20 raised negative points and the remainder raised questions about the proposal.In response to community concerns, some aspects of the plan have been revised and the development application is now on public exhibition until September 11, giving residents another opportunity to comment.Director of infrastructure and works Peter Kofod thanked residents for their earlier feedback, which influenced the amended plans.”Extra parking for the commercial side of the pavilion has been provided in the development application,” he said.”Bicycle racks and two extra open air showers are also now included in the plans.”The development application contains wheelchair access to the beach, increased security of the building and a waste servicing enclosure.”The first and second stages of the refurbishment – estimated to cost $2.9 million – would involve conservation and remedial works, structural work, replacement of the concrete floor, male and female amenities and change rooms at the northern end of the building, and upgraded lifeguard facilities.
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