Surf club redevelopment up for discussion

THE Sawtell Surf Life Saving Club is one step away from receiving a multi-million-dollar makeover.

A development application to restore and expand the club will be considered at tomorrow’s Coffs Harbour City Council meeting.

Built by the community 35 years ago, the current structure is struggling to meet the club’s needs and limits club growth.

A sticking point will be height restrictions, as plans put the redevelopment at 10.14 metres above ground level – 1.64 metres above accepted levels.

Clause 4.6 of the council’s Local Environmental Plan 2013, however, allows for a degree of flexibility, and a council assessment of the proposal has considered the variation as “reasonable”.

SLSC committee member Garry Murray is one of many pioneers of the proposal, and remained confident approval would be granted.

“The main idea is to really bring the surf club into the 21st century,” he said.

“We’ve been looking at several compliance requirements and maintenance issues, so this is an opportunity to think about a more substantial upgrade, given the building has been there since the 1980s.”

The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.5-$2million dollars, and includes an expansion of the club’s cafe, renovations to change rooms and the function room, and a new entry.

The paved seating area would also be modified to facilitate outdoor dining, and outdoor showers are proposed for the southern side of the beach access.

Vice-president Sheena McTackett said the redevelopment would accommodate growth for the club, which has 400 members, and would “create a public building the community can be proud of”.

David Barwell |Coffs Coast Advocate | 26th August 2015