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Background

Council purchased the former Batemans Bay Bowling Club site on 29 April 2016 and took ownership in July 2016.

During May and June 2016, Council undertook a community consultation process to enable community members interested in the future use of the precinct to share their ideas with us.

Taking on board community input, Council developed the following preferred development outcomes for the precinct:

  • new aquatic and recreation centre
  • arts and cultural facility
  • conference and event space
  • tourist accommodation
  • residential accommodation
  • restaurant and cafes
  • gateway visitor centre, and
  • the integration of existing sporting fields into the future development of the precinct.

This process also invited preliminary expressions of interest from experienced developers and interested parties to partner with Council to prepare a masterplan and redevelop the precinct. The precinct includes the former Club site, swimming pool and Mackay Park sporting fields.

Following the expression of interest process, Council resolved on 12 July 2016 to:

  • conduct an open day at the Bowling Club (held on Saturday,16 July 2016)
  • proceed with the establishment of a Sunset Committee for the Batemans Bay Mackay Park precinct
  • call for submissions for the interim short term use of the building and site.

At the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on 22 November 2016, Council resolved to:

  • prepare formal project proposal documents, in accordance with the Office of Local Government Guidelines on Public Private Partnerships (PPP), for the redevelopment of the Batemans Bay Mackay Park precinct to commence
  • proceed with preparation of concept plan and business case documents for the preferred mix of development outcomes, including an aquatic strategy to guide aquatic centre development in the context of Eurobodalla Shire aquatic centres, and a background document outlining what an arts and cultural facility for the broader precinct could include, also in the context of arts and cultural facilities throughout Eurobodalla Shire
  • obtain an estimated costing for the demolition of the Club building, including the costing of establishing a temporary car parking facility on the resultant greenfield site.

Following this resolution, we commenced the preparation of concept plan and business case documents by calling for quotations to undertake this work. Quotations were sought in December 2016/January 2017 and the Otium Planning Group were appointed.

Sunset Committee

During August 2016 we called for expressions of interest from individuals involved in community or business groups to participate in a Sunset Committee for the Batemans Bay Mackay Park precinct.

Site Inspection Report – Aquatic Facilities Audit Eurobodalla

Brown Smart Consulting was engaged to review Council’s three public swimming pools to determine the actions required to sustain the pools. Brown Consulting produced the attached Site Inspection Report July 2014.

Interim short term use

Council called for submissions from community members and groups who are interested in the interim short term use of the former bowling club building and site. Submissions for interim short term use of the building and site received during the previous EOI process were considered in this process.

Submissions outlining the proposed use, the location of the proposed use within the building or site and the intended period of use closed on 24 August 2016.

On 13 June 2017, Council considered a report on the interim short term use of the former Bowling Club building and site.

The report provided information and costings of various options and advised that a future report would be presented to Council at a later date. In accordance with the recommendations of the report, no final decision about the interim short term use has been made at this time. However, Council did resolve to proceed with the disposal of items, other than chattels of everyday use (eg. tables, chairs, cutlery, etc.) to interested persons.

Future use

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) approached Council early this year to commence negotiations about the temporary lease of the former bowling club site. They require the site for a works compound during construction of the new Batemans Bay bridge. Meanwhile, Council is preparing a Request for Expressions of Interest from developers to redevelop the former bowling club site.

Preferred options for the site were determined with input from the community in 2016 and include conference and event facilities, restaurants and cafes, tourism accommodation and/or residential accommodation.

The RMS lease is no impediment to this. In fact, the timing works well and will generate an income from the site. It is also in Council’s interests to support the NSW Government while they construct this essential infrastructure for our region. While the site is being used by RMS to support construction of the bridge, Council can undertake the necessary process to identify the successful party, who will then have time to finalise detailed design, obtain necessary development consent, construction approvals, appoint builders and be ready to start the project when it is vacated by RMS.