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Bronte Surf Club Development Plan Passes Its First Test

By Duncan Horscroft on March 26, 2020 in News

The devil will be in the detail. Illustration CHROFI (architectural practice)

The proposed $9 million development of Bronte Surf Club has passed the first stage of being accepted, with Waverley Council endorsing Option 4 of the Bronte Surf Club and Community Facilities Building Upgrade.
Under the heading “A pavilion on a cliff top”, the option ticks most boxes as far as providing specialist facilities for both volunteer lifesavers and professional lifeguards without imposing on public access along the promenade and coastal walk.
“This addresses conflict between (surf club) equipment access to the beach and public pathways,” the option states as one of the advantages.
Bronte Surf Lifesaving Club President Basil Scaffidi said he was pleased with the outcome of the council meeting and was confident the proposal would be accepted by the public when it goes out for “stage 2 community consultation” this month.
“(Waverley Mayor) Paula Masselos was instrumental in getting the option approved and the council is absolutely committed to the project,” Mr Scaffidi told The Beast.
“If all goes well a Development Application (DA) should be lodged in July and we should be on track for commencement of work in August 2021.”
There has been some contention within the Bronte Boardriders Club as to what facilities would be provided for them as they are an integral part of the beach, with many having also done their time through the nippers and surf club patrols.
“We will be sitting down with the Boardriders to find out what will make them happy,” Mr Scaffidi said. “All in all we should have a new club up and running in three years and be able to provide for everyone’s needs.”
“We have the committed funds of $9 million through Waverley Council, state and federal government, and the surf club. Of course, we will not know the full cost until the final design has been submitted and accepted.”
The change sheds at the southern end of the beach have not been included in the surf club Plan Of Management but the community centre, which is home to three swimming clubs, Dr Bronte and Bronte Breakers members, has been earmarked for a total refit, due to commence in April.
Originally it was thought the building would be demolished but because it has withstood the elements it was agreed that a total refurbishment was all that was needed.
“Many were not in favour of a knockdown and because it is such a strong building, supported by galvanised steel, it still has a lot of life left and a refit will leave it looking like new,” Cr Masselos said.
“The inside will be completely re-tiled and painted, with new toilets, sinks and doors to be added. We estimate the work will take around three months to complete and be ready for summer.”
Meanwhile, across the ditch at Tamarama, things look good for a commencement of work on their new surf club. The DA was approved in 2014 but some red tape along the way put things on hold.
But now it’s all systems go and Tamarama Surf Life Saving Club President Tim Murray is hopeful work might start in the second half of this year.
“We have been working closely with (Waverley) Council and they have been fantastic,” he said. “Because the building is council-owned it must be constructed by Council and that works out better for us.”