Proposed concept plans for north Bellarine pool now available

Proposed concept plans for a new 50-metre outdoor pool on the north Bellarine are now available for the community to view as part of the agenda for Tuesday night’s Council meeting.

During the meeting councillors will consider a recommendation to endorse the concept plans, which an officer report notes are in accordance with the City’s funding agreement with the federal government.

The plans set out a proposed layout for the facility at the Drysdale Sporting Precinct, showing the location of the pool, changerooms and kiosk, seating, lawns and perimeter trees, car parking and other supporting buildings.

The report notes that the project will meet the funding agreement by delivering a 50-metre, eight lane outdoor pool with a depth range of 1.1 metres to 1.8 metres, complying with FINA (International Swimming Federation) and Swimming Australia standards.

It states that the pool has been designed to, “Maximise the range of uses for people of all abilities and will be able to host lap swimming, water exercise activities for all ages, learn to swim activities, and some events and carnivals, particularly for schools and local swimming clubs.”

The report also notes that the proposed layout will allow for the potential future development of the site into a more enhanced aquatic venue.

The facility will be part-funded via a $10 million contribution from the federal government, while the Council allocated $750,000 for the design stage of the project through its 2020-21 budget.

An independent scoping study commissioned by the Council last year confirmed residents in north Bellarine towns such as Drysdale, Curlewis, Portarlington, St Leonards and Indented Head have lesser access to aquatic facilities than those elsewhere in Greater Geelong, with some facing drives of up to 35 minutes to the nearest 50-metre pool.

Extensive community consultation during the development of the Council’s Social Infrastructure Plan in 2020 also identified a new aquatic facility on the north Bellarine as a priority action.

The report notes that the new 50-metre outdoor pool will help to address this identified need, while also serving more than 3,500 students at schools within 200 metres of the Drysdale Sporting Precinct site.

Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan said the Council looked forward to discussing the plans.

“We know it’s been a long-held ambition for many people on the north Bellarine to see a new aquatic facility built in their local area,” Cr Sullivan said.

“Not surprisingly there is a lot of community interest in the concept plan, so we look forward to a well-attended meeting on Tuesday night.”

The meeting will begin at 6pm at the Highton Bowls Club, preceded by an informal meet-and-greet opportunity with councillors from 5.30pm.

Members of the community are welcome to attend. In line with COVID-safe guidelines, space is limited and registration is essential. REGISTER HERE.

The full agenda is now available on the website, and for those unable to attend, the meeting will be live streamed from 6pm Tuesday.

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