$2.15-M Amenities Block Approved for Malabar Ocean Pool

The proposed, new $2.15-million amenities block at the Malabar Ocean Pool is now a step closer to reality, after receiving Council approval for its construction.

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For years, the Malabar Ocean Pool has drawn crowds seeking a refreshing aquatic escape. However, the pool lacks essential amenities, such as changing rooms and toilets which restricts access to the pool and dampens the enjoyment of families with young children, elderly individuals, and those with disabilities.

Recognizing this pressing need for improvement, the Randwick Council has proposed an amenities block that boasts two unisex toilets, two unisex change cubicles, and a unisex-accessible toilet and change area.

The facility will be positioned at the southern portion of the existing lower car park, these amenities will ensure effortless access for pool-goers. As part of the plans, there will also be provisions for accessible parking, bike racks, and service areas.

Malabar Ocean Pool Amenities block key features:
-Two unisex toilets
-Two unisex change cubicles
-One fully accessible toilet/change area
-Regraded car park section and shared car/people zone
-New landscaping, seating and bike racks

The conclusion of the community consultation period on June 26 saw 77 submissions received, with the majority expressing support for the project. However, some concerns were voiced, particularly concerning the cost of the amenities block as well as the unisex nature of the facilities which has sparked debates over safety and hygiene.

“The building design and location has been carefully planned to be as compact as possible, preserve the nearby sensitive bushland, retain views from nearby properties and respond to community feedback,” Randwick City Council website states.

Although independent councillor Noel D’Souza voted against the approved motion at a council meeting in May, he commended the council staff for recognizing the significance of pools, beaches, and other outdoor facilities in the local government area.

Looking ahead, D’Souza expressed his views on the new amenities planned for Malabar Pool, stating that they will complement and support community use.

Despite previously submitting a petition opposing the amenities, D’Souza shared his willingness to withhold opposition if the council’s reports and investigations favour the construction of amenities at Malabar Pool.

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Construction for this much-needed facility has been slated to commence in the 2024/25 financial year.

Published 7-August-2023

Another Round of Community Consultations on Proposed Malabar Ocean Pool Amenities Block

Following a period of community consultation in 2020, where support for an amenities building was established, a new round of consultations on the proposed Malabar Ocean Pool amenities block has just been held on 29 May 2023.

The Malabar Ocean Pool lacks nearby toilet facilities, leaving visitors inconvenienced as they have to travel a considerable distance to access the nearest public amenities at Randwick Golf Club or nearby Cromwell Park

Responding to the concerns raised by pool users, the council has been approached to construct an amenities building in closer proximity to the pool. To gauge the wider community’s perspectives and determine the feasibility of the proposal, the council is actively seeking community feedback.

The chosen site for the building is at the southern portion of the existing lower car park, adjacent to the golf club. 

The proposed concept design features a thoughtfully planned amenities building which includes two unisex toilets, two unisex change cubicles, and one unisex-accessible toilet and change area. The building will also provide accessible parking, bike racks, and service areas. 

Council said that the design of the amenities building strikes a careful balance between providing modern amenities and preserving the area’s natural beauty. It prioritises compactness, minimising view impacts, and demonstrating environmental sensitivity.

Also, the proposed amenities building takes into account the needs of various pool users, including parents with young children and individuals with mobility challenges. Constructing the building, however, will lead to the loss of eight parking spaces. 

The proposal has sparked both excitement and concern among the local community. Some locals worry that the $2.15 million amenities facility will draw backpackers and potentially lead to public annoyance.

Councillor Noel D’Souza, a vocal opponent of the project, highlights the petition he received with nearly 500 signatures, claiming it as an unnecessary waste of council funds. 

Petition organiser Elizabeth Lloyd explained that people typically spend only a short time at the pool due to limited space. However, an amenities block could potentially encourage individuals to stay longer, further restricting access for other community members. 

She furthered that an existing issue with visitors setting up makeshift camps near the pool and staying for extended periods, results in pollution and garbage left behind by picnickers.  

These concerns raised shed light on the potential challenges and conflicts that may arise if the proposed amenities building is constructed near the rock pool. However, a survey conducted between July and August 2020 revealed that 70% of respondents were in favour of the project, acknowledging the convenience it would offer to pool-goers.

Published 26-May-2023