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Plans lodged for $20 million indoor aquatic and water polo centre in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire

Plans lodged for $20 million indoor aquatic and water polo centre in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire
November 9, 2020

Plans have been submitted for a $20.4 million indoor aquatic and water polo centre to be built on a narrow strip of land connecting Sydney’s Kurnell Peninsula to the Sutherland shire.

A development application for the Sharks Aquatic Centre, which have been under development over a number of years as part of the wider Cronulla High School Master Plan, which was approved in 2014, have been submitted to the Sutherland Shire Council.

To be operated by the not-for-profit Sharks International Water Polo Academy, a not-for-profit entity established by the Cronulla Sutherland Water Polo Club, the venue would include a 50-metre pool and seating for around 1,000 spectators, along with an exercise physiology suite, classrooms, offices and other ancillary spaces.

Designed by Turner, it would host local, regional, state and national water polo competitions, as well as facilitating training and education.

Located next to sports fields shared by Cronulla High School and Cronulla-Caringbah Junior Rugby League Football Club it will have 127 car parking spaces, an access road and 20 bicycle parking spaces.

The development application (DA) said the centre would provide recreation opportunities for community groups, fitness and healthy lifestyle programs, training for local water polo teams, elite athlete training programs and regional competitions.

As Stage 2 of the Cronulla High School Master Plan, it follows Stage 1, comprising two playing fields, club house, lighting, car parking spaces and an access road, which has been completed.

In planning documents reported by ArchitectureAU, Turner advises how the design relates to the nearby Greenhills Beach, stating “there is a reference to the sea and sand dunes, which is emphasized in the movement of the façade and the play on reflection and refraction to evoke a building that interacts with light and shadow.”

The facility’s proposed height – 18.77 metres at the tallest point – breaches a 12 metres allowed at the site by local planning rules, but the architects note that the bulk of the building falls within the regulations and that “the ridged portion of the roof is set back from the boundary of the neighbouring residential development to minimize the impact of the increased height.”

Habit8 is the landscape architect for the project and Capital Bluestone is the developer.

Image: Turner's design concept for the Sharks Aquatic Centre (top) and the proposed facilty's location (below). Courtesy of DA/Turner.

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