WOOLGOOLGA’S iconic former surf lifesaving club will finally be demolished on Monday 1 February, following the delay of scheduled demolition work on the building in November last year due to community backlash.
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A development application to demolish the dilapidated 70-year-old surf lifesaving club building at a cost of around $65,000 was lodged with Coffs Harbour City Council on 27 October 2020, and demolition of the building was set down for early November.
However, Council placed a hold on the surf club’s demolition in November after community backlash generated over social media about the historic surf club’s demise, with local Woolgoolga residents calling for a ‘Save the Woolgoolga Surf Club’ campaign.
The development application to demolish the surf club was then placed on public exhibition by Council from 13 November to 27 November to allow the local community to comment on the demolition.
Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club president Les Pepper said after putting the demolition of the building up for public comment, Council received three submissions for the demolition to occur and one submission against it, therefore Council approved the development application for the demolition.
Mr Pepper said he was happy that demolition of the building was finally going to occur.
“I can’t wait for it to go, it should have been knocked down in November when we planned it,” Mr Pepper said.
The delay of the demolition of the surf club until after the school holidays instead of before, due to community backlash, has cost the surf club committee money, with a fence having to be erected around the ageing club in December to ensure the safety of the community over the school holidays.
“It will be a few more thousand,” Mr Pepper confirmed.
Once the fencing is removed and the surf club demolished, the NSW Crown land beneath the surf club will be re-turfed and will be open to the public to use as parkland.
In Council’s determination of the development application, Council assessed community views and stated that the development is not expected to result in unacceptable impacts and is not considered to be contrary to the public interest.
Coffs Harbour Demolitions will undertake the demolition of the surf club over a two-week period.
Woolgoolga’s new and improved $3.9 million surf lifesaving club opened in September last year, and is located just south of the former club.
By Emma DARBIN