Sutherland Shire’s first ‘Livvi’s Place’ inclusive playground is edging closer to reality, with plans lodged for approval with Sutherland Shire Council.
To be located on the landscaped foreshore parklands at the new Woolooware Bay Town Centre being delivered by developer Capital Bluestone for landowner the Cronulla Sharks, the 800sqm playground will have a strong coastal theme, and fittingly, include a giant, wheel-chair accessible ‘shark’ play structure.
Other adventurous elements include a shipwrecked boat, play mounds that look like jellyfish, a surfboard balance-board, a carousel, in-ground trampoline and a nest swing.
The playground is a joint initiative between Capital Bluestone and the Touched by Olivia Foundation, a national charity that builds inclusive communities through play. The foundation, established in 2006, is the work of the Perkins family, who lost their baby daughter Olivia at an early age.
Capital Bluestone and Touched By Olivia started the design process for the Woolooware Bay park in 2014 with workshops with local families and school children on initial ideas for a space to spark imaginative play. Since then, urban designers have been appointed to refine the concept.
Capital Bluestone Managing Director Ben Fairfax said he was looking forward to delivering one of the first and most important pieces of community infrastructure for the 10-hectare masterplanned neighbourhood.
“It’s been a great process involving the community from the outset in how the foreshore and Livvi’s Place would take shape. Often playgrounds can be solely focussed on the child, with little to engage or interest the people that take them there.
“The concept of ‘play’ is so important at any stage of life, and we’re excited that this design will provide some inspiration regardless of age or ability and really put Livvi’s Place Woolooware Bay on the map as a great destination for everyone.”
As well as play equipment, visitors to the park will have access to shade structures, picnic tables, barbecues and bubblers, while a magical forest with a discovery walkway provides the chance for nature play and sensory engagement.
The playground will sit within restored and enhanced foreshore that will also include over 700 metres of shared pedestrian and cycle pathways, fitness stations, viewing platforms, native plantings and rehabilitated mangroves.
It’s estimated the playground will cost almost $1M to build, with $900K coming from Capital Bluestone and a further contribution from Touched By Olivia.
The foreshore and playground is not just expected to become a favourite among the new residential community at Woolooware Bay, but with the broader Shire and beyond, says Touched by Olivia Executive Officer Bec Ho.
Ms Ho is looking forward to the first ‘Livvi’s Place’ in Southern Sydney, particularly following the recent State Government announcement of more funding for inclusive playgrounds.
“The Shire Community have been really excited and supportive of the need for an inclusive playspace. This site holds lots of special memories for locals, and will be our first project in the region. It’s been in the works for a while, so is very much anticipated!”
The planning process commenced in 2014 with Capital Bluestone and landscape architects engaging students from Woolooware and Kurnell public schools to share their ideas. About 100 local residents also took part in an online conversation on Facebook and attended a community event at Sharkies where more than 30 families who have children with a disability shared their thoughts on what was needed in the inclusive playground.
Plans have been submitted to Sutherland Shire Council for approval. A decision of the Development Application is expected by the end of March 2018. Construction could commence as soon as April/May 2018.
About Woolooware Bay Town Centre
Located less than five minutes from the famed Cronulla beaches, Woolooware Bay Town Centre is a 10-hectare waterfront site owned by the Cronulla Sutherland League Club. Residents moved into Stage 1 in December 2016, while Stage 2 – Landings and Cove – will welcome residents in April 2018. Stage 3, incorporating a stunning rooftop pool club and a selection of one and two-bedroom apartments ideal for first home buyers, is currently on the market.
The rejuvenated foreshore of the masterplanned community will connect the development’s three key elements – a residential community of approximately 643 apartments designed by leading architects Turner; the Southern Cross Group Stadium and revitalised Sharkies Club; and a new shopping centre precinct with major household anchor brands and a range of casual and fine dining options.
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