Wave pool plans for West Oz reignited with new location
Hot on the heels of the announcement that Sydney would be moving ahead quickly with a proposed Wavegarden Cove as done by Urbnsurf, the group is now sighting on the Cockburn section of Perth. Urbnsurf is hoping to begin construction on the $40-million project in 2022.
The new location follows a disappointing run at making waves in nearby Melville. In March of 2019 local authorities rejected Urbnsurf’s application to use public land at Alfred Cove. At issue was a portion of the project at Tompkins Park that requested use of a small piece of public land. The plan required a bowling green to be relocated. Local council had given it a thumbs up but then reversed their course of action after a small but vocal group of residents opposed the plan.
Developers are optimistic about the new site.
“Perth is where the Urbnsurf dream started so we are so keen to kick it off and get rolling,” Urbnsurf chief executive Damon Tudor told the Brisbane Times.
“Our plan for the site is to move as quickly as possible. If that site comes up and we get the agreements, we are going to jump on that pretty quickly.”
According to the Brisbane Times article negotiations for the Cockburn site launched in late 2019 but have been spotty due to the pandemic.
One newer addition to the Urbnsurf menu would be a standing wave pool, while the rest would follow the Urbnsurf Melbourne model including a Three Blue Ducks restaurant and other more “work-where-you-are” amenities.
“What we have in Melbourne since the COVID situation is people come for a surf for one hour, office workers for example and they want a quiet location to actually plugin and do some work,” Tudor added. “We’d like to build all those sorts of facilities to make a bit more of a customer experience as opposed to just the surf.”
The planned site is on a 5.7-hectare block held by the Western Australia Planning Commission and was last used 14 years ago.
Rejection for Urbnsurf to build in Melville was a major setback for the group as it was their first planned location. Damon Tudor is optimistic about the new Cockburn site, especially since they now have a template for the wave pool business in Melbourne.
“We do have a bit of a loyal following and now that we’ve seen how Melbourne operates and the impact it’s had in a very positive way, I think you can actually bring to the table a real-life example of the value this can bring to the community,” he said. “To be able to lean on that and physically show people what it looks like and how it works will hopefully make people go: ‘OK, we understand a little bit better now.’”