Waverley Council has released its draft Bondi Plan of Management, which vows to implement more “green spaces” at Bondi Beach.
The plan includes underground parking, a revamped skate park, volleyball areas on the beach, a new pedestrian zone in front of Bondi Pavilion, upgrades to the playground and fitness centre, and an increase in shaded areas.
Mayor Sally Betts said it was important to consider increasing the amount of green and recreational spaces available to meet the needs of local residents and visitors to Bondi.
“There are lots of people living in units just over the road. This is their back garden; this is where they come for their recreation space,” she said.
“It may not be about running up and down on the beach, it may be about sitting quietly with your family on a blanket, having a cup of coffee or just … reading a book. We need to look after those people as well.”
Consulting with three urban designers, Council considered over 1,000 submissions and announced its plans on Tuesday, with further public submissions available until May 31.
Councillor Dominic Wy Kanak said Council’s long-term aim was to increase the number of green spaces by 15 per cent and remove all parking along the promenade.
“Obviously we want to see more green space and greater biodiversity which includes native species planting in our public spaces and parks,” he said.
“But we don’t want that just to be at the expense of unnecessarily bringing more cars into Bondi … we want to take a more proactive approach about what it will mean [for] the pollution levels in Bondi, and the potential increase in greenhouse gas emissions.”
Councillor Leon Goltsman said moving parking underground and away from the front of Bondi Pavilion would open up extra space for cafes, and provide an opportunity for local businesses to move closer to the beach.
“At the moment, what we’ve got is cars taking up prime locations and we need to fix that. I think putting the cars underground will make them out of sight as well,” he said.
“This will open up the beauty of the pavilion and it will have more of a future. The cars have preference over people at this stage and … we need to find a proper alternative for them.”
Lorna Bussell, Division Manager and Place Management representative for Bondi Beach, said the draft plan confirmed the importance of the pavilion to Bondi Beach and the building’s status as an iconic structure.
According to Ms Bussell, key issues still need to be addressed, including access to toilet facilities and traffic congestion.
“More locals would appreciate greater access to toilets to make a more pleasant experience for them,” she said.
“What we need to look at is congestion and the need for more public transport. That is a big issue and a frustration for the visitors. We obviously don’t have the space at the moment.”