A large, wheelchair accessible shark structure will be the main feature in a new $1 million, inclusive children’s playground to be built on the edge of Woolooware Bay.
A pirate ship was in initial plans, but the proximity of the new facility to “Shark Park” led to a rethink.
A development application (DA) was lodged late in 2017 for the playground, which is part of the Woolooware Bay Town Centre development but will be open to the entire community.
It will be set in landscaped parkland in front of the new apartments precinct and Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Other proposed works include native plantings, mangroves rehabilitation, a 700 metre shared pedestrian-cycle pathway, fitness stations and viewing platforms.
The Livvi’s Place playground, which is the first in Sutherland Shire, is a joint initiative between Capital Bluestone and the Touched by Olivia Foundation, a national charity which builds inclusive communities through play.
The foundation was established in 2006 by the Perkins family after the death of their baby daughter Olivia.
The 800 square metre playground will have a strong coastal theme, with other play equipment including a shipwrecked boat, play mounds that look like jellyfish, a surfboard balance-board, a carousel, in-ground trampoline and a nest swing.
Capital Bluestone managing director Ben Fairfax said the company and foundation started the design process in 2014 with workshops in which families and school children provided ideas for a space to spark imaginative play.
Since then, urban designers had refined the suggestions.
Mr Fairfax said the playground and associated works would be the first and most important pieces of community infrastructure for the 10-hectare Woolooware Bay Town Centre development.
The park would also include shade structures, picnic tables, barbecues and bubblers, “while a magical forest with a discovery walkway will provide the chance for nature play and sensory engagement”.
Mr Fairfax said the playground was expected to cost almost $1 million to build, with $900,000 to be provided by Capital Bluestone and a further contribution by Touched By Olivia Foundation.
A decision of the DA was expected by the end of March 2018, allowing construction to start as soon as April / May.
Foundation chief executive Bec Ho said she was looking forward to the first Livvi’s Place in southern Sydney, particularly in view of the state government’s recent announcement of more funding for inclusive playgrounds.
“The shire community have been really excited and supportive of the need for an inclusive play space,” she said.