PHOTOS

Upgraded Cronulla beach amenities and staircase get a workout

Upgraded public amenities at Cronulla beach were put to the test on the weekend when good Spring weather drew large numbers to the area.

The adjoining, rebuilt staircase between the beach and the Cronulla Park lookout and upper section of the Esplanade was also opened ahead of the weekend.

The three projects were carried out by Sutherland Shire Council.

The amenities block at the northern end of the surf lifesaving club, includes separate male and female sections and a unisex accessible toilet, shower and baby change area.

Councillor Carol Provan, who, along with Cr Michael Forshaw, made representations on behalf of swimmers when the initial plans were deemed to be inadequate, said feedback was very positive.

"I was down there on Sunday and everyone was saying very nice things," she said.

Cr Provan said a group of women who surfed every morning were particularly pleased with the colour scheme in the ladies area.

"They said the only thing missing was some clothes hooks, so I am taking that up on their behalf," she said.

The upgraded facilities occupy the same space as was previously the case - a very small area compared with the size of the surf club, which has been enlarged.

A council spokeswoman said last year "enlarging the existing building footprint for public amenities was not an option for several reasons".

"The surf club site occupies approximately half of the Cronulla beach frontage. Expansion [of the public facilities] would have had a direct impact on our community's enjoyment of the Esplanade for walking and recreation, as well as the enjoyment of green spaces in the adjoining park," she said.

"The area west of the current toilets is also Crown land, so an application to expand would also have been subject to approval by Crown Lands."

The spokeswoman said feedback received by the council from the community over time had identified the need for additional toilet facilities at this location.

"However, the surf club space is also vital as this facility allows for the facilitation of surf education and safety to the public, visitors and members, which needs to also be respected," she said.

"Council's aim is to maximise the space already available within the existing building footprint for the renewal and upgrade of the amenities and for this reason it was decided to work within the current space to provide the best possible outcome for the entire community, taking in the views of regular users to inform the current design."