Plans for a Youth Space for 8-15 year olds at Sandy Beach Reserve are a step closer following the announcement that the NSW Government is providing $150,000 funding towards the $300,000 cost of the project.
“Consultation with local youth, parents and educators was a major part of the community discussions for the Sandy Beach Reserve Masterplan and it’s very exciting to see that a Youth Space specifically requested by the young people of Sandy Beach is now taking shape,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight, in welcoming the funds from the Stronger Country Communities funding program.
Workshops, online exhibitions, face-to-face and email conversations and a community meeting in 2017 helped develop the adopted Sandy Beach Reserve Masterplan, which is an initiative of the Coffs Coast Regional Park – a partnership of Coffs Harbour City Council, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and community representatives.
A further $150,000 in funding for the Youth Space is to be provided by the Coffs Coast Regional Park.
The concept plan for the Youth Space currently includes a small skate plaza, a half basketball court, seating, shelter, connecting footpaths and shade tree planting.
The Youth Space will form part of a larger Community Hub which will include the Youth Space, a Junior Play Space for 1-10 year olds, exercise stations, barbecues, a passive picnic and park area, carparking, shade sails, dunal revegetation, lighting, a shower, bubbler and toilets. These elements will be sensitively incorporated into the parkland to retain the natural beauty of the foreshore location.
(See details here: Sandy Beach Community Hub)
This Hub is to be centrally located within the Reserve. This spot is the most highly visible and highly-used part of the Reserve and is also opposite the village’s popular shops – so will provide the best passive surveillance opportunities to help prevent anti-social behaviour.
“The next stage is to develop a detailed design and we will be working with the community, especially the youth, to ensure that local residents are fully engaged on the project,” said Mick Raby, Council’s Director Sustainable Infrastructure. “We want to encourage as much ownership by local youth as possible, as well as providing facilities that will encourage improved physical and mental health through activity and interaction.
“We already have a very good working relationship with the local community group, Sandbag, and this group will be fully involved in the development of the plans and construction. Adjacent residents will be key stakeholders throughout the project too.”
Consultation activities for the development of the detailed design will begin in the second half of this year and be subject to any social distancing requirements.
An accessible viewing platform has already been constructed as part of the Masterplan at the southern end of the Sandy Beach Reserve. Work is about to start to build Stage 1 of a shared pathway/cycleway to run the length of the Reserve behind the dunes system.