Nod for major Bridgewater Bay facilities revamp

BRIDGEWATER Bay’s popular cafe, surf club and amenities block could be amalgamated into one building under a long-term vision for the area.

It is one of the recommendations in a new master plan for the foreshore adopted by Glenelg Shire Council after a public consultation period.

Improved safety for cyclists is one of the aims of a new master plan for the Bridgewater Bay area. Photo: Rob Gunstone

Other projects include improving beach access, car parking bays and the boat ramp and creating a new foreshore promenade, picnic areas, paths, pedestrian crossing points and designated bike lanes.

The shire will now apply for government funding to begin work on the various projects.

Bridgewater Bay is one of the shire’s main tourist spots and was recently described by best-selling travel guide publisher Lonely Planet as “perhaps one of Australia’s finest stretches of white-sand surf beach”.

In the master plan, consultants Loone Town Planning say their aim is to strike a balance between protecting environmental values and ensuring the coastal area is available for future generations to enjoy.

Issues such as dune and foreshore erosion, the loss of native plants, a lack of formal paths and fragmented structure of the area were raised during the design phase.

The master plan proposes to make Bridgewater Road and the foreshore reserve a more pedestrian-friendly environment and safer for all users including bicycles, cars, buses and recreational vehicles.

“Reinstating the foreshore reserve is necessary to halt erosion, improve the buffers to coastal buildings and to prevent the continued erosion of the foreshore,” the plan states.

The consultants say the wide, sandy and stable beach provides space to reclaim the eroded foreshore and to repair the dunes to their historic profiles.

In the long term, only one facility will be needed on the foreshore to accommodate the three existing buildings, maximising the use of limited space on the reserve and allowing for better design of car parks and entrances, the plan suggests.

“The individual facilities alone struggle to provide all the services demanded … the surf lifesaving club (SLSC) has a need for additional change rooms now and this should be considered anticipating the long-term future consolidation of facilities.”

The plan recommends the council consider the future amalgamation of the buildings into the SLSC, creating new storage areas, public toilets with change rooms and a Bridgewater cafe.

The plan also calls for the council to investigate using the foreshore as a Neighbourhood Safer Place during a fire emergency and for dog and horse owners to use the beach on a year-round basis, but with restrictions during summer.

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