THE City of Melville has received a formal proposal to use land currently occupied by the Melville Bowling Club in Alfred Cove for a state-of-the-art wave park.
Named URBNSURF Perth, the Tompkins Park facility will feature a 2.4ha lagoon and is forecast to attract close to 300,000 visitors per year.
The park will accommodate all forms of surf craft including body boards, stand-up paddleboards, surfboards and body surfers.
The wave-generating technology at the facility will allow operators to adjust both the height and peel angle of the swell, as well as create different sized waves in different areas of the lagoon.
The facility requires 22 million litres of water per annum to replenish evaporation from the lagoon, the equivalent of the annual irrigation of a turf pitch of similar size.
Wave Park Group, the company behind URBNSURF Perth, has proposed that water be renewably sourced from an existing groundwater allocation at Tompkins Park that would otherwise be used for irrigation.
A variety of water-sensitive urban design upgrades to an adjacent storm water drain and the rehabilitation of adjacent wetland vegetation are also proposed.
The project also promises to deliver significant upgrades to the adjacent park facilities, including a mountain bike pump track, outdoor adventure and fitness equipment and additional carparking for existing river front amenities.
Wave Park Group executive chairman Andrew Ross said if Melville council support the project he hoped to open the wave park in time for Christmas 2018 and that preliminary feasibility studies indicated it would cost in the vicinity of $25 million.
“We’ve been screening sites in Perth for almost three years now and believe the City of Melville has the right demographic qualities for this kind of facility, including many young families who we believe would really appreciate and enjoy it,” he said.
Wave Park Group already has similar parks planned for Sydney and Melbourne and Mr Ross, who grew up in Leeming, said he was especially excited to bring URBNSURF to his hometown.
“I was a bit upset we had to launch in the eastern states to start with so I’m absolutely delighted to be able to now offer this kid of facility to Perth,” he said.
“Perth has the ideal climate for a wave park and it solves the problem of having to rely on Mother Nature for good surf conditions.”
Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said while the proposal was only at the concept stage and had not been properly assessed or brought before council, he was happy to see Melville being considered as the destination for the facility.
“As the City continues to plan for the future and the long-term needs of all our residents, we are working to provide benefits to our community as a whole in terms of wellbeing, amenity and economics, and this proposal will need to present those outcomes,” he said.
“In terms of process, the proposal will need to come before council accompanied by a detailed business case.
“Should council then endorse formal advertising of the proposal the community will be called upon to provide their feedback.”
Earlier this year the City released a report into the future of lawn bowls in Melville that included a recommendation to shift Melville Bowling Club 300m to the east to a new Tompkins Park sporting hub.
In June, council directed Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox to investigate suitable future recreational uses for the existing Melville Bowling Club site if it were to be vacated.
The City said the Wave Park Group proposal was received subsequent to that meeting.
The proposal does not include any residential development on site and concept planning work to date indicates there will not be any net loss of playing fields.
URBNSURF Perth will feature
A quality licensed café,
Roof top bar and beach club
Regular amateur league and elite level surfing events
Group and personal surf-fitness
Open water distance swimming
Zero depth splash pad for children and those with disability
A non-coastal surf life saving club
Art, music and film festivals
High quality landscaping