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Currently there is no public Warm Water Pool in the City of Bayside.

There are many proven benefits of warm water exercise including:

  • Pain management
  • Recovery and rehabilitation
  • Treatment of chronic conditions
  • Improved mobility and wellbeing

A public facility, that is affordable and accessible will support the health and wellbeing of our community, in particular:

  • Our ageing population
  • Residents with disability or health conditions
  • Our large sporting community
  • Parents with young children

Investigations into a Warm Water Pool facility commenced in 2018 following a petition from community members and consultation with older people and health service providers.

In 2020, Council undertook a Warm Water Pool Feasibility Study, which confirmed that a warm water pool in most Bayside locations would be well patronised.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, eleven potential locations across Bayside were investigated and in December 2021 Council endorsed the Brighton Golf Course as the preferred location.

Community feedback is now invited to understand the level of support for the proposed Warm Water Pool and to inform initial concepts designs (should the pool proceed).

The north-east corner of Brighton Golf Course is the preferred location for the Warm Water Pool because:

  • It’s a central location in Bayside, with good access by road and public transport (823 bus)
  • There a high proportion residents aged 60+ in the neighbouring area
  • The site would have less environmental impacts than other locations
  • There is sufficient space to meet the expected parking needs

It would deliver on Priority 2.3 of the Bayside 2050 Community Vision to ‘Ensure that open space and community infrastructure on that land has the potential for multi-purpose use’.

A Warm Water Pool at Brighton Golf Course would also be able to be delivered quicker than other locations because:

  • There are no existing buildings that need to be removed prior to construction
  • The current lessee and operator of the golf course, Leisure Management Services, is also an experienced aquatics provider and would be able to operate the facility.

The north-east corner of Brighton Golf Course is the preferred location for the Warm Water Pool because:

  • It’s a central location in Bayside, with good access by road and public transport
  • There is a high proportion residents aged 60+ in the neighbouring area
  • The site would have less environmental and residential impacts than other locations
  • There is sufficient space to meet the expected parking needs
  • Ensures multi-purpose use of public open space and community infrastructure

The Warm Water Pool is being proposed by Council. It would be a public facility that provides two warm water pools for exercise, treatment, swim lessons and general use. The focus of the Warm Water Pool is to support health, wellbeing and rehabilitation. It would be fully funded and built by Council.

The Wellness Centre is being proposed by Leisure Management Services (LMS), the current lessee and operator of Brighton Golf Course. It would be a private facility that provides mineral hot springs, plunge pools and a range of relaxation and rejuvenation services. It would be fully funded and built by LMS and, after an agreed lease period, become a Council-owned facility.

The two proposed facilities would be located next to each other and are complementary but would offer different facilities and services, in addition to the existing golf course.

Leisure Management Services (LMS) Pty Ltd was established in 1995. It is an innovative and vibrant Melbourne based company providing leisure management and operations solutions for the Health and Wellbeing Sector. LMS currently manage Brighton Golf Course and has proven to be an innovative and trusted service provider for Council.

LMS chooses to focus on public facilities that benefit from a partnership approach to develop community resources with specialist hands-on management and support over the longer term.

The proposal by Leisure Management Services (LMS) includes:

  • Fully funding and building the Wellness Centre
  • Carefully realigning the golf course (holes 9 and 12), to retain par 67
  • Providing a new indoor specialist golf training and coaching facility
  • A financial contribution towards the cost of the Warm Water Pool

Regardless of whether the Wellness Centre proposal is approved, LMS have already committed to:

  • Leasing and operating Council’s proposed public Warm Water Pool
  • Investing in improvements to the golf course.

The Warm Water Pool is estimated to cost Council around between $15 and $18 million. Council currently has the required funding allocated in its budget.

Due to commercial confidentiality, the cost of the Wellness Centre and additional investments in the golf course are unable to be disclosed, however would be fully funded by Leisure Management Services (LMS).

No. Council will be considering both proposed facilities separately.

The proposed Wellness Centre would require realignment of the existing golf course, ensuring it remains par 67.

The existing 9th hole would be changed from a par 5 to a par 4. This would be offset by lengthening the 12th hole from a par 4 to a par 5. The 9th hole would equal the existing par 4 challenge of the 12th hole at approximately 484m.

As part of its proposal, Leisure Management Services will also develop a new indoor specialist golf training and coaching facility, as well as upgrades across the course.

The design of the Warm Water Pool is yet to commence, with an indicative floor plan available for discussion. The Wellness Centre design is more advanced with LMS producing a preferred layout for the centre. Subject to Council approval of the facilities, concept designs will be developed for further community input.

The new facilities will be designed to nestle into the existing landscape and maximise views across the golf course. There will also be significant landscaping and planting around the facilities.

At this stage, it is expected that some vegetation and two established trees would need to be removed to accommodate the Warm Water Pool. There is the potential that additional trees removal may be required due to impacts to their root zones. This will be assessed as the detailed design of the project progresses.

More than 500 trees would be planted throughout the golf course site to offset any loss.

Warm water pools do use large amounts of energy. In line with Council’s commitment to carbon neutrality and our Climate Emergency Action Plan, the Warm Water Pool will use innovative and efficient energy management techniques. This includes:

  • heating air and water from renewable sources
  • recycling and treating pool water to minimise water waste
  • retention of stormwater from the building/s and site to reduce the use of potable water
  • structural design to ensure the integrity of the building’s thermal envelope

Other sustainable building features will include:

  • feature solar panels,
  • sensor lighting and the inclusion of water tanks to utilise storm water for toilets.

Leisure Management Services (LMS) initially propose to access mineral water through a shallow bore that draws from the Werribee aquifer and provide this to the pools via heating and filtration.

Once the facility is established, in the future LMS may seek to undertake a deep bore(s) to access geothermal heating for their facility, which could potentially also be used to heat the Warm Water Pool.

Geothermal waters are popular worldwide and growing in use in Victoria, such as the Peninsula Hot Springs and Deep Blue Warrnambool.

LMS would need to seek environmental and Council approval before a deep bore could be undertaken.

The Warm Water Pool will be specifically designed to cater for people of all abilities, including facilities and programs for people with high or complex needs.

A moveable floor in the main pool will support multiple uses (such as children’s swimming lessons and community use), and a separate clinical pool will accommodate aquatic programs and therapeutic activities.

Council will set the fees and charges for the Warm Water Pool with support for pensioners, vulnerable and low-income residents.

The Wellness Centre would be required to meet contemporary accessibility standards, Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010.

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Sara Townsend

Recreation Projects Coordinator

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(03) 9599 4444

Bayside City Council, 76 Royal Avenue

PO Box 27, Sandringham VIC 3191

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