DA for Ben Chifley Dam aqua park lodged with Bathurst council

FUN ON THE WATER: The investors wanting to build an aqua park in Bathurst say it would be similar to one of their other parks (pictured) at Bli Bli, in Queensland.
FUN ON THE WATER: The investors wanting to build an aqua park in Bathurst say it would be similar to one of their other parks (pictured) at Bli Bli, in Queensland.

PLANS for a new summer attraction in Bathurst have moved a step closer with a development application to establish an aqua park on Ben Chifley Dam lodged with Bathurst Regional Council.

The DA includes a Statement of Environmental Effects (SoEE) prepared by Anthony Daintith Town Planing, on behalf of Hickstar Investment, which recommends council approve the plans.

The park is proposed to be established adjacent to the western foreshore of Chifley Dam, near the existing playground and amenities. 

It will consist of inflatable obstacles anchored by concrete blocks submerged in the water and held in place by chains. 

The park is to be approximately 100 metres long and 50 metres wide.

Hickstar will operate the facility seasonally for five months a year, planning to be open Thursday to Sunday every week between November 1 and March 31.

However, it will be open seven days a week during the school holidays that fall in this period.

A custom-built site office with ticketing and refreshment kiosk facilities will be placed on the foreshore of the dam.

The SoEE says the office is temporary and would be relocated off site during the off season.

Hickstar estimates there will be increased vehicle and foot traffic of up to a maximum of 50 people per hour during the proposed hours of operation, which will be 10am to 6pm each day.

The SoEE says that the park will be in a highly utilised area and have minimal impact on water quality and flows.

For these reasons, in addition to the proposal being “generally consistent” with the objectives and provisions laid out in council’s Local Environmental and Development Control plans, the DA is recommended to be approved.

“The proposal is considered to be acceptable in terms of Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and potential impacts are expected to be manageable,” the SoEE said. 

“Accordingly, it is recommended that the Development Application be approved subject to appropriate standard conditions.”

The Western Advocate first reported the proposal for an aqua park in March. 

Readers were asked whether or not they wanted to see an aqua park on the dam. It returned a positive response, with 86 per cent of respondents voting yes.

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