Hakoah lodges White City DA
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Hakoah lodges White City DA

THE community is one step closer to realising a dream after the Hakoah Club submitted a development application (DA) with Woollahra Council for its White City site.

An artist's impression of how the site will look once completed.
An artist's impression of how the site will look once completed.

THE community is one step closer to realising a dream after the Hakoah Club submitted a development application (DA) with Woollahra Council for its White City site.

The development application covers the building of an indoor aquatic centre, an indoor multi purpose sports complex, a full-size synthetic football field, gymnasium, child care centre, children’s playground, clubhouse and café at White City.

The DA contains significant elements to address heritage concerns over the site which have proved a thorny issue within Woollahra Council. “This development represents a major sporting and cultural boost for the Eastern Suburbs,” Hakoah president George Farkas said.

“Woollahra lags behind other local government areas as it does not have a single full-size synthetic football field, indoor aquatic facilities or indoor sports centre. Over our history, Hakoah has given back to the local community. As such, we envisage that many of these new facilities will be made available to the community, including local schools and community groups.”

Hakoah unveiled its vision for a community sporting, cultural and recreation centre on the site at its AGM in March. It had previously negotiated with the Council that just three heritage items would be retained in the redevelopment.

But in June this year a heritage report commissioned by the Department of Planning recommended the entire site be heritage listed.

Hakoah has since worked with heritage consultant Stephen Davies – who sits on the NSW Heritage Council – to formulate a detailed Heritage Interpretation Strategy which sets out how certain structures will be retained or adapted to become architectural features.

The strategy also details how the history of the site will be interpreted in a relevant way, with the design inspired by the spirit of White City..

“Balancing heritage and communal requirements is a delicate procedure,” Farkas said. “We have worked closely with our architects and heritage consultant to maximise the facilities we require, at the same time bearing in mind the historical nature of the site.”

“The best use of communal funds would be retain and/or adapt particular items of special historical significance, and to start afresh with new facilities that meet our community’s 21st century sports and recreational needs,” he said.

“We are confident that what we have proposed will create the foundations for the heart of the community’s sporting and social hub for generations to come.”

GARETH NARUNSKY

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