Dence Park Master Plan
We understand how important Dence Park is to the Epping community and we want to make it even better.
Following extensive consultation and consideration of feedback received over an 18-month period (2018-19), the Master Plan for Dence Park was completed and endorsed by Council in December 2019. The Master Plan identifies upgrades to the Epping Creative Centre, Epping Pool and surrounding green and open space. It will guide improvements across the whole park so that it continues to meet the needs of the growing community.
In April 2020, Council endorsed the Dence Park Master Plan Implementation Plan. The aim of the Implementation Plan is to provide a clear and strict cost-controlled method for Council to develop the high-level Master Plan into detailed design for tender and construction.
Epping Pool Draft Concept Plan
As compared to the design presented in the Master Plan, the Draft Concept Plan for Epping Pool provides for a more practical layout while still meeting the same level of community needs. The Draft Concept Plan for Epping Pool proposes:
- A renovated and expanded pool amenities building which meets accessibility requirements.
- A new ground floor reception area, new change facilities, additional family change rooms, a dedicated first aid room, and enclosed access to a new indoor pool.
- Accessibility improvements by installing a level open walkway from the existing car park to the pool amenities building, a lift connecting the two floors, and accessible bathrooms.
- A new 8-lane 50 metre outdoor pool with access ramp (expanded from the existing 6 lanes).
- A new 25 metre indoor pool with access ramp closer to the reception area to provide undercover access in bad weather and additional passive surveillance.
- New pool pumps, filtration and other aquatic infrastructure for the outdoor and indoor pools, as well as pipework for the future water splash and play area (which along with a future family picnic area is subject to additional funding being sourced).
- Minimal impact on surrounding bushland.
Check out the 'resources section' of this page for the Draft Concept Plan and 3D representations that Council has prepared to provide an example of what Epping Pool could look like in the future.
From Monday 16 November until Monday 7 December 2020, the Epping Pool Draft Concept Plan was publicly exhibited. During this period of time, nearly 3,000 people visited this project page, and close to 500 people provided a submission through either the online survey, filling in a hard copy survey or sending an email submission. Thank you to everyone that took the time to provide a submission!
The submissions showed that Epping Pool is valued as an important asset by the local community. While most respondents indicated that they would use the pool for casual swimming, a majority also demonstrated a strong desire to have the water play equipment and a shallow splash pool included in stage one works.
Responding to this feedback, Council sought an additional $2.85 million to be allocated to Epping Pool. At the Council Meeting held on Monday 26 April 2021, Council endorsed a resolution which will ensure that this additional funding will be put towards providing water play equipment and a shallow splash pool at the same time as the rest of the pool upgrade works.
The Draft Concept Plan is currently going through more detailed design. There will be another opportunity to provide feedback during the lodgment of the Development Application, which is currently scheduled for September 2021.
Frequently asked questions
Proposed stage one Epping Pool improvement works
The Master Plan is a high-level document which provided an indicative layout of the spaces and amenities. Council has refined the Master Plan, which has resulted in a redesign that produces a more practical layout while still meeting the same level of community needs.
One of the biggest changes is the location of the indoor pool. In the Master Plan, the indoor pool was proposed to be located on the southern end of the facility. This created user convenience issues as patrons would have had to get changed in the amenities building, walk in the open, and then enter the indoor pool. This would be unpleasant in bad weather and on cold days. The decision to propose the indoor pool in the new northern location will not only allow for an improved user experience but also greater passive surveillance from the reception area.
Another proposed change is the amenities building. The Master Plan had proposed a new amenities building, while the Draft Concept Plan proposes to retrofit the existing building instead. Further investigations determined that the location of the existing building provides better supervision opportunities across the whole facility, and therefore relocating the amenities building would not be the best option.
The amenities building will be significantly updated into a modern facility with proposed upgrades including a new lift that will take visitors from the carpark entrance level to a new ground-floor reception area, as well as accessible toilets and change room facilities.
Through the Master Planning process, the clear preference of the Epping community was for Council to prioritise the aquatic works component of the Dence Park Master Plan. Council is reflecting this community preference by prioritising the following:
- A renovated and expanded pool amenities building
- A new 8-lane 50 metre outdoor pool with access ramp
- A new 25 metre indoor pool with access ramp
- Accessibility improvements
- Associated pool pumps, filtration and other aquatic infrastructure
- Water play equipment and a shallow splash pool
- Subject to future funding: Café (serving light meals), indoor fitness/gym space and other relevant community facilities
The current Draft Concept Plan has made provisions for a lift, at-grade access from the car park, a new reception area, staff room, accessible toilets, change facilities, first aid room and pump room. There will also be provisions made for possible future uses such as a café or gym.
The indoor pool will be used for a variety of programs such as aqua-aerobics, lap swimming, lane walking and learn to swim classes. The proposed pool has also been designed to allow for better passive surveillance and improved safety of pool users.
The Epping Pool Draft Concept Plan proposes a shallow toddler wading pool, as well as a water splash and play area.
The community raised a number of considerations during the exhibition of the Draft Dence Park Master Plan in November 2019. While many of these were detailed questions that were outside of the scope of the Master Plan, they will be addressed as part of the environmental assessment and development approvals process when this is undertaken as part of the Dence Park Implementation Plan.
These considerations include heritage, protection of native flora and fauna, wider ecology and biodiversity, bushfires, flooding, stormwater flows, architectural design, waste and other environmental pollution concerns, as well as construction management.
Based on what Council currently knows about the site conditions and constraints, construction of Epping Pool is likely to begin in late 2022. More information will be made available as we get closer to this date.
We wish to minimise disruptions on the community as much as is possible, however the majority of funding for Epping Pool comes from a State Government Grant which requires that the money be spent by June 2022. As such, we must start the design and construction works now in order to meet this timeframe. Epping Pool will remain open until construction begins, which based on currently known information about the site conditions and constraints, is likely in late 2022.
Dence Park Master Plan
The Dence Park Master Plan is a strategic document to guide the improvement of the park over the next 10-15 years.
The Dence Park Master Plan Implementation Plan provides a clear and strict cost-controlled pathway to delivering the priority works in the Master Plan. The Implementation Plan divides the priority works in the Master Plan into packages of work, identifies a timeline and allocates a total budget towards the project.
A community focused, recreation hub with swimming pool facilities that engages a wide variety of users, whilst retaining and enhancing the site's unique natural setting.
The Dence Park Master Plan proposes the following improvement works:
- Redevelopment of Epping Pool, including a new 8-lane rebuilt 50m pool, at-grade access, new amenities building, new spectator seating, new 25m indoor pool, and new water play facilities
- Creating new formal passive recreational spaces including picnic facilities, gardens and seating
- Creating new active recreational spaces, including a new playground
- Upgrading associated park ancillary facilities, including car parking, pedestrian pathways, amenities building as well as bushland conservation
- Staged redevelopment of the Epping Creative Centre to improve accessibility and provide more space
Following consultation on the Epping Pool Draft Concept Plan, there will be a statutory exhibition period when the Development Application for the works is lodged for assessment. Currently, Council anticipates that this Development Application will be lodged in September 2021.