The Retreat at Wisemans Ferry is set to be transformed into a state-of-the-art surfing holiday destination after The Hills Shire Council gave thumbs up to the construction of a massive wave pool on the site, complete with beach and deck.
The application was approved by the council's Development Assessment Unit on Tuesday on a deferred commencement basis, providing the applicant address inter-allotment drainage requirements at the site.
The project is reportedly estimated to cost in the tens of millions and will see alterations and additions made to existing hotel accommodation on the site and the construction of the wave pool, ancillary decks, landscaping, excavation works and the demolition of tennis courts.
The pool is to be located at the rear of the hotel rooms, restaurant and conference centre on the site, adjacent to Hawkesbury River to the west and the golf course to the north.
It will be 78m in width and 189m in length and includes an artificial beach to the south-west, which provides the entry point to the pool.
The pool area will also include a children's pool, caisson platform and a concrete pathway to three sides enclosed by a pool fence.
The area is approximately 21,525 square metres.
According to council's report, water will be extracted from Hawkesbury River for the filling and ongoing maintenance levels of the pool.
"The applicant has a submitted Statement of Approval under the Water Management Act 2000 from WaterNSW inm relation to a water access license in order to extract water from the Hawkesbury River," the report stated.
While exciting news for the region, it should be noted that the wave pool and associated amenities will be restricted to guests of the hotel accommodation.
"The pool will not be accessible to members of the adjoining golf course or the general public," the report continued.
Once operational, which is anticipated to be some time in 2022, the wave pool will function from 7am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday.
"The wave pool facility is to have a maximum of 75 people in and surrounding the wave pool at any one time," said the report.
"The wave pool is not to be used for events such as surfing competitions, school or community groups."
When te application was lodged with The Hills Shire Council is January of this year, Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston said the development was likely to have a positive impact on local tourism, saying it would be a "unique attraction in Hawkesbury" and a real "sea change".