Wollongong's first "Queensland-style surf club" which could allow beach-goers to have a meal and a drink overlooking the sand, is one step closer after the council approved new plans for North Wollongong surf club.
Club president David Meredith said a planned overhaul of the ageing building would be able to start in winter next year, after council officers issued development consent last week.
"We're very happy because this means our refurbishment can go ahead," Mr Meredith said.
"It means we will have good surf life saving facilities for our members and what we're hoping to do is attract new members."
The $2 million renovations have been in the works since late last year, but were held up by a council heritage officer's concerns over some parts of the plan.
Ultimately, we want to have a Queensland-style surf club, but without the poker machines.David Meredith
Mr Meredith said there were still a couple of outstanding heritage issues, relating to a larger deck and bifold ocean-facing windows, but that the club hoped to resolve those in the coming weeks.
"We've got 95 per cent of what the club wants, and because we didn't want to delay the project we've agreed to accept the council's development application," he said.
"But the club has also paid for its own heritage report, and we're going to lodge an amendment to the DA to try and resolve the outstanding heritage issues."
He said the amendments would be lodged within the next week.
He said the larger deck and viewing windows would make any future commercial operation at the club more commercially viable, and more attractive for the public.
"We think our plan would have a modern, contemporary design and would better complement some of the remaining historical heritage features of the building," he said.
"Ultimately, we want to have a Queensland-style surf club, but without the poker machines."
"It would be open to all our rate paying community - and that means we can share our facility that we have a 21 year lease over."
The club plans to put out an expression of interest to attract a commercial operator to run a bar and bistro.
"It would be for dining and socialising, you could have a beer at the beachside and hopefully we could also have a small reception centre there," Mr Meredith said.