Why are the tennis courts being upgraded?

    These proposed upgrades are being done as part of the first stage of the Beaton Park Regional Precinct Master Plan 2018-2038. The existing tennis court surface and slabs aren’t in good condition anymore. They also need to be moved over to make room for other facilities to be built nearby in future.

    What does the concept plan show?

    The concept plan shows an overhead view of how it will all be laid out, the sizes and what works are proposed. 

    The existing tennis courts will be demolished and replaced with new courts built to International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Tennis NSW Tier 2 standards. There will be:

    • Eight ITF-size hard courts
    • Six Club-size courts. Five of these will be sand-filled artificial grass surfaces (SFAG); one hard court and four hotshot-size courts. 

    The new courts will replace the existing ones, as well as the formal and informal car parks to the west of the Tennis Club. A temporary 110-space car park will be built next to the courts. Other proposed works include: 

    • Removing the existing control room and installing a temporary one on the eastern side of the courts.
    • Converting three parking spaces at the Foley Street car park entrance into two accessible parking spaces, with a new concrete path linking to them to the courts. The grades and ramps will all be accessible and made of concrete. They have been designed to comply with current Australian accessibility standards.
    • New pathways connecting the courts to the temporary car park and existing shared pathway.
    • A new driveway to access the temporary parking.
    • Seating and shade structures around the courts.
    • Hitting wall for warming up, practice and training.
    • Sports lighting so the courts can be used at night.
    • Upgrading the power substation so it can handle increased demand.
    • Upgrading the stormwater drainage system.

    Some existing trees on the southern side will be removed, however they will be replaced with new trees. We’ll keep the existing road layout. The existing pro shop will also stay for now, with plans to relocate it to a new facility at a later stage.

    Why doesn’t this plan include other new facilities, such as toilets?

    The funding we have received is just for this stage of the Master Plan, to design and upgrade the new tennis courts. We’ll be working on the design for the pro shop, club entrance, amenities including toilets and showers, as well as a permanent location for the control room in the next stage. We’ll also invite feedback on those plans at that time. Read the Beaton Park Regional Precinct Master Plan 2018-2038 to learn more about what’s proposed in the other stages of the Master Plan.

    What are Tier 2 standards?

    The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the governing body of world tennis, wheelchair tennis and beach tennis. Tennis NSW are the governing body of tennis in New South Wales. They have created guidelines for building high-quality tennis venues in regional centres like Wollongong. Tennis NSW calls these guidelines Tier 2 standards and ITF approves these venues. Courts built to these standards can host national and international competitions. They are also used by tennis coaches to train up-and-coming and professional tennis players.

    Can the types of courts, layout and size shown in the concept plan be changed?

    To meet the conditions required to be a Tier 2 venue, we must have courts of a specific type, with a set layout and size. We’ve designed the courts to meet these conditions. If we change any of those elements, we’d no longer meet the Tier 2 standards needed for us to be able to hold national and international competitions. Changing this would also mean we are unable to meet NSW ATP Cup Tennis Legacy Fund requirements, so we’d lose a significant amount of the money for the project.

    What could be changed in the concept plan?

    Feedback collected will help us to identify if any changes are needed to the plan. Some examples of things we may be able to change as a result of this feedback include:

    • Accessibility, e.g. we may be able to adjust paths of travel so wheelchair users can safely get to and from the courts.
    • Pathway links from the courts to the car parks. 
    • Seating.

    What do tennis venues need to make them Tier 2 standard?

    They need to have the following:

    • Be professionally managed.
    • A minimum of eight ITF-approved courts of the same surface with enough lighting on all courts.
    • A show court that has space to put seating around it for when we have major events.
    • Adequate player facilities, e.g. bathrooms, club room and kitchenette.
    • A clubhouse with licensed social facilities and outdoor shaded areas suitable for events.
    • A pro shop and administration / tournament offices.
    • Provide a high-performance pathway for players and be home to regional and State training programs.
    • Be located close to a regional airport and transport nodes with enough quality accommodation nearby.

    Who designed the plan?

    Council staff worked with one of Australia's leading architectural firms, Brewster Hjorth Architects, along with Tennis NSW and specialist tennis master-planning consultant Sport Dev to design the facility to a Tier 2 standard. We also had input from Wollongong Tennis Club, Tennis Wollongong and the tennis professional onsite at Beaton Park. They are all supportive of the proposed layout. Following the court upgrades, we will continue to work with them on future plans for the facility.

    How are the upgrades being funded?

    The construction cost is currently estimated at $5 million. The project is being funded through: 

    When will you start building the courts and how long will it take?

    We’ll be using people’s feedback about this concept plan to make changes to it if needed. Afterwards, we’ll develop the detailed design, where we work out the exact technical details, materials and costs for the upgrades. When the detailed design is finished, we’ll invite tenders for the construction. This is where building contractors formally offer to do the work for an agreed price. After Council has accepted a tender, construction can start. We’re aiming to start works next year and be finished in 2023.

    Will we be able to keep playing tennis, or access other Beaton Park venues and parking during construction?

    We asked people involved in running tennis activities at Beaton Park when the best time to construct is. We’re all keen to get started and have come up with a plan to stage the works. It will be done in sections to allow some courts to remain open during the works, so that tennis can continue. You will be able to access the shared path and other facilities at Beaton Park during construction. Parking will be affected until we convert the eastern courts into a temporary car park. We will notify Beaton Park users and nearby residents closer to the construction date to let them know when they’re going to start.

    How will my feedback be used?

    At the end of the engagement period, all feedback is read and considered. Council staff will use this feedback to make changes to the concept plan if needed.

    How can I join the conversation?