New aquatic centre planning will move ahead to the next stage with Macquarie Park reconfirmed as the preferred site.
The Gordon Street site was locked in after community consultation and an internal council site selection workshop.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council weighed up six possible new sites - Macquarie Park (Gordon Street), Dixie Park (Aston Street), Findlay Park (Findlay Avenue), Upper Oxley Oval (Pacific Drive), Thrumster Sporting Complex (College Drive) and Wayne Richards Park (Koala Street).
Upgrading the existing pool site was another possibility.
The council reconfirmed Macquarie Park as the preferred site for a new aquatic centre at its September 18 meeting.
Rod Mallinson spoke in favour of the Macquarie Park option.
He said a new aquatic centre at Macquarie Park would be a showpiece for our community and have a wow factor for residents and tourists alike.
The Macquarie Park site, Mr Mallinson said, would be easily accessible to all community members and would not impinge on residents.
"According to the overwhelming responses from the community, Macquarie Park is the most favoured option of all the possibilities," he said.
The consultation yielded 880 survey responses and 57 written submissions.
The council will move ahead with the detailed design and approvals including development of a strategic concept design.
Port Macquarie Aquatic Centre Committee spokesperson Greg Freeman said it was a great outcome to have certainty on the site but it was only a small step in the big picture.
"We would like to see this now get some momentum to go along as quickly as possible because it has got to this point previously and gone nowhere," he said.
Cr Rob Turner said reconfirming Macquarie Park as the preferred site was a good result.
He said the council had the opportunity to turn the new facility into much more of a tourist precinct and Macquarie Park lent itself to that.
Cr Peter Alley said the existing pool site was too small.
He said the two most favoured options - Macquarie Park and the existing pool site - were in the same general area which meant there was overwhelming community support for the idea of an aquatic centre in that area.
"Macquarie Park is the right place," Cr Alley said.
A $450,000 allocation is included the 2019-2020 budget for finalisation of the facility's detailed design.
A report will come back to the council in June 2020 on the result of discussions with the displaced user groups of Macquarie Park - Port Macquarie Football Club and Port Macquarie Army Cadets - to identify suitable alternative facilities.
The June 2020 report will also outline the progress of the detailed design and the strategic concept plan.
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