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Parramatta beach could soon be a reality, with plans for sand on the banks of the Parramatta River

An artist’s impression of City Beach along the Parramatta River foreshore.

PARRAMATTA is a long way from Bondi, but its residents could still be getting sand beneath their toes at a city beach.

An artist’s impression of a beach on the banks of the Parramatta River between the Oar and Barry Wilde Bridge shows people relaxing under umbrellas next to uncharacteristically clean-looking water.

It’s one of the ideas considered under the Draft Parramatta City River Strategy, expected to cost more than $100 million in total, now on public exhibition.

 

Parramatta could get a Parisian-style beach like the one pictured here next to the River

Parramatta could get a Parisian-style beach like the one pictured here next to the River Seine.

Pedestrian plazas and terraced seating are part of the plan.

Pedestrian plazas and terraced seating are part of the plan.

 

The strategy looks at bringing the river to life with paddle boats and kayaks, an open plaza, mini parks, terraced seating and activities such as outdoor cinemas.

“Parramatta has for too long turned its back on the river, we are a river city,” Parramatta Council chief executive Greg Dyer said.

“We’re looking at this from the perspective of a 30 year game plan to try and deliver something over that time frame.”

 

The banks of the Spree river in Berlin hosts a man-made beach in summer.

The banks of the Spree river in Berlin hosts a man-made beach in summer.

 

Mr Dyer remembered swimming in the river as a child, but said water quality was affected by factors outside the Parramatta LGA including industry and rubbish.

“The eastern ends of Parramatta River, which are also colloquially known as Sydney Harbour, are fit for active swimming and so forth, so there is no reason why over time that process can’t be reversed further upstream as well- but that’s long term,” he said.

Parramatta Lord Mayor Scott Lloyd added that an interactive water feature such as a fountain that children could run through could also be added to the City Beach vision.

He said the City Beach idea was about opening up the area to residents and Parramatta CBD workers.

 

This strip of Parramatta River foreshore could be transformed in to an urban beach.

This strip of Parramatta River foreshore could be transformed in to an urban beach.

 

“We are not saying we are going to be swimming in the river next week, but something like this where people can go down and relax by the river, it just gives it an extra dimension,” he said.

“The opportunity to walk down, sit down in the sun and having the sand between your toes is something a little bit different.

“We have to look at every option.”

The strategy will make the river foreshore more attractive for events.

The strategy will make the river foreshore more attractive for events.

 

The draft strategy site covers the 1.5km stretch of the Parramatta River foreshore from Rings Bridge in the west to Gasworks Bridge in the east - an area of about 31 hectares.

The strategy is now on public exhibition and two drop-in sessions where council will be on hand to discuss the plan will be held on Wednesday, November 5, 1.30pm to 4pm and Thursday November, 6, 5pm to 7.30pm.

Both sessions will be held in the Jubilee Hall at Parramatta Town Hall.

 

Parramatta River City Strategy

  • City Beach for people to relax, use and enjoy
  • A boardwalk to unify the north bank of the river
  • River Square to accommodate up to 10,000 people and to stage events
  • Terraced seating and pedestrian plazas
  • A wetland on the foreshore of the old King’s School site to help improve water quality
  • Lighting to enhance facades, terraces and bridges
  • Water-quality improvements to allow paddle boats, kayaks and a multifunctional water square
  • Cultural landmark buildings including a new aboriginal cultural centre