Council Heritage and Engineering Reports are available

4 February 2022

Decisions on the future of the Suttons Beach Pavilions are not being taken lightly. Council has commissioned several independent experts to provide advice and the reports from these experts are now publicly available.

Engineering reports

In response to a number of identified building defects, council commissioned a sequence of four independent consultants to undertake structural inspections of the complex. These investigations found extensive building defects due to age, construction issues (including outdated construction methods) and proximity to the foreshore with concrete elements of the older pavilion nearing their end of life leading to safety concerns. Building defects associated with water ingress have also been found in the newer pavilion.

The older Suttons Beach Pavilion, used originally as change rooms and a kiosk for beach-goers, has been altered significantly since it was first built in 1937. The newer pavilion was constructed 20 years ago in 2002.

These extracts from the Covey Associates Pty Ltd (December 2020) report highlight some of the issues affecting the buildings:

‘The major issue has been prolonged water ingress. This has resulted in may reported failures including the roof, external cladding system, wall cladding, glazing, balcony flooring, awnings and parapets, retaining walls. More invasive investigations revealed that the water ingress has led to significant structural issues in some cases’

‘The upper level suspended slab forms part of the original structure...has reached the design serviceable lifespan of the structure... At a structures end of serviceable you expect the onset of more significant, ongoing and sustained repair works requirements (this is not a line in the sand and it may not be immediate, just as it may already be occurring)’

‘Given the age of the structure, it is likely that the original concrete has undergone some significant carbonation and is low strength.’

Read the full engineering reports and letter:

Heritage Assessments

Council also undertook a heritage assessment of the site in late 2018, revised in February 2021, with the findings showing that very little of the original pavilion building had survived over time. The original external staircase to the west of the Pavilions is of high significance, being in almost original condition.

These extracts from the reports highlight the current status of the building:

‘As demonstrated throughout this report, the former Suttons Beach Bathing Pavilion has been irreversibly altered and is no longer a representative example of 1930 pavilion…The stairs from Marine Parade retain much of their original integrity and should be preserved…If the existing building is demolished in the future, any new development on the site should ensure the character of the foreshore is not impacted. It’s not necessary, or recommended, to build a replica pavilion. However, details such as current setback and the original size and bulk of the former bathing pavilion should be respected and considered for new developments.’ (Converge Heritage and Community, April 2020)

‘It is concluded that the place now retains only some remnant original elements and is, overall a highly altered building with poor integrity. The building now expresses as a fake 21st century replica unrelated to its historical origins as part of 1930’s foreshore development and upgrading.’ (Ivan MacDonald Architects, January 2022)

Read the full heritage reports: