Council Chambers Refurbishment

Waverley Council Chambers is at the end of its life. Urgent repairs are needed to address asbestos, significant water leaks causing major internal damage, lack of accessibility, failed air-conditioning, poor insulation, and sustainability.

A refurbishment has been scheduled for several years and it has been budgeted for in the long-term financial plan. The internal refurbishment will create a welcoming civic hub with community meeting spaces and a customer service function.

Key elements of the refurbishment include:

  • Community meeting spaces – The foyer will double in height and provide space for informal meetings and displays, there will be the opportunity to hire meeting rooms in the publicly accessible spaces and the existing level 3 terrace will be expanded to better facilitate public events.
  • Customer service function – In the improved foyer space there will be a customer service function.
  • New roof – The new roof will resolve ongoing water leaks. It will be replaced with new thermal insulation and improve environmental performance.
  • Water reuse – Rainwater will be collected in an underground tank and recycled within the building and used for irrigation.
  • Solar energy – On-site power generation reducing reliance on the power grid.
  • Internal refurbishment – The internal refurbishment will remove dangerous asbestos, improve accessibility and replace inefficient and broken building services. It will increase staff capacity and help create a more efficient organisation.
  • Forecourt improvement – The expanded, landscaped public forecourt will incorporate existing off-street parking with improved accessibility. Shade will be provided by native trees and low level planting in planter beds. There will be places to sit and rest and a defined shared zone for both pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Improved frontage – The new frontage directly references coastal colours and textures of sandstone cliffs and shifting sand. There will be improved access into the building with informal meeting spaces, a new open reception, stairs and a lift that provides direct access to the Council Chambers on Level 3.
  • Bike parking – Increased bike parking and improved end-of-trip services for staff will encourage the use of active transport. There will be no removal of existing parking.
  • Retaining Council Chambers coat of arms – The ceramic and historically significant Coat of Arms will be retained in the new design.

From 6 April – 4 May 2022 we invited the community to share their ideas for the Council Chambers building with regards to the facilities and new customer service function. The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) was also placed on public exhibition during this time.

Outcomes of community consultation

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback during the community consultation period for this project. We received 77 submissions from the community, which demonstrated overall support for the Council Chambers building to be upgraded.

Following review of all feedback received, the following recommendations have been made:

Customer service

The three top supported customer service options should be accounted for in the next stage of the design:

  • Justice of the Peace
  • Key customer service functions
  • A duty planner with a booking system

Publicly available spaces

  • The level three function space should be made available to book on evenings and weekends and for a reasonable rate
  • The bookable meeting rooms should include kitchenettes to make tea and coffee
  • All the meeting rooms should have AV capabilities

View the full consultation report

What happens next?

A report was taken to Council on 21 June 2022, which outlined key findings from community consultation and recommended design changes in line with what the community said. Council voted to proceed with the suggested changes and progress to detailed design.

When finalised, detailed designs will be shared with the community before construction starts in 2023. The REF has also been approved.

More information