THE FUTURE of Myuna Bay Sport and Recreation Centre hangs in the balance after Lake Macquarie council staved off a decision on whether to demolish it.
While councillors don't have the power to refuse a development application to knock down the site without ministerial approval, the council was set to vote on whether it would be torn down at Monday night's meeting.
Instead, Labor deputy mayor Madeline Bishop moved an amendment to defer the decision until a full council site inspection could be undertaken.
"I'm calling for this site inspection because Myuna Bay Sport and Recreation Centre is an icon of the western side of the lake, and the site closed in 2019," she said.
"I think as councillors, I believe we need to visualise the site at Myuna Bay, we need to view the state of the buildings and infrastructure and its current state.
"A site inspection would give us greater insight so we can make a decision in this matter."
The move had the full support of the council, but a deadline on a decision is looming - with the council required to vote on the application by December 20.
If the council can't make a decision by then, the Department of Regional NSW could refer the proposal to the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel which would then become the decision maker.
It's unclear at this stage when the council will complete a full site inspection at the former recreation and camp site, which has been a fixture in the childhoods of many locals.
A NSW Office of Sport spokesman confirmed the department would work with the council to facilitate a visit to the site.
"The NSW Government has selected a site for a new Lake Macquarie Sports Centre," he said.
"The Office of Sport is currently undertaking planning work and consultation to determine the scope and design of the facility with a construction timeline to be developed following the completion of the planning and consultation process."
The DA proposes to demolish all buildings and structures belonging to the former Myuna Bay Sport and Recreation Centre, including car parks, accommodation lodges and outdoor activity spaces.
Buildings on nearby Crown Land and Whiteheads Lagoon would also be knocked down, and water and sewer services switched off.
According to the council, a number of the buildings have fallen victim to theft and vandalism since it was shutdown almost overnight in 2019.
The controversial closure was the result of concerns about the risks the nearby Eraring Power Station's coal ash dam posed in the event of a major earthquake.
Plans for a new centre on land previously part of Morisset Hospital were announced in January, last year, but the council claims little movement has been made on developing the site.
In August, Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper said the hold-up was due to the process of transferring the land at Morisset from NSW Parks and Wildlife into the hands of the NSW Office of Sport.