The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has given the green light to a $24-million, open water surf sports lagoon within Sydney Olympic Park.

The group behind the lagoon’s construction and operation, Sydney-based URBN Surf, lodged a State Significant Application for the project last year. Their proposal for the site was put on public display from July to August last year.

Now that approval has been granted, construction on the URBN Surf wave pool is expected to take 12 months to complete, with works scheduled to begin in the second half of 2018.

In addition to the lagoon – which will be big enough to accommodate up to 80 surfers per hour, and generate waves of up to 1.7 metres in height – the 3.2-hectare site will be used for the construction of a retail shop, café, indoor restaurant and alfresco bar, change rooms, a rental area, first aid quarters and lifeguard rooms. A two-storey surf academy with teaching and training facilities will also be built alongside the wave pool.

According to a statement from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, the project has been designed to meet “excellent design standards”, including a pronounced focus on sustainability. In addition to the encouragement of non-vehicular forms of transport to and from the venue, the wave pool precinct will incorporate sustainable building materials, solar panels, on-site rainwater collection and re-use, and a green roof over the main entry plaza.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to give the people of western Sydney easy access to fun, healthy, outdoor recreational facilities,” says executive director of key sites and industry assessments, Anthea Sargeant, of the decision to approval URBN Surf.

“It’s an innovative proposal, offering the chance to have world-class surfing at Sydney Olympic Park in Homebush, 25 kilometres from the ocean.

“The lagoon, which will allow for 80 patrons an hour, will have a wave generator that creates various swell conditions, perfect for beginners or experienced board riders.

“In addition to two surf breaks, there will be lagoon-side recreation features including a toddler pool, adventure playground, mini half-pipe skate ramp and climbing wall.

“[The precinct] has been designed to encourage non-car transport. The main building is oriented to face Holker Busway as the main arrival point, and the project will also benefit from new public transport infrastructure such as the Parramatta Light Rail, which will service Sydney Olympic Park.”