Comment period extended for caravan park proposal
The period for public comment about a caravan park in Wards Hill Rd, Empire Bay, has been extended by two weeks - giving residents until Friday, February 15 to comment.
A group of local residents requested the extra time for public scrutiny of the proposal for the demolition of structures, the establishment of 39 short term caravan sites and relocation of nine approved long term sites.
Group member Ms Kaye Lovie said the group was happy with the extension of time which came after representations to Councillor Jeff Sundstrom.
Ms Lovie said the application meant manufactured homes would be sited at 7 Pomona Rd, south of a drain that dissects the caravan park, known as Bayside Gardens Lifestyle Village.
She said it would mean a total of 43 dwellings on 1.4 hectares when neighbours in the street have one dwelling on the same size block.
The group hopes locals will take advantage of the extra time to object to the proposal and, with enough submission, that the application will go to the councillors for a decision.
The site has been a caravan park since the 1980s.
In 2006, it changed from short-term to long-term accommodation with a total of 68 sites.
In 2017, council refused an application for a further 48 sites on the basis that it was not consistent with the existing use rights applicable to the land which existed only for the short-term caravan park accommodation.
This latest application would result in the land comprising 68 long-term sites and 39 short-term sites.
Ms Lovie said resident objections included loss of character, zoning, environmental and social impacts.
She said it did not complement the semi-rural character of Empire Bay.
"Consider bulk, scale of development and manufactured homes each with water tanks and possible raised floor heights, impact of noise, night time street rights, car movements, loss of trees and open green space, people walking on streets with no paths,'' she said.
The land is zoned 7c2 Scenic Protection - rural small holdings so caravans are prohibited but Bayside has existing rights usage from its consent in the 1980s.
Ms Lovie says those consents were for powered open grass area caravan sites for tourist accommodation - moveable cars and caravans - and not for the permanent fixed manufactured homes being proposed.
She says the increased scale with have a detrimental effect on neighbours and the environment.
The land is identified as flood prone but the applicant submitted a report with the application that recommends floor heights for the new sites and concludes that the development can satisfy the requirements of council's development control plan and the NSW Floodplain Development Manual
Trees will be cleared but compensatory plantings are proposed.
The land is classed as bushfire prone but a bush fire assessment report has been submitted in support of the proposal which makes a number of recommendations for protection.
The report for the applicant says the proposal will create an increase in the number of people in the area "which will have a positive social impact'.
"The new short term sites are located on a disused part of the property and their presence will improve the surveillance of this area and reduce the opportunity for any anti-social behaviour."
It says the increased tourist population resulting from the development will help support local businesses in the nearby local centre and that it is unlikely to result in any significant impacts on the surrounding environment.
The application shows that all new sites will contain self-contained cabins with ensuite facilities and their own laundry and drying facilities. No more than 12 people are allowed to stay overnight at each site.
Email, 29 Jan 2019
Interview, 5 Feb 2019
Kaye Lovie, Empire Bay
DA Tracker, Central Coast Council
Reporter: Merilyn Vale