More than 120 tourist sites gone from the Clarence
THE conversion of two Clarence caravan parks to manufactured home estates has been given the tick of approval by council.
Last week Clarence Valley Council voted to accept two development applications from Hometown Australia to convert Yamba Waters and Grafton Gateway caravan parks to manufactured home estates.
The sites, renamed Grevillea Waters and Jacaranda Grove, will now host a combined total of 350 manufactured homes with 128 tourist sites, including caravan and camping sites and cabins, being removed.
This ensures up to 57 new homes will be built in Grafton and 30 in Yamba, along with a mix of new and upgraded communal facilities at the lifestyle villages which target the over-55 demographic.
There was significant opposition to the conversion from some members of Jacaranda Grove and council received 33 submissions opposing the development and 19 in support.
One of the key issues raised by opponents was the loss of tourist sites and in both DA’s council staff recognised the potential for adverse economic impacts, though deemed the loss “not significant” when considering the region as a whole.
“Although there may be some adverse economic impacts to the local economy from the removal of the tourist sites, there is also likely to be economic and socio-economic benefits from the development through the provision of additional affordable housing and from permanent residents using local services,” the documents stated.
However, it was noted both by council staff and by Hometown in a late letter sent to council, that as an MHE did not include tourist accommodation, council was not required to take the issue into account.
At the council meeting, Cr Greg Clancy moved to have the DA rejected due to the “overdevelopment of the site and the number of submissions expressing grave concern”.
Mr Clancy said he was echoing the concerns of the residents over a change in landscape at the site however the motions was voted down after several councillors suggested there were no real grounds for refusal.
Cr Peter Ellem said the motion was “flimsy” and pointed out MHEs – which are unique in that residents purchase homes while leasing the land – are growing in popularity in the Clarence Valley.
“It seems to be a trend now for existing parks which have a mix of manufactured homes and caravans to move more to the built environment of manufatured homes,” he said.
“We are seeing that in Yamba and we are seeing that proposed for Gulmarrad aswell, it seems to be a modern way of living.”
Both DAs were accepted subject to conditions.