Residents fear for their homes
RESIDENTS at Arrawarra Beach Holiday Park would be forced out of their homes under proposed subdivision plans lodged with Coffs Harbour City Council.
Astoria Group has submitted a development application to subdivide the park into 24 residential lots ranging in size from 495 to 965sqm.
The park has been operated by Mojo Surf since 2007 and a popular surf school at the site would also be forced to close if the development was approved.
Retiree Brent Kimber is one of two permanent residents at the park and said effects of climate change and impacts on flora and fauna needed closer consideration.
"This is environmentally sensitive land and it makes no sense to completely shut out a lot of people from the village," he said. "I've been living here for over 20 years and I love this place - where do I go if this is approved?
"Our message to Astoria is that there's more to life than money."
The proposal includes provisions to raise the site, and is dependent on a new sea wall that is the subject of a separate development application lodged with the NSW Coastal Panel.
Astoria group's Kevin Shanahan said the development would ultimately depend on a construction certificate lodged with Coffs Harbour City Council.
"We're in the land subdivision not caravan park business," he said.
"The park is at the end of its current life and we're planning to use the land to its current zoning, which is low-density residential development."
He said benefits to the community would include a pathway on the southern boundary to provide residents with beach access.
Environmental concerns have been the cause of recent controversy, with 10/50 laws last year giving the park's owners the right to remove trees, which residents claimed had adversely impacted local fauna.
An environmental impact report, however, found no threatened flora species were detected at the site but noted the northern perimeter was a secondary koala habitat.
If the development is approved, Astoria Group will have 12 months to help residents find other housing.
But it's little solace to Lorraine Mawhinney, a park resident for 15 years.
"It's a big concern for all of us," she said.
"Holidaymakers have been coming here since the 1930s, so it would be a great loss to the community."