Horsham Caravan Park redevelopment delayed; Horsham Rural City Council to discuss future

Horsham Rural City Council has delayed a Horsham Caravan Park redevelopment. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

Horsham Rural City Council has delayed a Horsham Caravan Park redevelopment. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

HORSHAM Rural City Council has delayed a Horsham Caravan Park redevelopment, four months after deciding to lease it out. 

Council agreed to start the tendering process for the long-term lease of the park in April.

However, on Monday night council decided issues with the park needed to be resolved before it was leased.

Editorial: Horsham council needs to make a decision, not have more discussions

A Development Vision Plan created in 2013 said the park infrastructure was tired and needed upgrading.

Upgrades proposed included new cabins, toilet and laundry block and upgrades to the internal road network.

It also proposed new cabins and a safety fence along the river.

Cr Tony Phelan said cabins and a fence along the river could change the presentation of the park from the river and could also block the view of the river for other park users.

“These issues were raised when we decided to go ahead with the long-term lease, and before we progress, we need to establish a council view about these issues,” he said.

“Before that happens, we can’t proceed.”

Cr Phelan said council needed to discuss the proposed cabins and fence prior to starting the tender process.

“We need to tidy this up,” he said.

Adelaide couple Emma and Chris McMurray, with boys Eric, 8, and Thomas, 4, relax at Horsham Caravan Park earlier this year. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Adelaide couple Emma and Chris McMurray, with boys Eric, 8, and Thomas, 4, relax at Horsham Caravan Park earlier this year. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Cr Robin Barber said councillors had no experience in running a caravan park.

“We can’t make these decisions – we need to get comments from tenders about what’s best for the park,” he said.

“We have to put it out to market and see what comes back.”

Cr Pam Clarke said it was not up to council to make the definite decisions.

“It is up to the developer to give us ideas, then we can have discussions,” she said.

Cr Phelan said any time properties were leased, conditions applied.

“To think anyone could come in and do whatever they wanted is ridiculous,” he said.

“We just need to discuss and further debate what we want for our caravan park and use of the riverside.”

Cr Heather Phillips said she was concerned about how much money had been spent on the park to date.

“I originally voted against the caravan park going out to long-term lease – we need to keep it and use the profits,” she said.

She said since then, works have been done to the park including registering it under the Residential Tenancies Act, developing an emergency management plan and tree works.

“I’m wondering now what additional costs there have been since then?” she said.

Cr Sue Exell said she understood why the safety fence was needed because lots of families with young children stayed at the park.

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