Horsham Showground camping: council, management reach decision

Horsham Showground. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Horsham Showground. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

HORSHAM Showground’s management committee will work with Horsham Rural City Council to continue offering camping at the reserve for special events.

Council officers had a series of meetings with the committee in the past year to discuss the site, which was being used for camping for a fee. However the area needed to become a registered caravan park for such activities to continue.

The committee was interested in working with council to establish compliant camping areas. Council officers inspected the showground to establish upgrades needed to gain compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act.

The committee has advised council it is no longer interested in gaining compliance with the act, and would cease camping operations within the reserve by the end of August.

Groups can access permits for events where camping at the showground is required.

Council’s planning and economic director Tony Bawden said the committee’s decision brought the matter to an end.

“The committee isn’t in a position with capital expenditure to bring the site to a level of compliance,” he said.

“We will continue to work with the committee in relation to special events camping. If they do want to conduct a special event, they will require a planning permit.”

Mayor Mark Radford said caravan park compliance was onerous.

“It does invoke a question about further down the track: can Horsham become an RV-friendly city?” he said.

Cr Robin Barber said he was pleased to see a favourable outcome.

“This has been a bit of a noose around council’s head for some time,” he said. “I think we’re heading in the right direction.”

Cr David Grimble said council did not want to detract from the ability to use the showground for special events.

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