Local Approvals Policy for Caravan Parks adopted

Caravan PolicyA Local Approvals Policy for Caravan Parks has been created to support the resilience and sustainability of caravan parks at risk of future flood impacts.

The Policy was adopted at Council's Ordinary Meeting on Tuesday, 11 July 2023. Council resolved to endorse a period of 12 months from the adoption of the Draft Local Approvals Policy - Caravan Parks in which existing unlawful structures are required to be removed, in accordance with Policy provisions.

The purpose of the Local Approvals Policy is to provide guidance to applicants requiring an approval under the Local Government Act 1993 to operate a caravan park or camping ground and install a manufactured home, moveable dwelling or associated structure on land.

In general, approval under Section 68 of the Local Government Act, 1993 is not required to place a caravan on a site within a caravan park, whether the land is flood liable or not. However, the installation of a relocatable home, rigid annexe or associated structure on flood liable land requires the approval of Council under Section 68 of the Act. This is in recognition that not all caravan parks are suitable for relocatable homes based on the impacts of flooding. Under Section 68, approval time is limited to five years.

It also aims to support existing and future caravan parks to become more resilient to the impacts of flooding by minimising risk to life, economic losses, social impacts, impacts on downstream properties, and pollution of the natural environment, including waterways.

Seventeen caravan parks operate in the in the Local Government Area with 16 located on flood liable land. Extensive consultation with caravan park owners and managers has helped to inform the preparation of the Policy.

Many of these caravan parks have operated since the 1960s and 1970s under older development consents and may not meet current best practice in relation to flood risk.

Risks to existing parks can be reduced by such actions as the gradual relocation of the most flood affected sites (if feasible), the enhancement of emergency response and community flood awareness, as well as by restricting the number and type of structures, where warranted.

The Draft Local Approvals Policy – Caravan Parks provides the mechanism to provide criteria for approving the operation of a caravan park or the placement of structures. In this way, the impacts of flooding can be minimised, and the resilience and sustainability of caravan parks improved.

The Policy is consistent with making the Hawkesbury a 'Great Place to Live', which is a Long-Term Community Objective in Council's Community Strategic Plan. The objective aims to enable a shared responsibility for community resilience, community safety and disaster management.

The Policy will be available from Friday, 14 July 2023 at www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au/your-council and click on the Policies tab.

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