Creating more housing affordability options for over-50s is among the reasons cited for proposed changes at an Illawarra caravan park.
Owners Lake Illawarra Park Pty Ltd have lodged a DA with Wollongong council for the over-50’s Jettys By The Lake park at Windang.
The caravan park on the site currently has approval for 370 dwelling sites (180 long-term and 190 short-term).
The existing park is currently developed with 266 dwelling sites (180 long-term and 86 short-term).
“The sites are improved with caravans with rigid annexes, manufactured homes and associated structures,” consultants Coastplan Group’s report said.
“The application seeks consent for the existing 86 short-term sites to be designated long-term sites to be used for affordable housing options consistent with the majority of sites existing within the park.
The report also noted that the proposal provides for all the sites in the park to be designated as long-term sites, which allows for the installation of moveable dwellings on the land for permanent residents and providing for more effective addressing of flooding issues affecting the land.
Coastplan’s report also said that over time, the park has adapted to the area’s market and demands, “and is now primarily a long-term park providing affordable residential accommodation in the area”.
“The short-term sites... are not in demand for camping or short stay tourist activities, and there has been no demand for these uses on the land for quite some time,” the report said.
The short-term sites are limited to 180 days’ occupation per year.
One resident, 74, who asked to remain anonymous, bought one of the long-term sites four years ago after her husband’s death.
Having previously been living in a house at Flinders, she said Jettys provided a welcome alternative for older residents whose changed life circumstances meant they needed to downsize.
“You have company here and good facilities,” she said.
“It’s a gated community, so it’s secure, especially if you’re on your own.”
According to the consultants’ report, the proposed development does not involve any changes to the existing physical layout of the caravan park.
“While the existing community map has 86 short-term sites, these sites are larger than the site sizes specified to comply with the regulation,” the report said.
“The minimum site size is 65sqm and it is estimated that there is potential for the existing community map to be modified to provide an additional 40 sites and the total number of sites could be increased to 126 short-term sites.”
The proposal is on public exhibition until January 29.
“It will be assessed by council and may be determined under delegated authority,” a Wollongong City Council spokesperson said.
The park’s owners were unavailable for comment.