Caravan parks suggested as a fix

Byron Council is to investigate possible sites for new caravan parks across the shire to provide medium to long-term affordable housing options.

It has voted to call for submissions or proposals for establishing caravan parks or manufactured home estates on private and public land. The push has come from Cr Patrick Morrisey, who said there was a need to provide more housing options in the shire.

“The price of real estate makes it difficult for people to buy in,” he said.

“We need a suite of options for people.”

Cr Morrisey said well-located, designed and managed caravan parks, or relocatable home sites for medium and long-term residents that were close to shops, services and public transport, would provide new housing options.

He said the council had to be a bit more creative about providing accommodation, but at the same time taking land use constraints into account.

“The rise in the cost of land over the past 10 years, combined with competing uses of existing rental housing stock, such as for tourism, has made it increasingly difficult for residents and would-be residents to purchase or even rent housing without committing to very high mortgages or rents, which put pressure on people’s everyday quality of life,” he said.

“Byron Shire’s demographic profile is indeed wide and colourful.

“We attract the full spectrum of people, from very wealthy to the very homeless and all groups in between.

 “We have plenty of housing for the upper end of the market, but also need to  cater for the rest of our community.

“Council has resolved for anyone in the shire to come forward with their proposals for establishing new caravan parks on public or private land.

“Personally, I think they should be located close to existing services, infrastructure, schools and public transport, such as towns like Mullumbimby, Bangalow, Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores. However, decisions should and will be based proper planning principles and on merit.”
Council staff have been asked to present a list of suitable sites to the Local Growth Management Strategy Project Reference Group meeting on October 29.

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