Nudist retreat takes next step towards compliance
THE owners of a naturist tourist park at the Capricorn Coast have taken the next step towards becoming council compliant.
Charles Rogers and Allyson Neave, who operate Savannah Park Retreat at Bondoola, this week lodged a development application for a material change of use and associated operational works, with Livingstone Shire Council.
The couple was unwillingly thrust into the spotlight last November when, during a deputation to councillors, they said they could not afford more than $60,000 in infrastructure charges required to meet the council's compliance regime.
Mr Rogers and Ms Neave purchased the business on Cobraball Rd in late 2017, but it was only towards the back end of last year (through a related plumbing application made over the site) that it came to the council's attention the tourist park did not hold land use approval to operate there.
During their deputation, the couple said they were happy to pay any development application fees, but a bill of $63,700 for infrastructure charges would "force us into a situation where we don't know where we're going to go."
Since then, Livingstone Shire has undertaken a review of its infrastructure fees and charges, and councillors have shown a willingness to compromise, or at least consider compromise, on a case-by-case basis as evidenced by recent decisions.
READ SOME OF THOSE DECISIONS HERE:
Mr Rogers and Ms Neave are still waiting to learn their fate in relation to infrastructure charges but this week said they had been given a timeframe of roughly three months for their development application to process.
The long-running saga they have found themselves in, perhaps due to no fault of their own considering the tourist facility was established seven years prior to them buying it, has been compounded by coronavirus impacts.
"COVID has had a severe impact on bookings and we are struggling through like all tourist operators who depend on southern tourists at this time of the year," the couple said this week.