Remedying “A significant shortage of lifestyle accommodation in the Great Lakes area” is a key goal Ingenia Communities CEO, Simon Owen hopes to achieve through the redevelopment of Palms Oasis Caravan Park at Blueys Beach.
A development application (DA) was lodged with MidCoast Council on September 20 seeking permission to undertake alterations and additions to transform the caravan park into a lifestyle community.
“The lifestyle community model means Ingenia will own the land and sell the homes to the incoming residents, so they buy the homes and pay Ingenia a weekly rent,” Mr Owen said.
“To qualify for the lifestyle community, the homes have to be capable of relocation.
“It’s definitely not a retirement home, it’s for people aged over 55, so a lot of our residents are still working.”
Mr Owen explained the modifications would have no impact on the park’s permanent residents, and said the majority were excited about the plans.
This is a fantastic site in a great location, and we think it’s going to be something pretty special the whole community can enjoy.- Simon Owen
“For those permanent residents, they are going to get a brand new community centre; we are going to significantly refurbish and upgrade the amenities on the site,” Mr Owen said.
For the balance of accommodation in the park however, the development will mean the end of an era.
“The rest of the accommodation is short term sites, used by the holiday makers,” Mr Owen said.
“With a lot of those sites there are significant non-compliance issues, most of them are actually former caravans with annexes and council has identified a lot of compliance issues.
“So, the way we are progressing is by providing a notice to those people that as of January 31 they won’t be able to continue to holiday in the park, and we’ve put in a development application to council to develop that land to create additional permanent residences.”
Mr Owen said Ingenia fully understood for those who have spent many years using the short term sites in the park, the development would be a big change, but added the significant reinvestment the company would make to the local community through the new sites created an overall better outcome for the region.
He said the introduction of 155 new homes that were generally occupied by singles and couples would reduce the pressure on local services in peak periods, and provide steady business throughout the rest of the year.
“When you’ve got the annual holiday makers there they tend to come with families of six and up, meaning in peak periods there are about 500 people staying there.
“We think in peak periods there will be less people in the local area, and those people living in the park will be able to support the local community’s shops and services. They will provide more business year round.
“The proposed accommodation will offer a broad price spectrum to target a large portion of the community, with houses ranging from one to three bedroom homes available.
“This is a fantastic site in a great location, and we think it’s going to be something pretty special the whole community can enjoy.”