Former van park gets approval

CHANGED plans for redevelopment of the once notorious Banora Point caravan park site have been given council approval despite concerns that it could set a precedent for redevelopment of other mobile home parks which house thousands of low-income earners.

Tweed Shire councillors gave the thumbs up to changes in plans by Gold Coast millionaire resort developer Bob Morrison who bought the rundown site in 2007 from former owner Warren Tschannen.

The last of more than 100 permanent residents who continued to live there despite deteriorating conditions had to move out when Mr Morrison then announced he would redevelop the park into a residential resort marketed as “River”.

Under the changes approved by the councillors the development will have 148 so-called “caravan sites” instead of the previously approved 180 sites – and will still continue to operate under approval for a caravan park.

Councillors Barry Longland and Greens Party councillor Katie Milne voted against the approval, with Cr Longland saying he was concerned a caravan park was “being turned into a gated resort-type community with very expensive housing”.

“There are 30-odd caravan parks in the Tweed,” he said.

“If we are going to sit back and let somebody buy an old approval and convert it into expensive housing we are setting a dangerous precedent.”

Cr Milne said one of the issues was that permanent residents of the former caravan park were removed.

Cr Kevin Skinner said he could “not see any sense of going into any more legal battles” over the future of the site and backed approval.

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