There was an enormous turn out to a community meeting about changes to Werri Beach Holiday Park in Gerringong on Sunday.
About 250 concerned residents and holiday tenants packed a hall to have their say about Kiama Council’s decision to upgrade the holiday park.
The decision will cost van owners more than $2 million, and council is yet to commit to any compensation for them, unlike other operators who have forced holiday tenants out.
Kiama Council is investing more than $6 million into the major upgrade starting in 2020.
Mayor Mark Honey said the upgrade would deliver a first-class holiday park for Gerringong, matching other iconic holiday destinations along the NSW coast.
“Council has been upgrading our holiday parks at Kiama Harbour, Kendalls Beach and Surf Beach, as part of our improvement strategy, but Werri Beach represents a significant $6 million investment,” Councillor Honey said.
“The money council is investing will not only ensure the long-term profitability of Werri Beach Holiday Park, but provide a major economic boost for the Gerringong economy as well.”
Councillor Honey said the initial upgrade would focus on the northern precinct of the park, with work done between May and November in 2020 and 2021, to reduce the impact on the peak tourist season.
Councillor Honey said two important aspects of the upgrade were the need to connect all short-term sites to water, sewer and electricity, and to reduce the number of holiday van sites.
“Council needs to make both these changes to comply with NSW Government regulations,” he said.
“We need to upgrade those sites at the north-western section of the park to provide proper services, while we’ll be converting some of the holiday van sites to other types of accommodation.
“Holidays vans currently make up 80 per cent of sites at Werri Beach. We have negotiated with the NSW Government to reduce that to 60 per cent rather than the 50 per cent normally required by the guidelines.
“There will be inconvenience and there will be a loss of 79 van sites, but it is for the long term viability of the park, and the region.
“Importantly, affected van owners have until May 2020 at least, to vacate their sites. Allowing them to enjoy two more summers before moving.”
While the masterplan identifies road and sewage improvements needed for the southern precinct, there are no plans to do this work in the next 10 years.
Council has held an information session with van owners to explain the changes, as part of the planning stage of the project.
Those wanting further information are advised to contact the Council’s Commercial Services Manager on (02) 4232 0444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key features of the upgrade
A new main park entrance with entry lay-by, visitor car parking, accessible car parking and entry/exit lanes.
Reconfigured and wider internal road network providing access to larger, flatter short-term sites.
All new short-term sites connected to water, sewer and power.
A new waterplay area, upgraded pool with shade and barbecue facilities and pool shack
Renovate and refurbish existing cabins
Six new cabins (two accessible, two 3-bedroom, one 1-bedroom, and one studio)
Ten new ensuite sites
Six new safari tents
Upgraded and expanded camp kitchen
New children’s playground and relocated jumping pillow
Additional amenities building
Improved landscaping around the entry area, pool precinct and cabins