By Luis Feliu
Managers of crown foreshore holiday parks in Brunswick Heads will explain their new management plans for the town’s three parks, and adjoining public land, at guided tours for residents next week.
The plans, endorsed by Byron Shire Council just before last September’s election, sparked some concern by foreshore protection and community campaigners, which park management has moved to allay with the consultation sessions on Tuesday.
Walk-through tours for locals registering with the NSW Crown Holiday Parks Trust (NSWCHPT) will be held through Ferry Reserve, The Terrace and Massey Greene parks from 9am till 4pm.
The sessions come as trust managers dispute claims by the Foreshore Protection Group that public land adjoining park boundaries will be used for operational (commercial) gain by the holiday parks and that the required 10-metre setback from local foreshores will be preserved for public use.
They fear the adjoining public land will be opened up to commercial activity, while locals are closed out of foreshore parks during busy holiday periods. (See previous story at https://www.echo.net.au/2016/10/bruns-crown-parks-decision-overturned/)
But Trust CEO Steve Edmonds told Echonetdaily council’s decision in August endorsing the new management plans and proposals ‘actually preserves the 10-metre setback’.
Mr Edmonds said that in order create the 10-metre setback, residents at The Terrace Holiday Park would be relocated by the trust and at Ferry Reserve, the foreshore sites would also all be moved to create the 10m setback.
He said the trust was going through a costly process trying to ensure they ‘get it right’ and gain the community’s trust.
Mr Edmonds also said no commercial activity for the parks was planned and the adjoining land was public open space.
But an FPG spokesperson said The Terrace Reserve (adjoining the Terrace Holiday Park), was now endorsed in the plans as in the park’s operational boundaries, and therefore able to be used for commercial gain by the trust.
FPG spokesperson Michele Grant said the Terrace reserve’s southern section was ‘never part of the caravan parks’.
She said the community was not opposed to the park being licensed to use it for overflow low impact (tents etc) camping at Christmas and school holidays but not closed off to the public.
The southern section ‘was only taken by park management’ after council was dismissed by the state government from running the parks in 2006.
‘This opened it up for 24/7 use and change of use, the historic war memorial pines there were savaged to bring in huge caravans and mobile homes, it was open space and public recreational area adjoining the correct operational boundary of the caravan park.’
While Mr Edmonds accused Echonetdaily of ‘misinformation’, FPG members say the trust maps on the proposed new foreshore boundaries were not clearly identified and proposed cabins for Massey Greene also were within the 10-metre setback.