Will council go soft on Cap Coast nudist retreat?
LIVINGSTONE Shire Council could still go soft on a nudist retreat facing a $60,000 plus infrastructure charges bill.
This week the matter of Savannah Park Retreat returned to the council table for the first time since the owners of the Bondoola tourist park bared all figuratively in a comprehensive deputation to councillors last November.
On that previous occasion, Charles Rogers and Allyson Neave explained they could not afford the $63,700 in infrastructure fees required to meet the council’s compliance regime.
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.
The owners said they were happy to pay any development application fees but a bill in excess of $60,000 would “force us into a situation where we don’t know where we’re going to go.”
On Tuesday the council resolved that it would not waive or reduce development application fees for Savannah Park Retreat.
Councillors also collectively decided to postpone a decision on whether to waive or reduce the infrastructure charges until an internal review of such charges was completed.
Cr Pat Eastwood acknowledged Mr Rogers and Ms Neave bought the property and hadn’t gone through the right processes but said he was eagerly awaiting council’s internal review.
He said some of the fees imposed on Savannah Park seemed extravagant.
“I’m really looking forward to us having a really good look at this, and see what we can come up with,” Cr Eastwood said.
“We need to be, I guess, helping these places survive rather than destroying them.”
Cr Jan Kelly said the fees for Savannah Park had applied to every other development application that had been submitted to the council. Mayor Bill Ludwig added: “Councillors, so the main thing we’re debating here is do we want to reduce or waive the fees for that tourist park or leave the fees where they are because then you’d have to consider doing a backdate of fees for everybody else unless you want to give reasons why you would single out one development and not all?”
Savannah Park Retreat was established in 2000 and the current owners purchased it in late 2017 after visiting on a holiday from their hometown of Dubbo.
The retreat currently incorporates 21 camping sites, a cabin, house, amenities and a communal area.