Cockburn Council has put in motion a historic agreement to enter into a 21-year lease with Discovery Parks at Coogee Beach Holiday Park, with an option to renew for another 21 years.
The Council voted unanimously to approve the Heads of Agreement at its Ordinary Meeting on Thursday 10 June. It is designed to ensure long term residents impacted by Discovery Parks’ (DP) proposed $13.5m redevelopment over an estimated 13 years, will receive help to relocate providing those costs do not exceed $20,000 per dwelling.
City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the City had worked hard to negotiate with Discovery Parks to achieve the best possible outcome for the 40 affected long-term tenants, while also meeting its obligations to the State Government under its Management Order for the caravan park site.
“DP has also worked hard in good faith with the City to help its residents in a situation where there is no legal obligation for the lessee to provide any compensation or assistance to its tenants.
“The community can look forward to this site becoming the focal point of a thriving tourism industry. It will become a sought-after destination offering affordable short-stay accommodation that will foster economic growth and local employment in the medium to long term while also safeguarding long-term tenants.”
The principles of the tenants’ assistance package includes DP paying to relocate affected tenants’ dwellings to vacant long-stay sites within its network, including Coogee Beach and Woodman Point, if the dwellings are reasonably capable of relocation.
DP would pay relocation costs, including service reconnection and site remediation, providing the total cost does not exceed $20,000.
If a dwelling is physically unable to be relocated, DP will offer to rehouse tenants to vacant long-stay sites within its network, including Coogee Beach and Woodman Point, for a comparable rent. This rent will be reduced by an amount equal to the cost of relocating the dwelling, capped at $20,000 (less remediation and demolition costs).
Residents who decline or are unable to be accept these offers would be offered an ex-gratia payment by DP equivalent to the potential cost of relocating their dwelling, capped at $20,000 (less remediation and demolition costs).
Residents in the redevelopment area will be given 180 days’ notice prior to when the stage of redevelopment that affects them is planned to begin.
DP will also grant security of tenure to residents whose dwellings are not affected, by offering a seven+seven year tenancy.
The City of Cockburn will also continue to negotiate with DP to enable residents to sell their dwellings in the proposed redevelopment area.
The City will also approach Main Roads WA, the Minister for Planning, Lands and Heritage and the local MLA to pursue the vesting of a portion of the former railway reserve to the west of Cockburn Road, Coogee Beach in the City for 42 years.
This purpose of this land would be recreation, caravan park and camping ground and the City has recently secured conditional ‘in principle’ consent from Main Roads WA.
All funds the City receives from DP will be quarantined in a reserve for the specific purpose of maintaining and upgrading the surrounding foreshore and reserves under the Management Order.
Just over $5m of this will be received in the first four years for work required under the Coogee Beach Foreshore Management Plan and the Land Management Order, ensuring ratepayers will not pay for this costly coastal work.
The upgraded caravan park will help the City develop the Coogee coastal strip for a range of tourism and community uses including revitalised facilities at Coogee Beach café, the surf club, dive trail, Port Coogee marina and Manning Park.
The proposal is likely to require upgrades for Cockburn Road to enable better access to Coogee Beach and the holiday park.
The redevelopment work timeframe will be extended to provide existing residents with time to make arrangements with DP to relocate their dwellings by staging the works over seven years, with final completion within 13 years.