CLOSED OFF: The riverside area has been chained off to cars but three disabled parking areas will be made available. Photo Samantha Elley / Rivertown Times
CLOSED OFF: The riverside area has been chained off to cars but three disabled parking areas will be made available. Photo Samantha Elley / Rivertown Times Samantha Elley

Tough park decisions

Immediate changes made to the caravan park:

Fencing off cars from the foreshore for safety purposes.

One car per caravan site restriction.

Raising rates on caravan sites.

Providing three disabled car spots near chain fence.

Pruning and cutting back trees for safety purposes.

Hot water system changed from electricity to gas.

Some future changes subject to approval of a new master plan:

Upgrade of all footpaths, landscaping and equipment including moving the playground to the centre of the park.

Hot water system from solar panels with a gas back-up.

Removal of tennis courts to another site to make way for more cabins and park area.

Inclusion of 120 more car park spaces.

FENCING off the river foreshore and restricting parking in the Silver Sands Caravan Park at Evans Head are some of the tough, yet necessary, decisions that have had to be made, according to North Coast Accommodation Trust area manager Colin Woodbry.

"The Trust was appointed as administrator of the reserve commencing February 2011," he said.

"Since then we have not implemented any new rules but have only enforced the existing ones that have been in place for some time in accordance with the relevant park rules and regulations for the caravan park."

Mr Woodbry said the rules and regulations were enforced as part of their OH&S responsibility to all park guests and visitors.

"On the day independent OH&S auditors came to review the site, we had a car driving on the bike path and reports of kids nearly run over," he said.

Mr Woodbry said he knew putting up the bollards to restrict access to the river for cars would upset people, but safety was a priority.

"I couldn't have handled the death of a child knowing I was in charge of OH&S," he said.

Mr Woodbry said he had received many calls regarding the controversial decision and was aware not everyone could easily access the river now.

"For this reason we have received approval to designate three disabled parking spaces right next to the chain fence on the southside," he said.

"This is a short-term fix as part of the future plan where we hope to install new barbecue areas and move the playground."

With the appointment of the North Coast Accommodation Trust to the administration role of the reserve and caravan park, Mr Woodbry said there were some challenges ahead with the upgrade and development of the area.

"The development of the reserve, including the caravan park is based on the Evans Head Coastal Reserve Plan of Management and the Master Plan and Business Development Strategy for the Evans Head Recreation Reserve adopted in November 2010," he said.

"The next stage is to devise a new master plan that interfaces with the council's foreshore access plan and the upgrade of Oak St and Oak La."

The plan for the park is to enhance and develop what is already here and get the best results for all parties, according to Mr Woodbry.

"We have been working with council, business leaders and community groups to get everyone's input," he said.

"The public will have a chance to comment on the new plan when it is on display with council."



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