COOGEE Beach Caravan Park operator Discovery Holiday Parks wants to put long-term residents into a neighbouring railway reserve so they won’t be made homeless during redevelopment.
About 70 mostly elderly residents are affected by the company’s plans to build resort-style cabins close to the beach.
Discovery has put a proposal to the McGowan government and Cockburn council to move some of the mobile homes into the disused but historic railway corridor that runs along Cockburn Road.
It used to service the nearby explosives magazines but little is now visible in the area Discovery wants to use.
“We are incredibly sensitive to the impact of the proposed development on our permanent residents and have been looking at a range of solutions to minimise this impact,” the company told the Herald in a statement.
“Along with additional land, we have also been looking at potentially staging the development.”
The residents’ plight also made it to state Parliament last week when new Cockburn Labor MP David Scaife raised the issue.
“Many of these residents have lived in the park for decades; some settled there because of representations that they would have long-term security in the park,” Mr Scaife said.
“Some suffer from serious health issues; most have invested their life savings in the park and have limited financial means.
“That is why I have made it clear to both the city and Discovery that I expect any redevelopment of the site to involve the following:
• Options to relocate residents within the park or to neighbouring parks;
• Financial assistance to affected residents; and,
• A timeline that presents residents with certainty about how and when they will be affected.”
Meanwhile the park experienced power and water outages recently when an underground electrical cable failed and a water main burst.
One resident grumbled that lease negotiations were holding up maintenance work, but both the park’s residents’ group and Discovery blamed decades-old infrastructure the company inherited.
by STEVE GRANT