Changes to the Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2005 (‘Caravan Regulations’) recently came into effect in response to the impact of the recent bush fires in NSW.
There were also changes made to the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 (‘General Regulations’) and the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (‘SEPP’) at the same time. The changes to the SEPP now bring the demolition or partial demolition of a building, the structure of which is significantly damaged by a bush fire, within exempt and complying development legislation. Other changes to the SEPP allow repair works to be carried out to fences, gates or other barriers and necessary repairs to be carried out to make a building or structure secure and waterproof (other than repairs to a structural element of the building) without the need for development approval.
The objective of the Caravan Regulations is to assist in the provision of emergency accommodation for persons affected by bush fires. The changes:
- Permit the owner, manager, operator or caretaker of a caravan park or camping ground to authorise a person to stay in the caravan park or camping ground for an extended period (of up to 2 years) if satisfied that the person displaced because of a bush fire: section 74(3).
- Permit the installation of a moveable dwelling on land without the need for approval for the purpose of accommodating a person displaced because of a bushfire if it is maintained in a healthy and safe condition and is removed within two (2) years: section 77(d).
- Do not require prior council approval to install a moveable dwelling if the owner, manager, operator or caretaker of a caravan park or camping ground is satisfied that the installation is necessary to accommodate a person who has been displaced because of a bushfire: section 74(4A).
- Empower the general manager of a council to modify conditions to which a ‘primitive camping ground’ is subject if the general manager is reasonably satisfied that it is necessary for the purpose of accommodating persons that have been displaced by fire: section 132(6). A primitive camping ground usually means a camping ground within running water, bathroom facilities, electricity and often, cell service.
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