Small step towards fun park

April 20, 2017

Members of the proposed Fun Park consortium Reece Bilney, Dave Livingston, John Fraser, Joel Bilney and Shaun Whitechurch.

Federation Council is prepared to lease Part 2 Riesling Street Corowa to a Corowa-based consortium of third and fourth generation persons for a fun park following consideration of community input.
But in-principle approval only at this stage has council backing - subject to an acceptable agreement being reached regarding the lease fee, as well as a satisfactory management plan being submitted by the group and completion of a satisfactory development application and all necessary planning approvals being gained.
"While there is no strong evidence to suggest that leasing this community land would be detrimental to the community, a fundamental consideration needs to be the suitability of the land for the proposed purpose," Federation Council's Director Corporate and Community Services Kristy Kay said at yesterday's monthly council meeting.
"This cannot be determined until more detail has been provided including a planning application.
"A section of the land should also be reserved for the proposed walking track as per the Corowa Riverfront Master Plan."
She said the proposal has generated much interest from the local community with 21 responses received by council.
"Overall, most people, 19, were in support of the proposed development," Ms Kay said. "Whilst only two responses were against the proposed development, they identified the location as being the main issue citing reasons such as safety, cost for families, commercial viability and sustainability.
"A different approach was identified in a response that neither opposed, nor supported the project with a strong push to have the focus on the caravan park and river precinct.
Council is currently preparing a master plan for Ball Park Caravan Park which will guide the future development and tendering of the park.
This process is considering a further development option for the new Corowa Swimming Pool, which would see the collocation of the swimming pool and children's splash park as part of the caravan park.
"It is intended that these facilities would be open to the wider community which may compromise the business interests of the investment group and should be considered by the group," Ms Kay said.  
"It is proposed that a commercial lease fee should be established for the land and a valuation by a registered valuer will be completed for consideration of this.
"We have leased the land before - to the tractor pull club."    
In agreeing to Ms Kay's recommendation for in-principle support only at this stage, Federation Council Administrator Mike Eden said he has no issue with in-principle support for leasing the land.
"But we've only been given two pages of submission, most of it telling us the people behind the group - there's nothing in it to assist us in making a decision as to whether it's a good or bad thing," Mr Eden said.
"It wouldn't get to the town planning stage. I push our staff to be 'red carpet' rather than 'red tape' but we won't be able to decide without a lot more information and detail.
"I think it'd be great for the area but I do question the actual spot. I'm happy to accept the recommendation (by Ms Kay) but can't see it going ahead until we get and consider more information."
Fun park spokesman Shaun Whitechurch said the group was pleased with Federation Council's in-principle support.
"It's what we've been waiting for," he told the Free Press. "We can now proceed with the development application and submit the management plan.
"We have made allowance for the walking track, as referred to by council."
The proposed two-stage fun park near the sweeping bend heading towards the Corowa Civic Centre will include a large 150sqm splash area with three water slides, kids' pads among the trees where adults can sit and a kiosk/coffee shop; the second stage to include putt putt golf and an animal park. 

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