Red tape ties up caravan park

Huonville farmers Rowan and Leanne Carter have been trying to establish a 32-site caravan park on their self-sufficient farm, about 1.5km in Tasmania, for almost a year.

Despite being approved in a 6-2 vote by councillors, the project has been opposed by two local landowners and now the matter is tied up in an appeal tribunal.

The debacle has prompted Huon Valley mayor Robert Armstrong to speak out about frustrations with planning and development processes. “There’s too much red tape,” he said.

Cr Armstrong said the Huon Valley planning scheme was more than 30 years old and did not reflect the current needs of the community.

Councillors voted to ignore the advice of their planning staff and grant a temporary permit for the caravan park project, in an attempt to solve a chronic accommodation shortage in the region.

The Carters, who are living in a caravan on their 10.5ha block, said the process had been a nightmare.

Mrs Carter said, “If we lose [the appeal] we can’t re-apply for another two years, by which time we’ll go broke.”

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