Legislation governing Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds, Manufactured Home Estates
The current legislation governing the operation of and activities within Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Manufactured Home Estates are:
1. Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1993 (EPA)
This legislation provides that development approval is likely to be required for:
- a new Caravan Park/Camping Ground or Manufactured Home Estate
- alterations and additions to an existing Caravan Park/Camping Ground or Manufactured Home Estate (MHE)
- a temporary camping ground to be used in conjunction with an event
- changes to the layout of sites and other facilities within an existing Caravan Park/Camping Ground or Manufactured Home Estate
- changes to the mix of sites (short term/long term) within a Caravan Park/Camping Ground.
2. Local Government Act, 1993 (LGA)
Section 68 of the Local Government Act, 1993 requires the owner or manager of a Caravan Park/Camping Ground or Manufactured Home Estate to seek from Council an Approval to Operate and, in certain circumstances, the prior approval for the installation of moveable/relocatable dwellings. Council can impose conditions on the operation and structure of a Caravan Park/Camping Ground or Manufactured Home Estate through the issuing of the Approval to Operate.
An approval to operate lapses after five years, (sometimes a shorter or longer time may be set by the council). As a result, a periodic renewal or extension is required if the Park, Estate or Camping Ground is to continue operating.
Renewal or extension is provided by the local council if they are satisfied that the Park or Estate meets the required controls under the Local Government (Manufactured Home Estate, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2005.
3. Local Government (Manufactured Home Estate, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2005
The standards for the design, construction and operation Caravan Parks/Camping Grounds and Manufactured Home Estates are defined in this Regulation. The Regulation establishes various technical standards, such as:
- preparation and display of a community map
- minimum standards for amenity and community facilities
- internal road design
- provisions for fire fighting
- minimum land area for dwelling sites
- design and construction requirements for installation work undertaken on a dwelling site
- when an application is required for proposed installations on a designated dwelling site
- other requirements.
What is the difference between a Caravan Park and Manufactured Home Estate?
A Caravan Park/Camping Ground provides sites for tourist and residential accommodation in the form of caravans and moveable dwellings such as tents, relocatable homes, campervans etcetera.
A Manufactured Home Estate (MHE) leases a dwelling site on which a manufactured home is erected.
Definitions - manufactured home, annexe etc.
manufactured home - a self-contained dwelling (that is, a dwelling that includes at least one kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living area and that also includes toilet and laundry facilities), being a dwelling:
(a) that comprises one or more major sections, and
(b) that is not a motor vehicle, trailer or other registerable vehicle within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2013, and includes any associated structures that form part of the dwelling.
(a) any tent, or any caravan or other van or other portable device (whether on wheels or not), used for human habitation, or
(b) a manufactured home, or
(c) any conveyance, structure or thing of a class or description prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition.
(a) a manufactured home, or
(b) any other moveable dwelling (whether or not self-contained) that comprises one or more major sections, including any associated structure that forms part of the dwelling, but does not include a tent, caravan or campervan or any moveable dwelling that is a vehicle of a kind that is capable of being registered within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2013.
(a) is an attachment to a relocatable home or caravan, and
(b) is used as an extension of the habitable area of the relocatable home or caravan, and
(c) is capable of being erected or removed within 24 hours.
associated structure means:
(a) a carport, garage, shed, pergola, verandah or other structure designed to enhance the amenity of a moveable dwelling and attached to or integrated with, or located on the same site as, the dwelling concerned, or
Manager of a Caravan Park, Camping Ground or Manufactured Home Estate?
As a Manager of a caravan park/camping ground or manufactured home estate you must ensure:
In addition to Development Approval you must have a current “Approval to Operate”.
Have procedures in place to ensure all regulatory requirements are met (a link to current legislation can be found on this page).
Keep records for all installations on sites within the park.
Apply to Council to modify the numbers or nature of sites (long term/short term, the size or layout of sites, alter or change infrastructure which supports the operation of the facility.
- Current copies of the following documents must be prominently displayed in a part of the premises where they may be seen by all residents:
Approval to Operate
Annual Fire Safety Statement including the list of fire safety measures.
Do I need an Approval to Operate a Caravan Park or Manufactured Home Estate?
It is a requirement under Section 627 of LGA for Caravan Parks and Manufactured Home Estates to have a valid Approval to Operate issued under Section 68 of the Act. An Approval to Operate is valid for 5 years.
New Caravan Parks/Manufactured Home Estates must apply for an Approval to Operate before commencement of operation. An Approval to Operate would typically not be issued until after an Occupation Certificate has been issued for the construction of the facility.
Existing Caravan Parks/Manufactured Home Estates, are responsible to apply to council prior to the expiry of their current operational approval.
Where changes are made to the number or nature of sites, layout/size of site or infrastructure which supports the operation of a facility then an application to amend the operational approval will be required.
Must I get approval to install or modify a manufactured home/assoc. structure?
Approval is required, as follows:
1. Owner/Operator approval
Any proposal to install a moveable dwelling, manufactured home or associated structure on an approved caravan park/camping ground or Manufactured Home Estate site, must firstly be approved by the owner/operator of the facility
Works cannot proceed on a site without the prior approval of the owner/operator. Importantly the owner/operator must be the holder of the Approval to Operate the facility.
2. Flood Liable Land
If any part the Caravan Park/Manufactured Home Estate is identified as flood liable then new installation work will require prior approval. This includes the installation of a moveable dwelling, manufactured home or associated structure. This approval is commonly referred to as a Section 68 Approval.
General maintenance, repair and renovation work does not require an approval but any change that alters the original structure will require an application for a Section 68 approval. If in doubt check with Council.
Many standards apply and must be addressed in order to obtain approval. To assist you, these are listed in the form of a checklist on the approval application form.
The approval issued by the Council will detail the standards which must be complied with together with the requirements for inspection of the works which are proposed.
3. Non Flood Liable Land
Where the Caravan Park/Manufactured Home Estate is not flood prone then the installation of a moveable dwelling, manufactured home or an associated structure on an approved site can be undertaken without the prior approval of the Council (works must still be approved by the owner/operator).
HOWEVER, within 7 days of completing the installation of a moveable dwelling, manufactured home or an associated structure the person undertaking the works must provide Council with a written notice that the installation has been completed.
Notice of Completion of Installation
Within 7 days of completing the installation of a moveable dwelling, manufactured home or an associated structure on non-flood liable land, the person undertaking the works must provide Council with a written notice that the installation has been completed (Form DE114 - Notice of Completion of Installation).
In order to assess an application for a Notice of Completion of Installation under the regulation, it must be accompanied by the following information:
- site number
- details of the compliance plate which must be affixed to the moveable dwelling, manufactured home or an associated structure
- certification from a professional engineer for structural soundness
- a fully dimensioned diagram of the dwelling site on which the moveable dwelling, manufactured home or an associated structure has been installed. (The diagram must be sufficient to indicate whether the required setback, density, open space and site delineation requirements have been complied with).
A complete list of the matters to be addressed can be found on the back of the application form and it is requested that you refer to the legislation for information in the first instance.
Once Council has received the Notice of Installation together with all required supporting information, the Council will assess the application and if compliant, issue a Certificate of Completion.
Objection to the regulation
In certain circumstances, it is possible to seek variation to the requirements of the Regulation. An experienced consultant can assist with the preparation of a justification report under Section 68, Part F3 of the Local Government Act 1993. If Council supports the objection it will be referred to the Director General of the Department of Local Government for final determination.