Caravan park to make way for pool

Progress . . . Taieri Community Facilities Trust chairwoman Irene Mosley is pleased a site for the new Mosgiel pool has been finalised but believes the Dunedin City Council should investigate if the Mosgiel Caravan Park needs to be relocated. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

The Mosgiel Caravan Park will close to make way for a new pool facility.

The trust behind the new pool hopes an investigation can be launched to see if the caravan park should be relocated but the park’s leaseholder is philosophical about the future of his business.

Last week, the Dunedin City Council announced the new $15million Mosgiel pool would be built on land near the existing pool site in Memorial Park.

Council parks and recreation group manager Robert West said the council expected to have a final design and tender signed by the end of this year and construction would likely begin next year.

Map showing approximate building platform for the new pool. The exact location will be confirmed when the design is finalised. IMAGE: SUPPLIED

The new pool would be built on the site of the council-owned caravan park.

The council expected the caravan park to close by April next year and was working with its residents to help find them alternative accommodation.

Taieri Community Facilities Trust chairwoman Irene Mosley said it was “great” the pool site had been confirmed, but the trust wanted the council to investigate if the community would like the caravan park to be relocated.

The trust had submitted to the council’s annual plan on the issue, she said.

“It is not reasonable that a town loses one amenity for the sake of another needed.”

Paul Brooks, of Outram, said he had leased the caravan park for 11 years and had about three years remaining on his lease.

It would be “great” if the caravan park could be relocated but it would come at a cost.

If the caravan park moved closer to the Peter Johnstone Park car park, sportsgrounds would be lost.

He estimated it would cost up to $1million to relocate the caravan park to that site.

Also, the financial return on rent if the caravan park was relocated “would not stack up”.

For a caravan park to be economically feasible it needed to have at least 50 sites, he said.

The park was at capacity and there was enough demand to fill a space up to three times the size, he said.

“I turn people away every week who want to stay long term. I believe there is a need but I don’t think it’s the core business of the council.”

The tenants living on the 16 sites at the parks were “sad” to hear the park would close.

Many of the residents were “panicking” but he was optimistic they would find alternative sites to park their caravans.

The council had been “very good” at providing residents with support, he said.

“I’m sure it’s all going to work out.”

There would be more people celebrating the new pool project progressing than there would be lamenting the closure of the caravan park, he said.

“They’ll be saying hoorah last.”

The council did not respond before deadline to questions including if it had considered the relocation of the caravan park.

When asked if the council had considered relocating the caravan park, a council spokeswoman said the council had not ruled out any options.

“Relocating the caravan park is only one of the potential options that will be considered as we work with the current caravan park residents that would like us to assist them in finding alternative accommodation.”