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Private housing development as future for public campground

7 September 2011

Private housing development mooted as future for public camp ground

A seaside camping ground which brought decades of summer holiday memories to thousands of holiday makers is on the market for sale – and observers are predicting the prime piece of coastal real estate will revert into private ownership.

The 4629 square metre Waiomu Bay Motor Camp site on the picturesque Coromandel coast consists of eight cabins, four motel units, and an owner/manager’s house.

The site was purchased by the Waikato Regional Council in 2006 with the intention to create an efficient and safe floodway within the town. The lower ground of the camp was reshaped and retained to safeguard it against potential flooding.

With the work now complete, the council has placed the camp site on the market for sale with the aim of recovering some of its landscaping costs. The motor camp has a 2009 Capital Value of $445,000, including $165,000 worth of improvements. The total annual rates are $2248.

Thames-Coromandel District Council has zoned the land residential, with a clause which allows the site to revert to its previous use as a motor camp site.

The Waiomu Bay Motor Camp is for sale by Bayleys through a tender process closing on September 22. Bayleys Hamilton salesperson Mike Swanson is marketing the property.

Mr Swanson said while he was sad to see the former motor camp go up for sale, its prime coastal location meant that the most likely buyer could be a property developer with plans to slice up the land.

“The zoning lends itself to an array of possible development options,” Mr Swanson said.

“The new owner could look what residential options would be applicable, or reopen and operate the site as a holiday park. However, to operate as a holiday park, sanitation facilities, driveways, common areas and council approval would have to be sought.”

He said there was a glimmer of hope that the site could remain for public use.

Mr Swanson said: “In addition to those enquiring about the space for residential development, I have also had discussions with a number of former motor camp owner/operators looking at the potential for returning this site to its former glory.

“From a tourism perspective this would be a bonus for the Coromandel region by ensuring this gem remains available for future generations of New Zealanders to enjoy.”

Mr Swanson said the motor camp was ideally situated at the gateway to the Coromandel, with Thames township just 15 minutes away.

“The motor camp is just 100 metres away from the beach, boat ramp, a large park and the Waiomu café.

“Close neighbours are made up of existing holiday and permanent houses, with a number of more modern homes constructed in the 1980s and 1990s.”


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