CAMPING at the Oberon Showground will go from being officially – though not practically – prohibited to all above board under a change to Oberon Council’s main planning document.
But it won’t be a simple process: the series of steps required to legitimise the campers’ stay will be enough to make any bureaucrat proud.
The showground’s facilities have a history of being used from time to time for camping related to events such as the Oberon Show or as overflow facilities during the Royal Bathurst Show or other horse-related events in the district.
One of the advantages the showground has provided is that it allows for basic camping facilities for visitors and participants in events with horse floats and large “fifth-wheeler” caravans that cannot normally stay at a standard caravan park.
Unfortunately, under the Oberon Local Environmental Plan 2013 (LEP), using the land as a “camping ground” requires development consent.
Because the showground site is zoned R1 General Residential under the LEP, camping grounds are prohibited development.
That means that despite the historical informal use of the site for camping, council cannot grant development consent for this use.
Oberon Council received a request in early 2016 from the Department of Primary Industries – Lands on behalf of the Oberon Showground Trust about the ongoing use of the showground facilities for camping.
The proposed solution? To incorporate the RE1 Public Recreation Zone into the LEP and make “camping grounds” development permissible with consent in the zone.
Council has decided to support the change to the LEP document, under which the showground site will be rezoned RE1 Public Recreation.
The Oberon Showgrounds Trust will then be able to lodge a development application and obtain consent to allow camping at the showground on an occasional or intermittent basis.