Crescent Head holiday park and golf course boundaries retained

Published on 21 March 2022

The boundaries of the foreshore component of the Crescent Head Public Domain Project

The new Crescent Head foreshore plans will not involve altering the boundaries of the Holiday Park or golf course after the scope of the development was confirmed on Tuesday.

Kempsey Shire Council voted unanimously to confirm the boundaries of the foreshore car park area component of the Crescent Head Public Domain Project and resolved to proceed with the next steps of the engagement plan adopted at the August 2021 meeting.

The boundaries adopted are based on a project scope audit involving a comprehensive review of council reports, community engagement, financial reports and stakeholder interviews.

This audit was the first stage in the engagement process committed to in 2021. It evaluated the social and economic opportunities as well as the complexities surrounding the foreshore space and identified that the balance between car parking and green space in the oceanfront precinct of the foreshore is the key contention in the Crescent Head foreshore plans.

The audit recommended that the Holiday Park and Golf Course boundaries should not be altered to provide more land in the foreshore reserve based on a number of considerations that were discussed in detail by Councillors.

Those considerations are:

  • The Crescent Head Holiday Park and Golf Course are located on Crown Land, therefore subject to Crown Land management requirements.
  • Council manages the Holiday Park in line with the Crown Lands 2031 State Strategic Plan for Crown land - June 2021 ( under which the land contributes to the economy, productivity, prosperity, and social fabric of NSW.
  • Crescent Head Holiday Park is under a management contract with Australian Tourist Park Management, trading as NRMA Parks + Resorts, until 2027.
  • Revenue generated from the Holiday Park is used to maintain and upgrade Crown Lands across the shire.
  • Crescent Head Holiday Park has high year-round occupancy and contributes 42% of all revenue earned by the Macleay Valley Holiday Parks.
  • The Holiday Park is the primary accommodation provider for the area where tourism is a key driver of economic benefit for local businesses.
  • The Macleay Valley Coast Holiday Park Future Development Plans excluded the installation of permanent cabins along the Crescent Head foreshore boundary in response to community feedback, however the area of the holiday park along the foreshore is still used for short-term accommodation to meet visitor expectations and commercial needs. 
  • The annual income of the Holiday Park and its ability to meet visitor expectations would be significantly compromised if the allocated Holiday Park footprint was reduced.
  • The community identified the golf course as a priority in engagement for the Crescent Head Master Plan as it is an important social and recreational feature of the village.
  • Council committed to the continued operation of the golf course in the Macleay Valley Sports Strategy 2017 and Community Infrastructure Strategy 2020.
  • The crown land occupied by the golf course is leased to the Crescent Head Country Club until 2027 with an expectation of long-term extension.
  • The Country Club has secured a State Government grant in excess of $2 million to improve water recycling for irrigation purposes and establish a mini golf course.
  • The Country Club has secured a State Government grant to construct a new Tennis Clubhouse and have developed a concept plan for the Tennis Precinct area in conjunction with Kempsey Shire Council.
  • Any changes to the current six hole layout would impact the tourist benefit and viability of the facility and invalidate the lease agreement.

With this decision other components of the Public Domain Project, including Little Nobby, will proceed to detailed design while consultants experienced in community conflict will be engaged to work on the foreshore plans.

Councillors discussed at length whether to include an additional 13 metre stretch of land on the southern boundary, currently located within the holiday park and used for short-term accommodation, as was suggested at Monday's Public Forum.

The financial impact of removing this area from the holiday park was considered to be highly significant, with the direct loss in income estimated at $60-80,000 per annum should the existing short term accommodation sites be sacrificed and in excess of $150,000 of internal holiday park road adjustments would be needed. This income is used to fund the maintenance of crown lands across the shire and services essential to these spaces such as lifeguards. In addition, Councillors noted the local economic boost of the short-term visitors who stay on those sites.

Taking into consideration the community perspective, along with environmental factors and council obligations as a manager of crown land, Council chose not to adjust the Holiday Park boundaries and adopted a geographical footprint for the community engagement and design defined by the following boundaries:

Western boundary: just past the footbridge where the path narrows towards Killick Creek

Southern boundary: bounded by the existing holiday park boundary

Eastern boundary: where the path narrows and meets the golf course boundary Excludes the Surf Club, holiday park and golf course existing boundaries.

With the area confirmed, Council will now progress with the seven stage approach adopted in August 2021 to finalise a design brief, engage the community and prepare concept designs for the foreshore area.

Updated information can be found on the Crescent Head Public Domain Plan project page.