KI Council to visit Stokes Bay camping ground

DEPUTATION: Stokes Bay Community Hall representative Kate Stanton gives a deputation to Kangaroo Island Council about the cafe lease expansion.
DEPUTATION: Stokes Bay Community Hall representative Kate Stanton gives a deputation to Kangaroo Island Council about the cafe lease expansion.

Kangaroo Island councillors on Tuesday, July 10 received a deputation from Stokes Bay Hall Committee representative Kate Stanton opposing the expansion of the size of the lease awarded to the cafe at Stokes Bay.

She said the hall group was concerned any expansion would reduce the number of camping spots at the adjacent campground.

She said concerns were also held that the expansion would block off one of the access points and reduce land available for planned amenities at the campground, including an additional toilet block.

The Bell family donated the campground to the community and the Kangaroo Island Council.

The operators of the Rockpool Cafe at Stokes Bay have applied to the council to increase the lease size of its operation to 896 square metres.

The operators of the Rockpool Cafe at Stokes Bay have applied to the council to increase the lease size of its operation to 896 square metres.

The operators of the Rockpool Cafe at Stokes Bay have applied to the council to increase the lease size of its operation to 896 square metres.

The Islander has contacted the owners and is awaiting a response. The cafe is currently closed for the winter. 

Kangaroo Island Council CEO Andrew Boardman said the Stokes Bay Hall Committee had not managed the campground at all since it was gifted to the council.

The entire area has been leased to the café owners, and the hall committee only had the cleaning contract for the beach front barbecue facilities, and the rest of the facilities were currently managed by the café lessee, he said.

Mr Boardman said he had been trying to  get the café separated from the rest of the land since 2011, but in the end the council had to wait for the break in the lease in 2017.

“The idea now is to have just a reasonable footprint for the café to allow for current operations and some future expansion, noting that council only lease the land to the café – all built asset is owned by them,” he said.

“Council will take over responsibility for management of the campground and cleaning of the toilets and have put these activities out to expression of interest for provision of the services.”

Mrs Stanton said she the committee did not have any problem with the operation’s current size of 750 square metres, it just did not want it to expand any further.

The council decided to hold off on approving the lease until it conducted a site visit of the cafe and campground.

Mayor Peter Clements said site visits should occur more often and helped councillors arrive at good decisions, as was the case at Strawbridge Point, where the boat launching area issue has been resolved after a recent site visit.

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