Henville v City of Armadale [2018] WASAT 108 was a review by Member Owen-Conway in the State Administrative Tribunal of the decision by the City of Armadale to refuse to grant a park home park licence to Mr Henville. The Member upheld the City’s refusal.

The legislative response to the Henville case was to amend the Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Regulations 1997 (WA) (Regs) and introduce the concept of ‘manufactured homes’ which, in effect, are deemed to be park homes.

Under the Caravan Park and Camping Grounds Act 1995 (WA) (Act) a local government is responsible for the grant and renewal of caravan park licenses, and the approval of the placement of a park home in a park home park facility. Park home park licenses are to be renewed annually.

Park home park developments have significant planning and development concessions. A park home is the only dwelling permitted in a park home park facility (other than a manager’s house).

The Henville Case

As part of this proposed park development, Mr Henville proposed a park home that was a habitable structure with short metal rollers attached to its lower supporting beams. It did not have standard wheels, chassis, or axle, and could be moved a short distance with the aid of metal strips laid on the ground and a big truck.

The Member rejected Mr Henville’s submission that all that is required is that the park home could be moved within 24 hours of detachment from utility services to establish the necessary limited degree of mobility.

The Member confirmed the requirements for a park home, and held that a park home was:

  • a vehicle fitted for habitation;
  • a means of transport as a conveyance and capable of being drawn on its wheels;
  • with a full axle, chassis and wheel assembly;
  • the reason it did not need a vehicle licence must be because it is too big to tow on a road; and
  • a park home must also have a builder’s certificate that it complies with the applicable Building Code and other requirements, and an engineer’s certificate certifying it is structurally adequate.

Annual licence renewal

The issue following Henville was the annual park home park licence renewals conducted by local governments. Local governments had typically applied a very broad definition of ‘park home’ and many had approved the placement of park homes that did not meet the criteria set out in Henville.

On 4th March 2020 new Part 4A of the Regs came into operation. It referred to and defined ‘manufactured home’ as a structure that:

  • is not a vehicle, train, vessel or aircraft;
  • is not moveable or capable of movement;
  • is fitted or designed for habitation;
  • immediately prior to 1 July 2019 was located at a place with purported approval; and
  • unless the contrary intention appears, includes an attachment.

Purported approval means approval (for the placement of a park home) given purportedly under reg 30(1) of the Regs for a manufactured home to be brought onto a place, notwithstanding that the manufactured home was not a park home, or the place was not a facility/park.

Relevant Regs were amended to apply to a manufactured home as if a manufactured home was a park home (even if it was not) and was not a building or residential building (even if it was). The requirements for the builder’s certificate and engineer’s certificate were also modified.

Lessons for local government

The legislature has sought to resolve the issue of non-compliant park homes by creating the class of ‘manufactured homes’ that are deemed to meet the park home requirements, and therefore the park home park licence renewal requirements. However, this only applies to those homes that were situated in a park immediately before 1 July 2019.

The manufactured home exception must be applied for relevant homes when a local government assesses an application for placement of a park home on a park home park, and when assessing a park home park licence renewal.

However, each local government in Western Australia must, from 1 July 2019, be in a position to be able to apply the Henville standard when assessing whether or not to approve the placement of a proposed park home in a park home park, and subsequent park home park licence renewals. Legal advice should be sought as required.

Further information / assistance regarding the issues raised in this article is available from the author, Anne Wood, Partner, Brenton Oakley, Special Counsel & Philip Mavor, Special Counsel or your usual contact at Moray & Agnew.