Big plan brews for site

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Fred Reidy at the Cowaramup site for his planned Red Feather Coffee business.
Camera IconFred Reidy at the Cowaramup site for his planned Red Feather Coffee business.

A popular corner lot in Cowaramup was finally approved for an innovative new business last week.

Local operator Fred Reidy’s fledgling coffee-roasting company Red Feather will set up on the site in coming months, with ambitious export plans for the Japanese market as well as a “state-of-the-art” drive-through coffee offering for residents.

The block on the corner of Bussell Highway and Waverley Road was rezoned from residential to tourism with unanimous support from the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River council at its latest meeting, despite some concerns about traffic management.

The site has lain dormant for some years, storing old machinery and once featured a petrol station, with the tanks excavated this week.

“The corrugated iron outbuilding located on-site is considered to contribute to the village feel of Cowaramup and is representative of the historical status of Cowaramup as an agricultural centre,” the Shire report said.

“However, (it) is not of sufficient heritage significance to be included in the Shire’s Heritage Inventory.”

Mr Reidy told the Times the shed structure would remain, reworked in glass and wood to allow drive-through customers a view into the roasting and packing operation.

Red Feather will roast single-origin Brazilian coffee which Mr Reidy hopes will eventually be exported to Japan.

The petrol tanks from 1947 were dug up on Tuesday without any sign of leaks. Although the Shire report flagged the location as a possible contaminated site, Mr Reidy was confident the operation would get the all-clear.

The proposal received 17 letters of support during public consultation, with one letter opposed.

Main Roads WA also objected to the proposal on traffic management grounds, with a traffic management report to be ordered.

The Shire said it supported retention of the old shed, as called for in submissions, despite the lack of historical listing.

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