Hopes stall again for Cowaramup supermarket bid

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.
Camera IconThe Shire of Augusta-Margaret River. Credit: Warren Hately/Augusta-Margaret River Times

Hopes for a major supermarket in Cowaramup are fading yet again with a key approved site on Hasluck Street now back on the market.

The supermarket site adjacent to the incoming West Wind Gins tavern, with approval for a 1331sqm retailer plus other amenities, is fetching about $1.05 million on the open market.

Despite Shire of Augusta-Margaret River Council support for the development in July 2019, the owner has listed the overall 4150sqm block for sale, with any potential buyer open to rethink the whole plan.

In addition to an “IGA-style” supermarket, a liquor store and at least four tenancies, plus two ancillary “stores” featured in the council approval which occurred despite concerns from then-councillors about adding another liquor retailer to Cowaramup’s existing boozy offerings.

Previously, the site design featured gable roofs, dark grey and weatherboard cladding, and parking for at least 63 vehicles, including disabled bays.

In 2019 the Times hosed down rumours the location could host a McDonald’s, which wasn’t feasible because of the Shire’s Cowaramup Village Guidelines.

In advertising for the sale, Stocker Preston’s Cowaramup specialist Mark Murray still promoted the supermarket’s potential.

“You’ve seen the building going on along the commercial strip in Cowaramup,” the advertising said.

“The BP, the new gin distillery, and development approval for a start-up cidery also soon, just for starters.

“This flat Cowaramup site is screaming out for the new building.

“With development approval in place to July 2023, it may be your idea that gets built here, or commercial landlords ready to build the next big thing.”

During council debate in 2019, it was revealed council approval was delayed by an additional 50 days.

Cowaramup resident and Shire councillor Ian Earl chastised colleagues during the debate for the delay because the proposal had already been approved by Shire planners under delegated authority and the time frame risked the developer pulling out.

“When private people are wanting to invest their money, we should be welcoming them with open arms,” Cr Earl said at the time.

Cr Naomi Godden defended her choice as her “democratic right” and she was concerned about the liquor store’s prominence.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails