Innovative estate in the pipeline

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
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Margaret River’s suburban sprawl is set to add about 900 new home sites.

With Brookfield’s 405-lot future development stage sold, plans have begun to reactivate the stalled 67ha Weightman Farm housing estate south of Andrews Way.

Formerly owned by a Nigel Satterley-led consortium, the 470-lot holding was recently bought by Perth-based national developers Yolk Property Group.

A Yolk spokesman said the new supply of lots would help address the region’s house shortage, but said the now-unnamed development would be different to the suburban enclaves of Rapids Landing and Brookfield.

“We’ve been trying to see what we can do that’s a bit different,” proponent Sheldon Day said.

The developer outlined major access points off Andrews Way and further down Bussell Highway on the land which abuts the southern perimeter road, which would require noise bunds.

Yolk was keen to retain six separate “UK-style villages” within a green belt and a path network for recreation and mountain bikes.

The development included another new primary school and oval, as well as potential for a “WA-first” where a residents’ association owned shares in a social club.

Mr Day said new planning rules were on the way by year’s end to allow co-operative shares in the clubhouse which would probably include capacity for a privately-owned cafe or small bar open to the public. Childcare facilities were also an option.

Yolk prided itself on “innovation” and had carried out similar developments overseas.

Yolk partner Tao Bourton said the model was aimed at building “strong communities”.

It would also aim for solar power and battery storage throughout.

Trees lining Andrews Avenue would be retained.

Engineering and geology work on the site has been in progress since talks with the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River several months ago.

The agricultural land needed rezoning approval from the WA Planning Commission.

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