There are fresh hopes the nightmare commute for parents and residents of Rapids Landing could have a possible end. While there are no firm details about construction of a second access route to the subdivision and the Rapids Landing Primary School, the developer’s latest expansion plan now includes a possible connection through to Brookfield. Shire of Augusta-Margaret River sustainable development and infrastructure director Nick Logan told the Times discussions with the Lester Group led to inclusion of lots along Leschenaultia Avenue and the exit into Brookfield. “We would expect that the (latest) structure plan would be resolved within the next few months,” Mr Logan said. “However, there is no guarantee this will trigger construction of the road link.” Lester Group director Stuart Lester did not respond to Times inquiries. The news follows Times reports in October about the developer’s bid to upscale an approved commercial precinct before any extra exits for the subdivision were built. At the time, former councillor Naomi Godden likened the bid to a “blackmail” attempt by developers to withhold the crucial road access until the neighbourhood retail precinct was approved with a full-line supermarket and more than 15 specialty shops. That application, which was opposed by Shire planners, now rests with the WA Planning Commission. A Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage spokesperson declined to give a timetable for the WAPC decision on the supermarket proposal. That decision would determine feasibility of a major exit onto John Archibald Drive, but the changes to Stage 7 included the southern link to allow commuters access to Brookfield and exits via Bussell Highway further south or via Andrews Way. Rapids Landing Primary School principal Lisa Helenius welcomed the news, but said it still only gave commuters one way out of the subdivision and didn’t address the overall congestion at the main Bussell Highway entry point. “But it does put a full road around our school,” Ms Helenius said. “At least this would alleviate traffic congestion, management, parking and u-turns experienced twice daily and support greater safety for our students and school community.” Mr Logan said the structure plan including the supermarket, if approved by WAPC, would mandate the John Archibald exit. But that “would still be subject to the developer implementing the approval,” Mr Logan said. “The developer may also elect to construct the road of their own will as the current subdivision approval provides consent to construct the road.” The Shire had no indication whether WAPC would support the developer’s bid, modify the application, or reject it.