New bid for Wallcliffe House site

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times

A proposal to redevelop the fire-ravaged Wallcliffe House site will return for council consideration on February 26.

Developers Alex and Julian Burt, who own Voyager Estate, have removed reference to a “resort” at the site, with their previous application knocked back.

The scheme amendment would be considered for public advertising next month and looks likely to gain support from at least four councillors.

Before October’s local government election, which saw members Peter Lane and Pam Townshend retire, the amendment was refused amid concerns around local and Aboriginal history, environmental protection and the scale of the proposal on the historic Margaret River site.

The refusal followed a campaign against the proposal by local conservationists and Aboriginal elders who did not consider it appropriate for the location.

The Times understands the amended bid removes some chalets planned for the sensitive foreshore area, but still allows a hotel, chalets, exhibition centre, reception centre, a small bar, tearooms and a restaurant.

During a council briefing session on Wednesday, councillors grilled planning manager Matt Cuthbert on the differences from the previous application.

Mr Cuthbert said the lack of a development application — not yet required — made it difficult to gauge the full intent of the proposal.

Amended scheme text tightened environmental controls, fire management and landscape impacts, and would receive the support of the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River’s planning department — as did the previous application.

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