Resort designs revealed

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Images of the proposed Westin Margaret River Spa & Resort were released to the Times this week.
Camera IconImages of the proposed Westin Margaret River Spa & Resort were released to the Times this week. Credit: Supplied

Plans for the proposed Westin Margaret River Resort & Spa and its accompanying village development will be lodged with the WA Planning Commission next month.

Councillors and members of protest group Preserve Gnarabup were given an early glimpse of the final designs for the massive development on the coast, which stirred community sentiment.

The briefing included an exclusive first look at artist’s impressions and design elements for the project, including work by famed Perth architects Michael Patroni and James Christou. The resort is set to have 121 hotel rooms of differing sizes split across two levels, with a conference centre, public bistro, private restaurant and bar, cellar and meeting rooms, as well as two pools.

Resort architect Mr Christou, who presented at the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River’s offices on Wednesday afternoon, stressed the development profile hugged the contour of the land.

Project director Murray Johns said the project only breached height limits by 0.8m at its front entrance, with excavation likely for big areas of the site to reduce visibility of car parking and other features.

Spaceagency’s Mr Patroni spoke on the four adjacent development lots which included 80 holiday villas, with about 25 per cent sought for long-term stays, effectively making them homes.

One of the four lots is set to include a section for two-storey apartments and townhouses built around a “village square” on Reef Drive which would feature a cafe site and general store, with ground-floor premises designed as flexible spaces for small businesses.

Wednesday’s briefing also revealed plans for a community park with nature playground near the top Gnarabup carpark, dual-use paths, more than 70 new public parking bays, and connections for existing residents to reach the beach.

Landscape architect Chris Newton said studies focusing on ethnography, possums, fire management, traffic, parking, and others would be submitted with the development application.

Mr Johns said an economic impact report was also required of projects to be approved under the State’s development assessment panel.

A contentious 30cm-wide gnamma hole with Aboriginal heritage significance would be buffered by a 400sqm open site.

Mr Newton said native plants featured in the design, along with building materials which drew upon the “site’s DNA”.

Saracen Property Group project director Joel Saraceni said the headland was cleared for farming in the 1930s and razed during the 2011 bushfires. The finished project with native plantings for open space and garden would feature greater biodiversity than exists now, he said.

Advertising and community consultation are set to follow the application.

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