The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River says it is assessing a developer’s recent bush-clearing effort which sparked concern among residents. It comes as a result of clearing at the back of Rapids Landing — not far from Darch Brook — undertaken by a contractor on behalf of developers the Lester Group. Shire asset services manager David Nicholson said the clearing was undertaken with Shire approval, but the work was being reviewed. “The landowner replaced the boundary fence here, and when surveyed, found the boundary further into the reserve than the existing alignment of the fence,” Mr Nicholson said. “A permit to undertake the works was granted consistent with the exemptions from the land clearing regulations for instalment of a fence. “The Shire is currently assessing the works to ensure they were undertaken in a manner compliant with relevant legislation.” Resident Cassandra Charlick said people expected mature trees and some farmland to be retained whenever possible because they added crucial character to the region’s appeal. “I’m genuinely curious about what the point of a nature reserve is if the Shire then allows developers to rip down trees 1.5m into it,” she said. “I’d also love to know if at any point the Shire is planning on protecting any of the paddocks and farmland around Margaret River that contribute to the rural feel that most incomers to the current community assume they are buying houses and moving into. “No one dreams of visiting a sprawling suburbia.” The Lester Group did not respond to Times inquiries.