Hope for stranded commuters is coming as the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River mulls a request by developers to expand the proposed supermarket site at Rapids Landing. As reported by the Times in February, construction of more access roads to the Bussell Highway subdivision was dependent on the long-proposed retail centre going ahead. The new application, which is open to public comment until August 24, would scale up the proposed centre to a full-sized complex suitable for major retailers Coles and Woolworths. The application by developers The Lester Group more than doubles the size of the previously consider 1500sqm supermarket, and boosts overall retail space from 6000sqm to a whopping 7800sqm. While the Times understands the application would go before councillors, it would also challenge the Shire’s past position for major supermarkets not to be located outside of the Margaret River CBD. Public uproar last decade when the Woolworths supermarket was approved on previously owned Shire land heard strong arguments from planners and Shire councillors about the dangers to main street vitality posed by major centres and their speciality shops built outside of town. The revised plan also nixes the potential for childcare services at the site, and reduces 2500sqm of office space by half, while also doubling speciality shop premises. The previous plan comprised 1500sqm in retail, measured at about 15 tenancies, with 3020sqm now part of the application. Spokesman Stuart Lester said the increase reflected population growth and the needs of the community.