The owners of Voyager Estate have downscaled their still ambitious pitch to build a luxury hotel and amenities in the ruins of Wallcliffe House. A long-awaited development application for the Alexandra and Julian Burt-owned site was lodged with the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River late last week. While the overall concept remained unchanged, the hotel capacity was reduced to 25 rooms down from 40. The change might appease conservationists, including Wadandi elders Wayne Webb and Vivian Brockman Webb, who previously flagged concerns – particularly about the effects of the project on the adjoining river. However, the developers said careful consultation was undertaken in reviewing the overall design of the project. “The change means a reduction in numbers of people (both guests and staff) on the site, reduced vehicle movements, and a generally quieter and more discreet accommodation offering,” a project spokesperson said. The lodgement follows a rezoning approval in 2021. The development initially sparked alarm for using the term “boutique resort” which was subsequently walked back to emphasise the new build, which will resurrect Wallcliffe House reduced to ruins by the 2011 Margaret River bushfires. The latest plans feature the 18-room hotel itself as well as seven cottages, a restaurant and bar, small gallery and spa treatment rooms as well as road and garden works. The Times understands parts of the build require height variations. “I am delighted that we have reached this critical stage in the process,” Ms Burt said. “Our overall vision for Wallcliffe House has not changed. “Our aim is to build a low-key, yet luxury, boutique hotel, where guests will enjoy the experience of being in one of Margaret River’s most significant locations, a guest experience that will be supplemented by dining, wellness, and other curated offerings that will immerse guests in the wonder and beauty of Margaret River.” A Shire spokesperson noted the site was zoned for tourism and a recognised place of historical importance for Aboriginal and early European heritage, while the adjacent riverine environment was also protected. “The former Wallcliffe House and old dairy buildings are heritage listed and are to be rebuilt and repurposed into the proposed hotel and associated restaurant and bar,” the Shire said. The developers have previously aired the ambition to reuse historic building materials as part of the project and to honour the site’s long history and early settlers the Bussell family. Members of the Bussell family previously backed calls from the Friends of the Margaret River to limit the scale of development at the site. The developers would host public information sessions at the Margaret River Heart on Wednesday, December 6, from 4pm, and a daytime session starting at 10am on Thursday, December 7. No bookings were required to meet the project team and residents could also stay up with the project’s news via the site’s dedicated blog at www.wallcliffehouseblog.com. Shire submissions on the proposal close on December 22.