Wallcliffe site update

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
The Friends of the Margaret River's Peta Goodwin and Ray Swarts, with local anthropolgist Jinni Wilson, overlooking the ruins of Wallcliffe House earmarked for redevelopment.
Camera IconThe Friends of the Margaret River's Peta Goodwin and Ray Swarts, with local anthropolgist Jinni Wilson, overlooking the ruins of Wallcliffe House earmarked for redevelopment. Credit: Warren HatelyPicture:

Residents will have the chance to confirm the details of the new scheme amendment application for Wallcliffe House at the council chambers in Margaret River on Wednesday.

After confusion around the timing of last month’s briefing led to some concerned residents missing most of the public update provided to councillors, the new session was scheduled for Wednesday at 4pm.

It comes in anticipation of close scrutiny of the new bid from developers Alex and Julian Burt, who own Voyager Estate, and previously sought to build a high-end resort at the historic site razed by fire during the 2011 Margaret River bushfires. The word “resort” is no longer included in the proposal.

The Times understands the new 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.

Conservationists said they had also recently discovered the site was listed as a development investigation area in changes made during the Government’s review of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge Statement of Planning Policy. Margaret River Regional Environment Centre co-ordinator Peta Goodwin said Wallcliffe House was “no ordinary piece of land”.

“The council is being asked to consider a major amendment of the Shire’s planning scheme,” she said.

“A scheme amendment is about land use – do we want to open up this magnificent site for more and more exclusive tourist use? What do we lose by doing so?

“Councillors and staff need to do their due diligence on this and assess it in the light of the many high-level documents that pertain to development on the ridge.”

The Friends of the Margaret River and Aboriginal elder Bill Webb spoke against the previous application.

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