A major battle is looming over a huge tranche of prime beachfront land near Dunsborough after a Perth woman applied to build a house on land the local council says is a park.
The City of Busselton has put in paths, a carpark and a small bridge on the 2.9ha foreshore site in Quindalup - conservatively estimated to be worth $11 million.
Land title records show the super block officially became the property of West Perth-based Commercial Estates Pty Ltd in 2010 after a new survey was lodged with the State Government agency Landgate based on the high water mark.
Commercial Estates, long controlled by the family of North Fremantle woman Beverley Wishaw, previously had significant holdings on the inland side of Geographe Bay Road and title to only a narrow slither on the bay side.
The matter is about to come to a head because Mrs Wishaw, through Commercial Estates, applied in April to build a house on the land.
Commercial Estates planning consultant Michael Swift said his client and her family had owned the land for decades, and had applied for the title to reflect the changes in the beach.
"It's privately owned land and if the shire does want it as a reserve, then there will be discussions with the landowner, and we were hoping to have those discussions way before now, and that hasn't happened," Mr Swift said. "If the shire says yes it wants the reserve, then yes, there will be discussions about bringing it into public ownership. If the shire doesn't want it, then my client wants to build a home."
Mr Swift said an application was before the State Administrative Tribunal to determine if the land had been injuriously affected by the City of Busselton and if compensation should be paid.The council has confirmed it received an application for planning consent on land which has been used as foreshore reserve. Chief executive Mike Archer said the land was important to the city, and the council was calling for submissions on the application. "There are a wide range of complex legal and planning issues which potentially apply to this land," he said.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.