The West

Smiths Beach proponents hopeful of closure
Smiths Beach proponents hopeful of closure

Proponents of the Smiths Beach tourism and residential development say they are hopeful of an outcome from the WA Planning Commission within weeks.

The development has been before the State Administrative Tribunal for about 18 months, seeking subdivision approval.

A Development Guide Plan, approved by the then-Shire of Busselton in March last year, provides for eight tourist lots and about 80 residential lots encompassing a total area of 13ha.

Consultant planner Michael Swift told the Times the development had been going through an extended tribunal mediation, and was “down to a couple final issues”, which he expected to be resolved “within weeks”.

“It’s been a very protracted process and while it’s disappointing, we’re very close to an outcome and we’re optimistic,” he said.

The approval for subdivision would allow construction to begin at the site, which would include a tourist resort through to a caravan park, to be made available to the market.

Mr Swift said arrangements will also be made for community facilities along the foreshore areas, including a clubroom for the Smiths Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

Club president Leanne Verhoeff believed construction on the clubroom was up to five years away. She said funds for the construction would be raised by the club.

A WA Planning Commission spokeswoman said they were waiting for the outcome of discussions between the applicants and water and sewerage providers.

“At the applicant’s request the review has been adjourned, while these discussions take place,” she said.

A further hearing was scheduled at the State Administrative Tribunal this week. City chief executive Mike Archer said it would continue to be involved through the subdivision and development phases of the development.

Smiths Beach Action Group spokesman Kevin Merifield said the community was still concerned about the development.

“The action group has made it clear, that even with the approval of the Shire, the development is still bigger than what we would’ve liked,” he said.

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