18/03/2010 - 00:00

Hurdle cleared at Smiths Beach

18/03/2010 - 00:00

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THE developer behind the contentious Smiths Beach resort proposal says it is pleased with Environment Minister Donna Faragher’s decision to give a scaled-back development the green light.

Hurdle cleared at Smiths Beach

THE developer behind the contentious Smiths Beach resort proposal says it is pleased with Environment Minister Donna Faragher’s decision to give a scaled-back development the green light.

Last week, Mrs Faragher announced approval for development at Yallingup’s Smiths Beach to progress according to a mediated plan adopted by the State Administrative Tribunal in June 2009, pending final approvals.

Under the SAT-mediated plan, tourism and residential development will be restricted to the eastern side of the site, and the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park will be extended 21 hectares into the site’s western end.

The revised plan calls for 8.9 hectares of resort development, with residential subdivision not exceeding 3.8ha.

The original plan proposed 14.9ha of tourist development with 6.4ha residential.

Development proponent Canal Rocks’ chairman and principal of Claremont’s Olifents Real Estate, David McKenzie, told WA Business News he was pleased with what he termed a sensible decision.

“We welcome the approval; it’s a step forward and it reinforces the State Administrative Tribunal’s approval of the plan, remembering that plan was also fully endorsed by the Shire of Busselton,” Mr McKenzie said.

“It still remains the most exciting development site in the South West and we’re looking forward to continuing with the plans and getting everything in place.”

The next step for the Smiths Beach development will be securing final approval from the Western Australian Planning Commission, and environmental approval from the federal government.

Mr McKenzie said these final approvals remained in the pipeline.

The Environmental Protection Authority’s original report on the proposed development considered the scale of the first proposal to be environmentally unacceptable and recommended a smaller area be developed.

Two appeals were received against the report – one from Canal Rocks and another from the Conservation Council of Western Australia.

Through the appeals process, Canal Rocks submitted the area to be developed should be in accordance with a plan mediated by the SAT.

In her determination of the appeals, Mrs Faragher noted the mediated plan largely addressed EPA concerns and provided for conservation of most of the vegetation on site.

 

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