Smiths Beach residents have promised to fight a major seaside development
they believe will ruin their South-West paradise.
for a tourist and residential development more than four times the size
of the neighbouring Yallingup settlement are in the final stages.
The Canal Rocks Trust proposal includes 700 new blocks
- 230 of them for residential housing - on 40ha. It is expected to be
released for public comment through Busselton Shire Council within a fortnight.
Residents and tourism operators rallied against the
proposal at a meeting at the Yallingup Hall last night chaired by former
Perth businessman and now Yallingup resident Kevin Merifield.
Mr Merifield said local people felt the proposal had
been developed behind their backs.
"We need to make people aware of the magnitude
of this thing, which is frightening," he said.
"International and interstate visitors fall in
love with the place because it's unique the way it is. We don't want to
translate it to an East Perth or Subiaco type of density."
Canal Rocks Pty Ltd chairman David McKenzie defended
the proposal last night, saying it would help ease mounting pressure on
other coastal hotspots.
Mr McKenzie said opposition to the proposal was based
on a lack of understanding about the planning process.
"It's just a latent knee-jerk reaction to the
whole thing," he said.
"There is no doubt that piece of land offers
the most beneficial aspects of any piece of land in the area.
"What we are proposing is of first-class quality.
It will be absolutely fantastic not just for the area, but for the State
as a whole."
WA Planning Commission South-West manager Larry Guise
said provisions for the proposal had been endorsed by State Cabinet through
the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge Statement of Planning Policy in 1988.
This had helped outline a potential coastal development
in Smiths Beach, Yallingup, Indijup or Moses Rock.
He believed the policy, which included strict conservation
controls, protected over-development on the coast by making provisions
for more tourist and residential plans inland.
Busselton Shire chief executive
Michael Swift said development of Smiths Beach had been a council issue
for the past 14 years. The council was concerned about potential visual
and environmental problems it could trigger.
He believed it could also bring a quality family style
accommodation village to the coastal area.
Canal Rocks Beach Resort manager Emma Tubb branded
the proposal as greedy.
Chandler's Smith Beach Villas manager Yvonne Smith
said the development would destroy the area. "This is one of the
last little spots on the coast where tourists can enjoy some peace and
quiet out of suburbia," Mrs Smith said.
© Copyright 2000 by
West Australian Newspapers
Ltd. This report is for information only. No charge for such use is
made and the material is not being used for commercial purposes. The text
has not been modified from the original report.
Smiths Beach News|Close|