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Luxury SW Beach Resort Back on Agenda

17 August 2005

Suellen Jerrard, The West Australian

A multi-million-dollar residential and tourist development at the South-West’s renowned Smiths Beach near Yallingup is back on the cards nearly five years after similar plans sparked uproar.

Canal Rocks expects to put its proposal for about 120 residential units, 260 holiday units, a village centre and community facilities before the Busselton Shire Council tomorrow. The latest plan almost halves what the developer initially proposed in late 2000.

The shire received more than 3000 submissions opposing that plan on the grounds it would harm the visual amenity of the popular spot, destroy pristine bushland, displace native wildlife and create pollution. Efforts to turn around community opposition have been under way for more than two years with the developers holding at least 50 meetings with individuals and groups ranging from tourism and business leaders to fishing and surfing bodies.

The Smiths Beach Action Group, set up to oppose the initial plan, claimed the consultation had been a smokescreen designed to push the development through. Chairman Bob McKay was concerned the latest proposal would still turn the area into an urban subdivision, which would destroy the popular beach.

Action group member Lawrie Schlueter said the plans still pushed too far into the coastal headland and he wanted to know more about a proposed elevated hotel. He welcomed other changes to limit the impact on the landscape and make the development fit in with the environment.

Allan Tranter, whose firm Creating Communities handled the community consultation, said a lot of effort was put into lessening the impact on the landscape. He said the community reaction had been positive.

© Copyright 2005 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.

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