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Smiths house plan in court

21 June 2006

Busselton~Dunsborough Mail, p.10

Busselton shire senior staff have several months to wait on a decision by the State Administrative Tribunal as to whether a single house will be built on the western ridge at Smiths Beach.

A number of staff spent last week in the Busselton Courthouse arguing that the proposal should not go ahead.

Shire president Kevin Douglas said the priorities identified in council's new strategic plan clearly demonstrated that development be contained in identified nodes with defined boundaries to provide balance between urban and natural environments.

Shire lifestyle development director Nigel Bancroft said the application for review to the tribunal was lodged on behalf of Canal Rocks Pty Ltd, the developers of the proposed mixed tourist/residential development for up to 5oo units on the eastern portion of the site.

"The proposed dwelling site adjoins the national park and the land is considered to have very high landscape and local environment values, reflected in its reservation under the scheme for use for recreation purposes," he said.

"The original application for the house was submitted and refused by the council in 2003.

"The single house application on the reserved land followed a previous compensation claim lodged by the landowner when the reservation was put in place under the new town planning scheme in 1999.

"The original refusal issued by the shire was on the basis that the required guide plan had not yet been undertaken for the land and the dwelling was inappropriately located given its visual impact and conflict with the scheme objectives for the land.

"The shire also expressed the view to the tribunal that the original reservation of the land reflected a proposal from the landowner and was part of the overall planning for the site.

"This planning provided significant development potential on the eastern part of the lot, with the landscape and environmental values of the western area maintained.

"It was noted by the shire that the proposed location was identified as having an extreme fire hazard risk.

"There were also plenty of sites on the eastern portion of the lot where a house could be located without such fire risk, with better access and proximity to future services, and reduced potential for environmental and landscape impact."

Copyright 2006 by Rural Press Ltd. This report is for information only in order to inform readers about the this Rural Press Ltd report. 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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