An ambitious proposal to buy back land earmarked for Margaret River’s first five-star resort has been rejected by local council, leaving one final hurdle for developers to clear before construction can situs slot online begin.
Developers have signalled they intend to commence earthworks on the site at Gnarabup in early 2021, pending final approval by the recently convened State Development Assessment Unit, which the WA Government put in place to stimulate the building sector after a coronavirus-related slowdown.
The development plan, unveiled in July, initially proposed a 120-guestroom resort set on prime land overlooking Gnarabup beach. But it was later revealed to also include a second tier of “sensitively designed beach homes for permanent and short-stay use” on four adjacent plots.
Lobby group Preserve Gnarabup had sought to lodge a scheme amendment proposing the acquisition of the four additional blocks for future use as a nature reserve at a cost of $5.5 million, with the Shire of Augusta Margaret River footing the bill, however council voted 4-3 against it.
The figure of $5.5million is the agreed price paid by the current landowner in 2019.