Council rejects Wildwood Wake proposal

City of Busselton council have unanimously voted down a proposed wakeboard park in Anniebrook. Stock image.
City of Busselton council have unanimously voted down a proposed wakeboard park in Anniebrook. Stock image.

City of Busselton council have unanimously voted down a proposed wakeboard park in Anniebrook.

The outcome was welcomed by the numerous residents of the agriculture area who attended the vote on August 8.

One remarked ‘we’ve won the battle, but not the war’, in reference to the possibility the proponents could take the matter to the State Administrative Tribunal. 

Council’s decision was in line with city offers recommendations to reject the proposal.

In a report delivered to council, city officers stated the proposal would result in a detrimental impact on the amenity of the neighbouring properties.

It said the proposal was inconsistent with the amenity of the locality and the objectives of the zone, and the proposal did not constitute orderly and proper planning. 

The proposed development would have seen a purpose-built cable-ski lake, boat lake and aqua park built on the Wildwood Road property as well as a restaurant area and six chalets.

The development concept angered neighbours, who were fearful the development would suck dry precious water sources and ruin the natural amenity of the area.

Anniebrook resident Cath Branson welcomed the decision.

“Council put a lot of consideration into this, they visited the site, read all the reports, listened openly to the residents and common sense prevailed,” she said.

“Water is not an inexhaustible resource and given the area is zoned for agriculture, it is good to see the city support that and want to maintain that.”

Proponent Cameron Akers said they would be considering their options going forward.

He said in regards to the zoning, a number of other projects, such as the caravan park on Chain Avenue and the brewery on Wildwood Road, had recently been approved in agricultural zones.

“We also contacted the planners in August 2015 before we purchased the property to see if this kind of facility would be allowed under current regulations and were told it would be,” he said.

Mr Akers thanked those in the community who supported and encouraged the development.

“We are disappointed with the decision, not only for ourselves, but for the hundreds of people from across the South West region that supported the proposal, along with the Tourism Council WA, the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association and the Dunsborough-Yallingup Chamber of Commerce,” he said.

“We believe Wildwood Wake would have created a dynamic, family-friendly facility that would have complimented the region’s existing tourism assets while also providing a much-needed and popular community facility where our kids and school groups could learn to ski and wakeboard in a safe environment.”

“It takes courage to have a crack and invest in new and innovative ideas and we believe the community, particularly the younger generation, is the real loser out of this decision.”