Shire of Harvey makes recommendation to WAPC to support scheme change for Cookernup’s Harvey Springs Estate

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
New development is proposed at the Harvey Springs Estate in Cookernup.
Camera IconNew development is proposed at the Harvey Springs Estate in Cookernup. Credit: Kathryn McGie/supplied elders Real Estate Bunbury

The Western Australian Planning Commission has been told to approve a local planning scheme in the Harvey Shire to potentially allow a new tourism venture.

Shire of Harvey councillors voted at their meeting last month to support the change proposed by Harvey Springs Estate in Cookernup to allow for non-agricultural uses of the properties.

In her report to councillors prior to the meeting, senior planning officer Kelly Beauglehole noted in-principle support for a tourism precinct by council staff to complement the site’s agricultural operations.

However, councillors were recommended to reject the proposal due to there being “insufficient justification and technical information”.

“It is recommended that further justification and information is provided to demonstrate to relevant referral agencies that the land has the capability to support the scale of development that is proposed,” Ms Beauglehole said.

“Serious concerns have been raised in respect of the cumulative impacts from on-site effluent disposal from the trade waste that will be generated.”.

A number of tourism uses surrounding the estate’s winery is proposed, including an extension to the winery building, a potential brewery or distillery, event spaces and accommodation.

Despite the concerns in the report, councillors unaminously agreed to support the proposal after it was put forward by deputy president Michelle Campbell.

Before the vote, Planned Focus principal planner Kanella Hope spoke on behalf of the property owner and noted the nature of what council was approving.

“It just opens the door so that applications and detailed design can be pursued — it doesn’t necessarily approve anything per se,” she said.

“This amendment to Harvey Springs represents quite a considerable economic development opportunity for the whole Shire and it has the potential to fulfill the economic development strategy that the Shire has adopted ... (and) create many ongoing jobs.”

Ms Hope said items such as amenity considerations and wastewater management would be resolved during the detailed design phase.

In moving her support, Cr Campbell said the tourism investment would be of “a broader and more integrated style”, with not all potential additional land uses expected to come to fruition.

“I feel the concerns surrounding wastewater, specifically trade waste which may be generated from the land uses through this amendment, will be stringently regulated through the State agencies,” she said.

“This is a very large property and the local development plan followed by the development application will ensure that the impacts on neighbours will be evaluated and addressed.”

Cr John Bromham described the proposed development as a “great project”, while Cr Paul Beech said it would have a “huge” economic impact on the northern part of the Shire.

“It ducktails into tourism development that we’re (advocating) and it puts the onus back on the proponent to provide the material (necessary for development) ... and nothing will happen until all of that has been satisfied.”

The council’s decision on the planning scheme is not final, with the Western Australian Planning Commission having the final say on whether the change is made.

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