A FOUR-storey development proposed for Caversham has no place in the Swan Valley, which has special planning legislation designed to preserve viticulture, according to one of the valley’s top wineries.
Sandalford Wines chief executive officer Grant Brinklow said said the Swan Valley legislation introduced in 1995 said any development in the area had to complement and maintain the rural amenity of the area.
“If something like this four-storey proposal gets approved what’s next,’’ he said.
Mr Brinklow said the Prendiville Group were for sensible development of the area as long as the development was consistent with the parameters of the Swan Valley planning legislation.
The proposed development on Lot 100 West Swan Rd includes plans for a roadhouse, restaurant-tavern and short stay accommodation units.
Peter Webb & Assoc has compiled a report for Procon Development, which states that as the estimated construction cost of the proposed development is $7.4 million, the applicant has opted for the proposal to go to the Metro East Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP).
The report said the roadhouse building would be setback 10m from West Swan Rd.
It said the applicant proposed to develop the site with a range of uses to provide visitors to the region with short stay accommodation, a food and wine offering and also a roadhouse to enable visitors to access convenience goods and refuel to continue on their way.
“The proposal to develop a substantial short-stay accommodation facility is considered to fulfil the objective of promoting the Swan Valley as a tourism resource, and we note that the city has previously resolved to form this view on other short-stay accommodation proposals in the Swan Valley,’’ the report said.
The report said the proposal also provided for limited rural living within the Swan Valley, subject to locational, design and landscaping requirements to enhance the character and amenity of the valley and to ensure compatibility with productive rural activities.
But the report noted the proposed development did not include a rural living component.
“The subject land is not being used (and has not for some time) for productive viticultural-horticultural use due to the poor soil conditions, and therefore, the development does not jeopardise any current viticultural-horticultural use.
“Noting the lot is already approximately half the 4ha threshold that has historically been taken as the minimum lot size for viable viticultural production, it is questionable whether the proposal could be said to prejudice the viable use of the land for this purpose.’’
The report also said the proposal ensured the development and use of land accorded with the planning objectives for Area B as specified in the Swan Valley Planning Act (2005).
Mr Brinklow said considering a 7-Eleven service station was approved less than a km up the road a while back notwithstanding all the community opposition to the application one had to wonder why another petrol station was needed in the area.
He said the Swan Valley was the jewel in the crown when it came to tourism.
By Anita McInnes