THE proponent behind a large-scale tourism venture in the Bickley Valley has lodged a new development application with the City of Kalamunda.
The application, which proposes chalets, a restaurant and a brewery at 116 Union Road in Carmel, will be decided by the Metro East Joint Development Assessment Panel.
A similar application lodged with the City in February this year did not proceed, after it was withdrawn by the applicant.
Developer Terry Martin said he had made key changes to the development after community feedback.
“During the previous advertising period, residents overwhelmingly highlighted the reception centre as a cause of concern, so we removed this land use from the current application,” he said.
“Further changes were made such as reducing opening hours in line with existing winery operators within the region, the reduction of chalets from 15 to 14, and the grouping of all accommodation and enterprise activity to the centre of the 23-acre (9ha) site.”
Mr Martin said the scale of the development had been misunderstood.
“It seems there is a lot going on, with a caf, micro distillery and chalet accommodation,” he said.
“At full patronage for a whole days trading across all site activities, this proposal will be less than half that of existing operators such as Core Cider, or Masons Mill and places this proposal in line with wineries/cellar doors/cafes in the area such as Fairbrossen and La Fattoria.
“Controls imposed by the Department of Water in terms of waste water treatment are in place and caps the amount of patrons per day, and therefore provides some security to residents that future expansion is not an option without a similar extensive planning process and assessment.”
Union Road resident Aidan Cosgrave said residents still had serious concerns.
“Our concerns have always been the fire risk to the community, impact on waterways, road safety, noise pollution and negative impact on our local amenity,” he said.
“This development will have 40-plus people in accommodation and then an expected average of 150 people during the course of the day in its caf.
“You then have the added attraction of a micro distillery to draw in visitors.
“Additionally it will be promoting its apiculture and botanicals business.”
Mr Cosgrave said it was concerning the developer had changed the primary use of land to agricultural and was now a “honey harvester”.
“This is clearly a means of circumventing the objections to the project that were put forward by the Water Authority in the original submission,” he said.
“As he was unable to address their concerns, it was easier to go down the agricultural path given there are different criteria governing such use.”
But Mr Martin said bee keeping was always part of the site’s attractions.
“Through discussions it was apparent that our bee keeping pursuits constitutes an agricultural land use and could be considered as a primary land use,” he said.
A community drop-in session will be held on August 24 from 5.30pm to 6pm at the Administration Function Room in Kalamunda.