Scarborough: divided views on future of dunes

The dunes area in front of the proposed The Beach Shack development. Photo: Martin Kennealey
The dunes area in front of the proposed The Beach Shack development. Photo: Martin Kennealey

TWO State Government departments are considering two applications that will determine future use of Scarborough dunes but say they will be determined separately.

Developer Norup + Wilson has applied to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) for a clearing permit for a 1160sq m area within dunes in front of its West Coast Highway development to enable creation of a firebreak and emergency access.

Norup + Wilson is seeking to clear and level the land then revegetate the area.

Realignment of the developer’s property boundary led to them applying to clear that land to satisfy a development approval condition.

The land is a Bush Forever site and zoned road reserve, though the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) is currently working with the City of Stirling to amalgamate it with the adjacent South Trigg Class A reserve.

A DWER spokeswoman said it had sought advice from the DPLH on Bush Forever and bush fire policy but there was no requirement for it to “await the outcome of the amalgamation process”.

The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) granted approval last February for the 10-storey apartment complex – The Beach Shack – with a condition that developers submit required a bushfire management plan, which an MRA spokesman said was “common practice for new developments opposite bushfire prone land”.

“The MRA will seek confirmation from relevant authorities that the bushfire management plan is satisfactory before clearing the condition,” he said.

City Parks and Sustainability manager Ian Hunter said the previous firebreak was within the developer’s land and “no longer exists” since the property boundary was redefined.

Mr Hunter said the area’s vegetation was 50 per cent weeds.

“The ideal arrangement would be to ensure the highly weed-infested areas are selectively cleared and replanted using endemic coastal dune species, and to retain the existing local native vegetation,” he said.

“If the developer does not undertake this work by the time that the road reserve is amalgamated with the Class A reserve and vested in the City, the City would schedule weed removal over subsequent years.”