Foreshore cafe gets green tick

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Anthony Janssen says he’s excited to bring something different to Dunsborough.
Camera IconAnthony Janssen says he’s excited to bring something different to Dunsborough.

Dunsborough’s foreshore will soon be home to a waterfront cafe after Busselton City Council gave the long-awaited development the green light on Wednesday night.

After waiting in the wings for about a decade, the cafe now has the council’s in-principle support and will comprise a kitchen/kiosk, dining space and alfresco area over 200sqm as well as a 100sqm public deck area.

MRHG managing director Anthony Janssen told the Times there were still several hoops to jump through, including excising the land from the State Government and hammering out conditions of the lease, but he was keen to get the ball rolling.

“I’m excited to be bringing something new and different to the foreshore,” he said.

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“It’s still a pretty big process ahead of us though ... it could take 12 months, or two years — it’s kind of out of our hands at the moment.”

The establishment has been in the pipeline since 2008 when a waterfront cafe was identified as a priority in the foreshore’s redevelopment plan.

Years of negotiations and several plan revisions later, Mr Janssen said he was confident the development was now supported by most residents and had been adjusted enough to minimise disruption to neighbouring properties.

Several residents used this week’s council meeting to again raise some of their long-held concerns, including parking, noise, visibility from Geographe Bay Road and environmental woes.

Others presentations included Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Jo Richards, who voiced support, and former Dunsborough Coast and Landcare presidentRon Glencross, who said it should remain an A-Class Reserve.

Before councillors unanimously voted through the development, Mayor Grant Henley said he felt most of the issues had been addressed and lease conditions would be decided at a later date.

“With this latest iteration of the plan ... there will be minimal clearing of vegetation,” he said.

“The development will be built on screw piles ... and it will be elevated 1m, which will allow the natural dune vegetation to remain and there will be minimal, or no, removal of the main tree vegetation.

“In fact, this was why this was moved further towards the ocean — to reduce the impact on surrounding neighbours, but also, to reduce the amount of vegetation clearing.”

At last week’s public access session, Mr Janssen said while the application allowed for 7am to 8pm opening hours, it would be modelled on the group’s White Elephant Cafe in Gnarabup, open 7.30am to 3pm and operating as a BYO establishment.

The lease is expected to allow 24 “business-type” events each year and prohibit weddings, 21st and 18th birthday parties.

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