Dunsborough’s town centre could soon be limited to a three-storey height limit after Busselton City Council votes on a new draft precinct plan. At last month’s council meeting councillors moved a motion to publicly advertise a draft Dunsborough precinct structure plan to guide future zoning, subdivision and development of the city centre, including the height of new developments. The major shake-up to the draft plan will see lots zoned ‘centre’ and R80 be rezoned to R-AC4 and R60 respectively, meaning maximum building heights will be limited to just three storeys. The agreed upon draft was an amended motion put forward by Cr Kate Cox, reducing the building heights further from the original five-storey proposal limit. Cr Cox said limiting the maximum building heights allowed in the heart of Dunsborough would go towards preserving the town’s charm that locals valued. “Urban planning and property developers seem to be controlling the narrative that urban density in Dunsborough is inevitable, that urban density is necessary to counteract urban sprawl,” she said. “We acknowledge that growth is inevitable but it needs to be controlled in a manner where the built form, aesthetic and character of the town is preserved and respected.” While councillors went into heavy debate of the nuances of the draft plan, it was ultimately won six votes to two. The main concerns of the councillors were the limitations a maximum of three stories would bring, the lack of diversity and concerns surrounding short-stay accommodation. Mayor Grant Henley said while he agreed the higher zoning opened up the possibility for large-scale buildings — most of which he had agreed with the community and voted against as a Joint Development Assessment Panel member — diversity was needed given the housing needs of the growing community. He argued other clauses could be made to ensure any buildings over three storeys would need to be developed correctly, using Dunsborough’s Cape Care apartments as an example. “I think we do need to consider what the likely outcome of this is when we put this out for community consultation and we appease the 600 to 700 people who have said they don’t want to see that development but there’s many people who would,” he said. “The average occupancy per resident in Dunsborough is the lowest in the State so the opportunity to have diversity of apartments and small-scale accommodation is something we should explore.” The successful vote comes after repeated development applications had come before the JDAP, proposing four to six-storey multi-use buildings — one of which was approved on the Dunsborough foreshore despite lengthy Supreme Court action by neighbours. The amended draft proposal will now be referred to the Environmental Protection Authority for consideration, after which it will be advertised for 42 days of public consultation.