WAPC investigates land for urban growth in Dunsborough

A planning investigation is underway in Dunsborough to identify areas that are suitable for urban growth which is expected to be completed next year.

The population in the Dunsborough area is currently around 9,000 people and is projected to grow to around 12,000 by the end of this decade.

A recent spike in land and house sales throughout the City of Busselton has also seen the city work with developers to see whether they could expedite further land release already earmarked for residential areas.

City of Busselton director of planning and development services Paul Needham said there were a range of factors that could affect the growth of Dunsborough, and a significant degree of uncertainty around future growth.

"While the current COVID-19 crisis has added to that uncertainty, the city, including Dunsborough, is a very attractive place for people to live, work and invest, and as a result, our population growth is faster and more robust than anywhere else in regional WA," he said.

As part of the City of Busselton's Local Planning Strategy and the Western Australian Planning Commission's Leeuwin-Naturaliste Sub-Regional Planning Strategy, an area to investigate has been identified to the southeast of Dunsborough Lakes.

Mr Needham said the commission, with help from the city, was undertaking further work on the investigation area with a view to identifying the nature and extent of future urban expansion in Dunsborough.

Mr Needham said the process was being led by the commission, and not the city or private developers.

"There are a series of processes that would need to occur before new residential or other lots could be created in the area under investigation," he said.

"It would also include development of an overall structure plan, changes to the zoning of the land and the more detailed subdivision approval processes that would follow."

It is understood that the commission is aiming to complete the investigation stage by 2021, and subsequent processes could also start next year, Mr Needham said.

"It is, however, still several years before any actual lot release could occur in the investigation area," he said.

"In the interim, there are further phases of Dunsborough Lakes, as well as land already zoned for residential development to the west of Cape Naturaliste Road which can be subdivided.

"The timing and nature of land release in those areas will be determined by the developers. Subdivision in those areas is also expected to be able to meet demand for residential land in Dunsborough for the next few years."