Development Application – Smiths Beach Tourism, Residential, Community Facilities and Commercial Development

Lot 4131 Smiths Beach Road, Yallingup, City of Busselton – value $280m
artist impression of smiths beach

Artist impression only

The development application proposes a tourist resort with a 65-room hotel and 36-platform campground, 61 houses, community facilities including a surf life-saving club and tourist centre, and retail with food and beverage venues and a liquor store.  

Application status

Application status - Under assessment

Application Details

Public comment has closed and this development application is currently under assessment. Feedback from the community, key stakeholders, local government and State agencies is being considered in order to inform a recommendation for the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC).

A WAPC meeting to determine the application will be scheduled when the assessment is complete and all registered parties will be informed of the meeting date. Agenda papers will be published on this website a minimum of five days before the meeting.

FAQ/Additional information

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Why is the WAPC the determining authority for this application?

The application has been lodged under Part 17 of the Planning and Development Act 2005 (PD Act), which has established the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) as the decision-making authority for significant development applications to support the State’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out more about the pathway on the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage website.

How will the application be assessed?

The development application will undergo a transparent and rigorous assessment by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH), including design review, extensive public consultation and referrals to relevant stakeholders including the City of Busselton, the Health Department of Western Australia, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

This assessment will focus on matters such as design quality, building height and density, visual and environmental impacts, bushfire management, Aboriginal heritage, coastal erosion, servicing, parking and traffic impacts, landscaping and public access to the beach.

Read more about consultation in the Part 17 significant development pathway FAQs.

How does a review by the Environmental Protection Authority impact the development assessment process?

Proposals likely to have a significant effect on the environment, referred to as “significant proposals”, are referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for environmental impact assessment. Once the EPA has received a valid referral, it invites public comments on whether or not it should assess the proposal and, if so, the level of assessment.

View the EPA assessment process.

Assessment of an application for significant development can continue while a review is undertaken by the EPA, including consultation with the public and relevant State and local government stakeholders.

However, the Western Australian Planning Commission is unable to make a decision on the application that would allow the proposal to proceed until the EPA has completed its assessment and the Minister for Environment has made a decision about whether the proposal may be implemented. The Commission is unable to make a decision that would be contrary to any Ministerial Statement issued in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

What is the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) review process?

In May 2022, the EPA determined to assess the current proposal at the level of Public Environmental Review (PER). The next step will be for the proponent to submit an Environmental Scoping Document for the review, which will be subject to a two-week public review period and EPA approval. An Environmental Review Document will then be prepared, and once accepted by the EPA, released for a four-week public review period.

The EPA will then begin drafting its assessment report to the Minister for Environment, which will include recommendations about whether or not the proposal should be implemented, and if so, any implementation conditions. The EPA’s report is subject to appeal. In accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1986, the Minister for Environment will ultimately determine whether the proposal should be implemented, and if so, any conditions that should apply.

More information can be found at the EPA Smiths Beach Project, Yallingup – Coastal Tourism Village page.

Has the EPA assessed any other proposals for this site?

Yes, in 2009 the EPA released EPA Report 1318 (EPA1318) regarding its assessment of a conceptual proposal (”strategic proposal”) for the site. Ministerial Statement 831 (MS831) was issued in 2010 providing conditions which may be applied to development proposals derived from the strategic proposal (“derived proposal”). MS831 required, among other matters, that 20.97 hectares of the site be incorporated into the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park prior to any subdivision or development. This has not progressed to any derived proposals to date, and lapsed in June 2020. A request to extend this approval is being considered separately by the EPA. If a time extension is approved by the Minister for Environment, and a proposal is referred to the EPA and requested to be considered as a derived proposal, MS831 conditions may be applied by the Minister.

The current development application for the Smiths Beach Tourism Village has been referred to the EPA as a new proposal and will be assessed on its merits. While the current Public Environmental Review is separate from the previous EPA assessment, the findings of EPA1318 and MS831 on the previous strategic proposal will be considered in the EPA’s assessment of the new proposal.

If I make a submission on the development application, will my comments be shared with the EPA?

No, submissions to the WAPC will not be provided to the EPA.

The development application assessment and PER are independent processes under separate legislation, so individual submissions need to be made to the WAPC and EPA on the material that is being advertised by each agency for public comment.

How do I make a submission if I cannot do so using the Department’s online Consultation Hub platform?

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage strongly encourages interested parties to lodge a submission through the Consultation Hub to ensure it is received and properly recorded. You do not have to create an account to make an online submission, you can add attachments and your submission is confidential. If you have digital access issues that prevent you from doing so, please contact the Department on 6551 9450 for assistance. You can also email your submission to SmithsBeach@dplh.wa.gov.au or post your written submission to:

Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage,
State Development Assessment Unit,
Locked Bag 2506, Perth WA 6001.

When will this application be determined?

There are no timeframes under the temporary significant development assessment pathway for the WAPC to determine an application.

Once a meeting date is confirmed, everyone who made a submission will be advised and can attend the meeting in person or virtually via Zoom and also can apply to be considered to make a presentation to the WAPC.

Page reviewed 9 September 2022