Preston Beach Townsite Strategy

UPDATE ON - Draft Preston Beach Townsite Strategy

 The Shire has received formal correspondence from the Western Australian Planning Commission in relation to the Draft Preston Beach Townsite Strategy. At its meeting of 24 February 2015, the Commission resolved not to support the proposed Draft Preston Beach Townsite Strategy and to refuse the proponents’ request to initiate the associated proposed amendment to the Peel Region Scheme.  The reasons for the Commission’s decision are summarised as follows:

  • The proposed substantial urban expansion at Preston Beach is not consistent with the objectives and key requirements for substantial urban development in State Planning Policy 3 – Urban Growth and Settlement.
  • The Commission considers that the demand for substantial expansion of urban zoned land has not been adequately demonstrated.
  • The expansion of the Urban zone at Preston Beach is inconsistent with the Draft South Metropolitan and Peel Sub-Regional Planning Framework.
  • There is potential for significant indirect impacts from the proposed development on the adjacent wetlands and the Yalgorup National Park.
  • The proposal is not consistent with the objectives of the draft State Planning Policy 3.7 –Planning for Bushfire Risk Management.

In addition the Shire has been advised that the Commission and the Environmental Protection Authority are investigating the potential to reserve remnant rural zoned properties within the Yalgorup National Park area for ‘Parks and Recreation’.

It is understood that the proponents are currently considering their response to the decision.

Preston Beach Strategy

In 2006, the Shire of Waroona adopted a Project Brief to oversee preparation of a Townsite Strategy for Preston Beach. This page provides information about this Strategy.

The Preston Beach Townsite Strategy will deliver a land use structure plan for the area that:

  • Provides an agreed context for Government decision-making on amendments to the Peel Region Scheme (PRS) and the Shire of Waroona TPS No. 7.
  • Allows existing residents and landowners and the wider community to take part in developing the vision for the future of Preston Beach.
  • Ensures that any future development of the settlement occurs in a coordinated and sustainable manner.
  • Provides future planning certainty for residents, land owners and developers.

Preston Beach

About Preston Beach

Preston Beach PlaygroundThe 400 lot settlement of Preston Beach is located 124 kilometres south of Perth. Bounded by the Indian Ocean, Lake Preston and the Yalgorup National Park, Preston Beach is a relaxed holiday and recreational destination for locals and tourists and home to 185 permanent residents.

Currently Preston Beach has a general store with fuel bowsers, a community centre and a 9 hole golf course. Within the town’s holiday resort, there is a bar and restaurant with indoor and alfresco dining areas that are open to the public 7 days a week. The resort also includes, for guest use only, a games area and two heated swimming pools and a tennis court. Close to the beach there is a children's playground with a lawn area and shade trees, free electric barbecues and an ablution and facilities block with universal access.

Holiday accommodation consists of a holiday resort, B&B and short stay holiday home rentals and a Martin's Tank camp area with several tent sites, barbeques and toilets. Preston Beach is also one of the few places where there is 4WD access right along the beach. Preston Beach is famous for its fishing and played host to major fishing carnivals in the past.

The area is also renowned for its scenic beauty, the Yalgorup National Park and the surrounding lakes attract a variety of native animals and birdlife. There are hides and viewing platforms, a boardwalk and several walk trails for everyone to enjoy.

Preston Beach Townsite Expansion

The only coastal settlement for over 30 kilometres between Dawesville and Myalup, Preston Beach has been identified since the 1990’s for possible urban expansion. The Preston Beach Townsite Study area, shown by the red dashed line in the map below, includes the existing town of Preston Beach and land in private ownership to the north and south of the town. Recent changes in land ownership now see the majority of this land in the single ownership of the Preston Beach Joint Venture (PBJV).

Townsite Expansion Map

Preston Beach Townsite Strategy

In 2006 the Shire of Waroona commenced development of the Preston Beach Townsite Strategy. As a broad land use strategy it considers a range of matters, including the extent of expansion and possible ultimate lot numbers, the environmental conservation of the area, the recreational and social needs of the community, commercial and employment opportunities and the setbacks and access to the beach and wetlands.

Prior to any further significant land development at Preston Beach there needs to be significant technical, environmental and planning studies undertaken. This work is required to ensure that development is sustainable and that the lakes, wetlands, flora and fauna and natural heritage values of the area can be preserved and protected.

Considerable investigative work was undertaken between 2006 and 2009 with further work continuing at present. The findings of these studies will inform the development of the Preston Beach Townsite Strategy and will assist decision makers at the Federal, State and Local government levels when planning and development approvals are sought. The aim is to complete the Draft Preston Beach Townsite Strategy for submission to Council by July 2012.

Strategy Steps

Who Is Undertaking The Work?

In 2006, the Shire of Waroona adopted a Project Brief to oversee preparation of a Townsite Strategy for Preston Beach. Under the Project Brief, Council established the Steering Committee and a Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The Steering Committee has 11 members including representatives from the local community. It operates under a Terms of Reference approved by Council and updated in July 2011. The Steering Committee is supported by the Preston Beach TAG, chaired by the Shire. TAG members include professionals from State Government agencies and consultants and representatives of the landowners.

New Preston Beach Joint Venture Project Team

The Preston Beach Townsite Strategy has recently gained new momentum. The consultant team is working diligently to provide all decision-makers with the information needed to develop a structure plan for the townsite area that will inform future development at Preston Beach.

Changes in land ownership have also resulted in some changes to the project consultant team.

Joint Venture team info
ConsultantKey Role
Arup Engineering Integtrated Designer
Whelans Project Co-ordination
RPS Hydrology + Ecology + Environmental Approvals
TME Town Planning + Bush Fire Planning
MacroPlan Economy
MP Rogers Coastal Planning
Acuitus PBJV Project Manager

Shire Of Waroona Consultants

Shire of Waroona planning consultants
ConsultantKey Role
Taylor Burrell Barnett Town Planning & Urban Design
Bodhi Alliance Community Liaison

Planning And Approval Process

No development can occur at Preston Beach without approvals from Local, State and Federal Government. The development of the Preston Beach Townsite Strategy will need to address an array of existing planning and environmental requirements and policies including the Coastal and Lakelands Planning Strategy, the Shire of Waroona Town Planning Scheme No 7 and Local Planning Strategy. It will also need to meet stringent environmental standards including safeguarding hydrology, wetlands, fauna, coastal setbacks and the neighbouring national park. Various environmental factors relevant to Preston Beach were included in the Environment Protection Authority's Strategic Environmental Advice on the Dawesville to Binningup Area (May 2010).

Formal approvals need be sought through the Western Australian Planning Commission and Shire of Waroona for any rezoning under the Peel Region Scheme and Council Town Planning Scheme No 7 Rezoning will be subject to Environmental Impact Assessment by the Environment Protection Authority and the Commonwealth Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999.

This is a lengthy approval process, which is traditionally undertaken incrementally, but at Preston Beach some of the steps are being undertaken in parallel. This approach has been taken due to high environmental value of the area and the change in process means that more work is done up front without the certainty that development can occur as it provides a more holistic understanding of the potential impacts of development.


Get Involved

Community and stakeholder involvement is vital in the development of a broadly supported plan. If you would like to be involved you can:

  • Clink on Register to be Involved for email alerts and information
  • Come back to the Shire of Waroona website
  • Call the free project information line on 1800 012 498.