The City of Bunbury Council has unanimously voted to allow the heritage-listed Red Mill Store to apply for revitalisation work from the West Australian Planning Commission to transform the building into a preserved yet vitalised space. At a council meeting on September 26, deputations were heard from owners and current tenants of the Red Mill Store who have been planning to extend the scope of how much of the existing building is used, and turn that space into the potential for a bigger arts and tourism facility. The current Victorian-style two-storey building along Stirling Street has a single-storey shop extension to the side, which are currently used as a exhibition centre for Studio Milton and Reside Studio. This new scheme intends to facilitate several additional uses of a commercial and tourism-related nature to continue to fund the preservation of the heritage-listed building. Speaking to the council, current owner of the building Greg Navarro — who has owned and lived in the building for close to 20 years — said the community was eager to see their building revitalised. “There’s been nothing but positives from people who live around the store,” he said. “They love the vibe.” The scheme plans to extend the scope of what services the building can offer, including the plan for Studio Milton to offering a broader range of items for purchase, which may include a boutique-style liquor store with a “broader range of artisan and convenience items”. The scheme also notes the potential for a single “holiday accommodation” apartment above the commercial floor area, while preserving the existing dwelling at the rear. The scheme, however, needs to take into account — according to the council — the impact the redevelopments will have on local residents, as street parking along Stirling road is already narrow and limited. Officers are recommending that the street parking along Stirling Street be limited to 10 bays to accommodate the estimated 12 needed for the clientele the scheme will generate. Mr Navarro said the revamped space was something Bunbury had been looking for to continue its push as a tourist town. “This is something Bunbury needs,” he said.