Posted on June 24, 2012 by Western Suburbs Alliance
The Cottesloe Council and community favour three to five-story limits to the buildings along Marine Parade. Ratepayer groups advocate the preservation of Cottesloe’s cultural heritage and state their opposition to high rise, high density development along this world-famous beach front.
Fourteen thousand persons have signed petitions against high-rise development. An inquiry by design exercise, in which State Government planners, the local council and the community reached a compromise, was subsequently ignored by the Barnett government. After a 16 month rewrite of Town Planning Scheme No 3, the Government forcibly modified the council’s town planning scheme to allow for three storeys along Marine Terrace, up to five storeys on properties set back from the street, an eight-storey limit at the Ocean Beach Hotel site and a six storey limit to the Il Lido restaurant site.
Premier Barnett says, ‘The reality is that local government powers, including planning, are delegated to them by the state and we make the decision.’ He argues that this plan will allow for new cafes, restaurants, small bars, art galleries and accommodation and rejuvenate the areas and make it more family friendly.
The Keep Cott Low lobby group, led by lawyer John Hammond, claims the government’s plan will see the much-loved beach resemble the Gold Coast. Mr Hammond said that Mr Barnett was effectively proposing the “wholesale demolition of Cottesloe as we know it. He may as well bring in the bulldozers now, and bulldoze the entire beachfront.”
Labor leader Mark McGowan said, “What concerns me is that Mr Barnett has been the Member of Parliament for Cottesloe for 22 years. For 22 years, there has been a decline in much of the public amenity around Cottesloe. Why hasn’t he done something about it?”
Cottesloe Mayor Kevin Morgan says the high buildings will shadow the area and dwarf the beachscape with concrete. He says, ‘You’re going to end up with the same bars and cafes that you would have got with three to five storeys. The extra storeys are simply going to translate into a few high-priced penthouse apartments and an enclave for a few well-heeled. And no doubt, windfall prices of tens of millions of dollars for the lucky property owners who have been sitting on this in anticipation of the Premier delivering his threats a few years back.’
He accuses the Barnett government of corrupting the planning process without providing any rationale for the extra height limit. The Councilors and residents are supporting a challenge which would keep open the Town’s low-rise option until the 2013 State Election.
The Mayor says, ‘I believe the only way to save our beachfront is to get rid of our local member.