Day has way on beach heights

‘There are grounds for overturning the Minister’s existing decision because it’s unlawful, but he has now changed the rules so he can remake the decision without it being unlawful,’ departing Mayor Kevin Morgan said.

At last week’s meeting, councillors considered legal advice about Planning Minister John Day’s new State Coastal Planning Policy 2.6.

It decided to withdraw a year-long Supreme Court challenge that claimed Mr Day breached his own planning rules when he requested six storeys at the Il Lido Restaurant site and eight at the Ocean Beach Hotel in the Town’s draft Local Planning Scheme No 3 (LPS3) in 2011.

The challenge followed a decade-long fight over beachfront height limits that included the council’s Inquiry by Design investigation identifying three to five storeys as the most appropriate to maintain a liveable and community-oriented scale for future development.

In reply, the Government reviewed the statewide planning policy before a section dealing with height limits in the new version introduced general criteria that LPS3 had to adhere, such as restrictions being set to ‘achieve outcomes which respond to the desired character, built form and amenity of the locality’.

Mr Morgan said the future of development at Cottesloe Beach now relied on the Government recognising the foreshore’s unique character required height limits.

‘At the end of the day, the Government has got its way and high rise is inevitable for Cottesloe, against the majority view of Cottesloe and WA residents,’ Keep Cott Low President John Hammond said.

Mr Hammond said residents’ fight would continue because objections could now shift to concerns about traffic flows and parking density.