City of Cockburn passes on heritage site

The restored Coogee Hotel on Cockburn Road.
The restored Coogee Hotel on Cockburn Road.

A LACK of funding and partnership opportunities has curtailed any aspirations the City of Cockburn held of purchasing the old Coogee Hotel and Post office.

In July, deputy mayor Carol Reeve-Fowkes called on the city to investigate the possibility of buying the State heritage-listed site in partnership with the National Trust of Australia.

She said the buildings, which were restored by the State Government this year ahead of sale by Main Roads, could provide the base for a new historical precinct on Cockburn Road.

But with the National Trust advising the city it did not have the funding to help purchase the site, and no grant opportunities available, the opportunity was lost.

The WA Planning Commission is currently considering a structure plan for the site, which sets out proposed commercial and residential developments at the precinct.

Cockburn’s acting planning and development director Andrew Lefort said the city was now likely to play an advisory role.

“The city will assist the current and any prospective landowners in understanding the proposed structure plan to ensure the successful adaptive reuse of the heritage buildings is achieved,” he said.

“This is considered critical for their long-term conservation, regardless of ownership of the land.”

Cr Reeve-Fowkes believes there will be opportunities to explore in the future.

“It’s a wonderful location, which lends itself to innovative ideas that will benefit our whole community,” she said.

“The whole process has to proceed a bit further along the track yet before options can be fully explored.

“I’m convinced that we can get a great result in the future for these two heritage-listed buildings.”

Colliers International was appointed to manage the sale of the building by Main Roads.

A spokeswoman for Colliers said the firm had fielded inquiries from local, national and international developers proposing a variety of uses.

With tenders for the proposal closed on December 2, the successful bidder should be known soon.