Decade of dereliction

Inglewood residents Paul Stein and Bob Somerville in front of the abandoned Cafe Chopstix. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d417723
Inglewood residents Paul Stein and Bob Somerville in front of the abandoned Cafe Chopstix. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d417723

Paul Stein and Bob Somerville have kept their eyes on the empty Chopsticks and Charco’s restaurants, hoping the two sites would be transformed into a landmark development.

‘It is a nice area and I like living here but when you drive or walk past it, it looks similar to what you would see in a third world country,’ Mr Stein said. ‘In something akin to a war zone, these derelict buildings stand there year after year and nothing ever happens.

‘Tiles litter the ground, and graffiti and posters adorn the walls.

‘It is an architectural melanoma.’

The Guardian Express contacted the owners of the sites but they declined to comment.

City of Stirling approvals manager Greg Bowering said there were no current development applications for the site, which is zoned as a local centre. This zoning aims to promote retail, commercial and community facilities, which have good pedestrian access and help identify a suburb.

Mr Bowering said the City did not normally engage with owners to make better use of land, but he said the City’s Beaufort Street planning workshops aimed to ‘incentivise landowners to improve individual properties such as this’.

‘The City is in the process of considering the future planning for Beaufort Street and is in the process of holding workshops with local stakeholders to determine the most appropriate planning controls for the area in the future,’ he said.

Mr Stein said he hoped the area would be redeveloped in the near future, as it would help revitalise the Inglewood end of Beaufort Street.