Eroding Wanneroo Council support for cafe plan on Eglinton beachfront

PLANNERS are pushing back against a developer’s proposal to put a temporary cafe on the beachfront in Eglinton.

City of Wanneroo city growth manager Mark Dickson presented a report on developer Stockland’s foreshore management plan for Amberton estate at last week’s council briefing.

Mr Dickson said staff recommended the cafe, proposed to be close to the beach for 180-degree views, be relocated farther east by the road.

“It would provide a more long-term sustainable position; it would be less likely to be affected by coastal erosion,” he said.

His report said the developer’s proposed position was in front of the 30-year coastal processes line, which could be vulnerable to erosion within three decades.

“Whilst administration is supportive of the provision of a cafe within the foreshore, it is administration’s recommendation that this be located between the 30 and 50 year coastal processes line,” it said.

Although the developer planned to advertise it as a temporary cafe, Mr Dickson said the City did not want to raise community expectations that it would protect a beachfront building.

“If and when the cafe was impacted by coastal erosion, council would have to invest in coastal protection works,” he said.

“We know of the vagaries of extreme storm events. We are taking a slightly risk-averse process.

“(It is) better to place expensive assets like carparks, surf lifesaving clubs and cafes in a place where they wouldn’t need to be relocated before the end of their lifespan.”

Councillor Linda Aitken said if the developer advertised it as a temporary structure, then the community expectations would be that it would move eventually.

After asking whether the City’s environmental advisory committee or wider community had been consulted, and being told they had not, Cr Sabine Winton foreshadowed an amendment for tonight’s council meeting.

During public question time, ‘Save our foreshore Quinns Beach’ campaign co-founder Nat Sangalli, who is a candidate for the upcoming local government elections, said she supported the staff recommendation.

“There will be a community expectation if this cafe is built next to the beach and erosion starts that someone is responsible for fixing it,” she said.

Mrs Sangalli also asked why the plan did not include any toilet facilities and Mr Dickson said the developer would still need to submit a building application for the cafe, which may include toilets.

The foreshore plan covers about 700m along the coast, with a node of facilities, including carpark, paths, playground, barbecues, a beach shower, bicycle racks, shelters and the cafe.

It also proposes a lookout and three passive recreation areas, and outlines coastal management for the area.

Councillors will consider the recommendation to approve the plan, subject to conditions, at their September 15 meeting.