3 Oceans welcomes Scarborough towers approval but community group unhappy

The site o the corner of Scarborough Beach Road and West Coast Highway. Picture: Martin Kennealey.
The site o the corner of Scarborough Beach Road and West Coast Highway. Picture: Martin Kennealey.

WORK to transform the former Contacio site in Scarborough into a major tourism drawcard is set to start immediately.

In welcoming the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority board’s decision to approve its 43-storey Iconic Scarborough development, 3 Oceans announced it would immediately start early works ahead of construction in January.

Managing director Dyno Zhang said the company had been working on its towers proposal since acquiring the West Coast Highway site in 2014.

He described the revised design as reduced in scale and having achieved design excellence from the MRA’s design mediation panel.

“It will promote tourism, provide a new place for local people to enjoy, improve the accommodation offering, and create exciting new retail and food opportunities,” he said.

“Importantly, it will create 2200 jobs during construction and more than 700 permanent jobs in Scarborough.”

The City of Stirling, Urban Development Institute of Australia WA and Tourism Council WA welcomed the announcement but community action group Sunsets Not Skyscrapers has expressed anger at the decision.

Spokeswoman Janet Pettigrew said she believed it showed the State Government cared “more for big business than the local community”.

“We have a comprehensive Scarborough Beach Master Plan, developed in conjunction with the community, which is less than two-years-old,” she said.

“It is designed to ensure that any proposals within the redevelopment area are in harmony with the natural amenity and the communities vision for Scarborough Beach.

“The height limit of 12 storeys is just one of the many factors that are integral to the master plan and which this proposal ignores.”

Fellow member Lisa Thornton said the decision would “open the floodgates for more skyscrapers along our coastline, changing it forever”.

In delivering the decision, MRA chairman George McCullagh said the proposal aligned with the long-term vision and objectives for Scarborough as set out in the planning scheme.

“Ultimately in this case the level of discretion required for additional height is appropriate,” he said.

“The 1445 people that have taken the time to write to us have provided a welcome overview of the local considerations, broader community views and potential benefits that are integral in the determination of planning matters.”