Cottesloe: councillors defend proposal to turn carpark into lawned area

Councillors Sandra Boulter and Sally Pyvis have defended turning the car park into turf and trees at Cottesloe Beach. Picture: Jon Bassett
Councillors Sandra Boulter and Sally Pyvis have defended turning the car park into turf and trees at Cottesloe Beach. Picture: Jon Bassett

COUNCILLORS have defended potentially removing 144 swimmers’ car bays and possibly sending cars to park on nearby streets in a proposed $1 million revamp turning the decaying carpark into area for grass and trees at Cottesloe Beach.

“We’ve got another carpark over the road at Napier Street 100m away, and the main carpark most of the time isn’t full,” councillor Sandra Boulter said.

In November, Cr Boulter got the council to develop and cost designs turning part or all of the current 144-bays next to the popular beach into a greened park.

The change followed failure of a bid, unpopular among residents and beachside traders, for the council to spend $264,000 testing alternative uses of the carpark this summer, including trials of attractions during Sculpture by the Sea.

A staff report said just resurfacing the degraded car park to its current capacity would cost $319,000.

Cr Boulter said it was up to the designers of a green car park to resolve issues such as cars going nearby streets, and the request for designs was “just” implementation of the council’s long-standing policies.

In 2017, the council got about 450 letters of support for a smaller, greener car park as part of public comment for its Cottesloe Foreshore Renewal Masterplan, after the change was suggested by the council’s the Enquiry By Design study in 2009.

Last month, it was decided to allocate $955,900 from the sale of the Town’s depot and start 14 days of public comment on January 29 on three new designs for a green carpark.

The mid-range concept funded by the budget allocation included turf, trees, seating, a skateboarding and sports court, irrigation and lighting.

Green carpark supporter Cr Sally Pyvis said it was expected there could be community backlash about the loss of some car bays.

Cr Pyvis said the council would need to tackle public and alternative transport that could reduce the impact of a smaller carpark.

“Repeated community consultation over the past 12 years has confirmed locals and visitors alike want a relaxed, low-rise, low-key beach front with more grass terraces and green open space to enjoy the beautiful coastal landscape,” she said.

Councillors will consider the public comment and the proposal at their meeting next month.