COTTESLOE councillors turfed out a fair or food van market trial in the Cottesloe Beach carpark in favour of developing a design for grass and trees on the decaying bitumen .
“Let’s just dig up the frigging carpark… which is just dissolving before our eyes,” Councillor Sandra Boulter said.
Councillors spent about two hours last night altering recommendations to spend $2.2 million on more disabled access, beach shelters, signs, seating and the carpark trials opposite the Cottesloe Beach Hotel this summer.
The work is the first stage of a proposed $6.26 million foreshore renewal plan funded by the $9.1 million 2013 sale of the Town’s depot, from which the council’s foreshore renewal committee had recommended the trials.
However, despite staff and councillor statements to the contrary, residents said they were opposed to any move that made the site like a “fairground” and beachside traders objected to the potential for food trucks which did not pay rates being brought in.
“It seems ridiculous to just close it and put up a few sheds, or whatever,” Grant Street resident Peter Rattigan said.
Cr Sally Pyvis said greening the carpark, including grass and trees, had been part of every plan presented to the council in the past.
A staff report said public consultation since September had produced 78 responses, of which 83 per cent supported the majority of the stage one proposals, apart from rationalising beach signs being confused with people’s fears more would be put up.
“Other infrastructure, such as shelters, wall balustrades and seating, will continue to fail if no renewal works are carried out in the near term,” the report said.
Despite the warning, Grant Street resident and former councillor Jack Walsh said the council should not spend “so much” on the foreshore unless the State Government matched, like it had done at Scarborough.
Resident Natalie Kendall said the “tired” Cottesloe foreshore was the result of people “saying no to innovative ideas” for 30 years.
It was agreed to adjust the budget for the $2.2m, have all designs sent back to councillors to check each component of the plan for spending, and the current beach shelters would not be removed until their replacements were complete.
Mayor Philip Angers said he would not comment on the greening of the carpark until there were preliminary costed designs, which could be at the council in two weeks.