KITESURFERS, families, tourists and the elderly will get new beach steps and facilities along Cottesloe Bach.
The upgrades are the first in a series planned for the 33 paths on the 4.5km of coast administered by the Town of Cotteloe.
“It’s for everyone that uses the beach, as the whole idea is to make it a better amenity for all beach users,” Cottesloe Mayor Philip Angers said.
Current kopper log and sand paths between Beach and Deane streets, along the surf spot known as Dutch Inn, are degrading.
The steps have rotten timber, some are missing, with sharp edges and erosion caused by their perpendicular routes to the beach.
The Town has proposed to build a new, diagonally positioned timber staircase, shower, seating and paved area just south of a bed of coastal plants at the end of Salvado Road.
The site, a kiting area agreed with the WA Kite Surfing Association many years ago, is at a new carpark built by the council to attract kitesurfers away from the potentially dangerous nearby Telephone Box surf spot, where kiter Marc Sprod was killed in 2013.
After the tragic accident, residents’ reports of other near-misses came to light, including a windsurfer’s sail reportedly hitting a child at the top of a path near the Dutch Inn Groyne.
A mooted restriction on kiting on the remainder of the coast was dumped in favour of improvements to bring kiters to the designated spot.
A beach path design committee for the overall improvement program has taken all beach users’ and professionals’ advice before releasing its concept plans last week.
Any new at the Salvado Road car park would be about 30m south of the current path, which may be kept for a short period.
Mr Angers said a rotting path, numbered S12, between Salvado Road and Telephone Box would also be upgraded.
The council planned to replace paths N6 and N7 near Grant Street, North Cottesloe about 2km further north in the first of the upgrades, and all of hose paths could have bike racks and other amenities.
He said all residents’ ideas were welcome during public comment and the paths could be ready for next summer – but the council’s rolling program for the remaining paths could take several years.