Cottesloe ocean pool proponent says council jumped gun with feasibility study


Chris Shellabear says his proposal could be ready within three to six months for a sea pool south of Barchetta cafe, North Cottesloe. Picture: Jon Bassett
Chris Shellabear says his proposal could be ready within three to six months for a sea pool south of Barchetta cafe, North Cottesloe. Picture: Jon Bassett

A COTTESLOE ocean pool proponent says the council has jumped the gun with its feasibility study for the beachside facility.

“It’s too early, and my personal view is determining the feasibility is not possible without us all having clearer costs,” North Cottesloe ocean pool proponent Chris Shellabear told the Western Suburbs Weekly.

Last month, councillors decided to spend about $50,000 on the first part of a two-part study to determine the viability of proposed pools comprising the North Cottesloe site south of Barchetta Cafe, Tom Locke’s pool north of Cottesloe Groyne and a design at the groyne’s base by architect Trevor Saleeba.

At Barchetta, a plan in its third draft could create year round water polo and swimming pools filled with seawater and operated by an incorporated community group.

“We would not be putting this forward thinking the council would run it,” Mr Shellabear said, answering concerns ratepayers would be saddled with maintenance costs.

Its management could replicate Sydney’s Icebergs at Bondi Beach, seniors could have a plunge pool for saltwater treatments, renewable energy would power the pumps, and WA Water Polo and school swimming carnivals would be regular users.

“We are going to use wave power, wind power and every available surface will have a solar panel,” Mr Shellabear said.

After the site’s seismic survey, the swimmers’ deck would be about 3.5m under adjacent Marine Parade in now mostly dumped sand, after the original dunes were destroyed by Cyclone Alby in 1979.

An engineering company is now being sought for that planning, and if there were no delays a proposal could be ready in three-six months.

“What we need to do is determine the maintenance and building costs, and develop a business plan with a target market, and partnerships with people who are going to use the pools on an regular basis,” Mr Shellabear said.

Answering concerns a pool-bolstered potential redevelopment of the adjacent Ocean Beach Hotel, he said it could “make any development along Cottesloe Beach happen”.

Cottesloe chief executive Matt Humfrey said the feasibility was being done because of residents’ requests for a pool in public comment on a $26 million plan to rejuvenate the foreshore.

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