COTTESLOE Council will defer a decision on a proposed $4.7 million expansion of the iconic Indiana Restaurant at Cottesloe Beach until February.
Councillors went behind closed doors to consider the controversial proposal on December 14.
Later, chief executive May Humfrey said the council wanted time to consider submissions about it and restaurant lessee Red Rock Leisure jointly undertaking the project.
The expansion has already come under fire from the Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association, which claimed in its submission that ratepayers’ money would be risked, beach policy was not being followed and a public review of the need for the project was required.
“There are many questions not addressed in the council’s business plan for the redevelopment, and the Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association is keen to make sure that any redevelopment is in the best interests of Cottesloe residents both now and into future,” association secretary Yvonne Hart said.
It is proposed to refurbish and expand public toilets under the restaurant, and build a road-level ramp east to Marine Parade that could house a new kiosk. Council would contribute about $1.6 million, Red Rock about $1.7 million and the State Government the remainder.
Mr Humfrey said the council was following beach policy because the expansion was at the minimum size needed and the public review comprised public submissions that closed on November 25.
He said ventilation issues prevented just refurbishing the toilets and the council was aware of the care needed to redevelop the site and renegotiate the lease. It would use “safeguards” to mitigate any risks mooted by the association.
Mr Humfrey said the association was incorrect in its claim the lease could be halted after August 2016 because options in the lease were at the “complete discretion” of the lessee, and if Red Rock took the options, the lease was binding on the Town until 2041.