Focus needed on town centre: Cottesloe

THE Town of Cottesloe has been told to develop a better town centre, before creating a structure plan for houses on adjacent railway land and trying to move nearby Curtin Avenue.

“At whatever stage, that structure planning process would by nature be somewhat speculative and contentious, as well as resources-demanding and expensive,” development services manager Andrew Jackson said at the council’s September meeting.

Moving Curtin Avenue, building on railway land and solving level crossing congestion has been the subject of at least 22 council and State Government resolutions, reports, polices and studies since 1991.

Mr Jackson said creating a structure plan for the land between Eric and Salvado streets to have infill housing and a new avenue, which the council would prefer to be in a trench with the railway, could take up to year, cost at least $200,000 and use a “large amount” of staff resources.

He said the Government was currently “not especially focussed on planning for the railway and Curtin Avenue” and he recommended to first create a smaller activity plan so the town centre integrated more with the rail corridor. The activity plan would follow improvements in Station Street after the recent upgrading of parallel Napoleon Street.

Mayor Jo Dawkins said back lanes in the town centre may not be part of activity plan because they were not controlled by the council.

She said the council did not want to replicate Claremont town centre’s redevelopment.

“It’s our intention to keep a village atmosphere and be quite different, with a casual lifestyle and speciality shops to create its own atmosphere,” Mrs Dawkins said.

She said that to tackle the claimed lack of Government focus on the railway, the council would reopen discussions with the Department of Transport and Cottesloe MLA Colin Barnett, and lobby for the railway land to be used for the infill development demanded by the Government by 2031.

Councillors agreed to start the activity plan after the Station Street works.