Lane of opportunity

Agent Henry Willis is selling a 4m-wide lane in Cottesloe.
Agent Henry Willis is selling a 4m-wide lane in Cottesloe.

‘It’s got no services and has a right of carriageway order over it, but it does have a green title if any buyer wanted to go to the council with a building application,’ Riverside Real Estate agent Henry Willis said.

The 4m-wide, 169sq m section of privately-owned lane costs $74 a sq m and runs east-west to the southern end of Avonmore Terrace where properties can reach $3000sq m.

Any small home on the lane would have Indian Ocean views but a buyer would have to get agreement from about eight neighbours who use the former rubbish collection route for rear access.

The lane’s owners bought it from Cottesloe council in 1992 to add to their adjoining Gibney Street property. They sold the house separately in 1996.

Mr Willis received about 50 calls about the lane in the first four days of it being put on market 10 days ago.

A caller suggested a Grand Designs Australia-inspired idea for an architect-designed ‘log’ on stilts that took inspiration from adjacent norfolk pines, so neighbours could continue their access underneath the house.

‘Everyone thinks they could build the most amazing home on it and many just said ‘I’ll have it’ without thinking,’ Mr Willis said.

However, council chief executive Carl Askew said building approval would be unlikely because access needed to be maintained on the lane and it was unlikely the crown would buy the laneway, so the owners may have to give it back to the council.

Councillors last week agreed to allocate about $80,000 annually to a five-year laneway upgrade program that would concentrate on the long-term maintenance of 13km of lanes the council controls of a network of about 14.5km in the town.