Mayors could be roped in to buy Cottesloe deaf school

The deaf school site is close to trains and the beach in Cottelsoe.  Picture Andrew Ritchie.
The deaf school site is close to trains and the beach in Cottelsoe. Picture Andrew Ritchie.

CLAREMONT Mayor Jock Barker has rejected an idea his town join neighbouring councils in a land or building purchase at the WA Institute For Deaf Education (WAIDE) now for sale by the State Government on Curtin Avenue, Cottesloe.

“We wouldn’t be spending our ratepayers’ money doing that as we’ve got our own plans for aged care in Claremont,” Mr Barker told today.

At its July meeting, Cottesloe Council agreed to put in a registration of interest about the sale of the 20,000 sq m site, on which sits the heritage-protected institute housing the administration, museum and meeting room of the WA Foundation for Deaf Children.

A council spokeswoman said the council regarded WAIDE as suitable for more aged care and related services already provided at the neighbouring Wearne Hostel operated by Curtin Care, which is owned by Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Claremont and Peppermint Grove councils.

She said Cottesloe had money left from the $9.1 million sale of its depot and it would consider working with any of its neighbours to ensure WAIDE’s sale benefitted the whole community.

However, Mr Barker said his council would not be prepared to buy any building in Cottesloe.

WAIDE is currently without a structure plan dictating heights and densities that could be built on its non-heritage protected land.

It has been identified as an urban node in State planning because it is 150m from the Victoria Street train station servicing mostly Mosman Park residents.

Mosman Park Mayor Brett Pollock said his view was the four neighbouring councils should be discussing buying the whole WAIDE site for over-60s aged care and residential because it was the other half of the block housing Wearne, and he would be ringing mayors to organise a meeting tomorrow.

Peppermint Grove president Rachel Thomas is a Curtin Care board member and she directed questions to shire chief executive Don Burnett who was not available.