COTTESLOE MLA Colin Barnett says uninterrupted ocean views would allow former cable station the McCall Centre to become a restaurant, function centre or even home.
“This could be a fantastic restaurant, and I think ultimately this is what it’s likely to be,” Mr Barnett told the Western Suburbs Weekly last Wednesday.
The WA Planning Commission (WAPC) is currently seeking preliminary comments from Cottesloe and Mosman Park councils about rezoning the 1926-built, heritage-listed centre, which is on the Cottesloe-Mosman Park border.
The Commission plan involves switching the building and land to its north from public purpose to urban, which can include residential and commercial recreation.
Any rezoning does not include the adjacent Beehive Montessori School, after Mosman Park councillors supported it staying in July.
The centre on Curtin Avenue housed about 60 Department of Child Protection staff until earlier this year, and will be rezoned for an expected $20 million sale in State Government asset disposals to pay an estimated $27 billion public debt.
Mr Barnett said he expected the sale in about a year, but wanted to see public use at the centre, such as wedding receptions, or aged and retirement facilities.
However, the Government was not ruling out some private residential development.
“That’s unlikely though, as it has to be rezoned urban use, and it would very limited what could be developed as it has to keep with the centre’s heritage values, and any application would go through the normal council and State development processes,” Mr Barnett said.
He said the Government still had long-term plans to move coastal Curtin Avenue behind the centre, creating a low-volume beach access road in front, after $40 million for the avenue’s realignment were used to fund a fast bus to marginal Ellenbrook-area electorates in May’s Budget.
Cottesloe residents Simon Rodrigues and Greg Dobbs are developing a multi-use regional park linking the Swan River to near the McCall Centre, including bridging the Fremantle railway line.
“A restaurant would be an asset for the park on the basis it would attract more people, and more uses,” Mr Rodrigues said.
However, Cottesloe Council’s town planning scheme allows anything in an area zoned development, and Cr Sandra Boulter successfully got the council to ask the WAPC for an as-yet unorganised community briefing about rezoning’s implications.