Peppermint Grove behind hostel lease

PEPPERMINT Grove Council supports a 25-year lease so not-for-profit aged care provider Curtin Care can redevelop its accommodation for the elderly at Wearne Hostel, in Cottesloe.

“What we are really being asked to do is support the concept, and as the devil may be in the detail we could be asked to revisit the lease later down the track,” Cr Karen Farley, a council representative during lease negotiations, said at last week’s meeting.

Peppermint Grove, Cottesloe, Claremont and Mosman Park councils together own the hostel site, ceded from the State Government in 1999.

The hostel operates as a fee-simple asset worth about $7.89 million for each council, which have charged a peppercorn rent to Curtin Care for 20 years since 2009.

A caveat says the beachside site must always be used for aged care, despite Cottesloe’s town planning scheme allowing greater-density development.

Concerns about the site’s future arose when Curtin Care requested in 2014 that it be given the land for a nominal amount when it sought approval for improvements, including 110 new self-care aged units.

They subsequently negotiated the lease, which will only take effect after an anticipated eight-year need for the hotel’s rebuild, giving it an effective lifespan of a least 33 years.

Mosman Park Council has agreed to the lease and Claremont and Cottesloe councils will discuss the idea.