State Govt could intervene in ongoing Cottesloe gate fiasco

Cottesloe resident Bridie Howe-Keetelaar wants the light-coloured gate in the lane removed. Picture: Jon Bassett
Cottesloe resident Bridie Howe-Keetelaar wants the light-coloured gate in the lane removed. Picture: Jon Bassett

COTTESLOE residents allegedly blocking a public lane with a private gate may be told by the State Government to remove the barrier.

“I have asked the Department of Lands to investigate and if there is an encroachment on to Crown Land, the State Government will be seeking the removal of the gate,” Minister for Lands Minister Rita Saffioti told Western Suburbs Weekly this morning.

The gate cuts off about 54sq m of the lane, which has prompted a 15-month fight between neighbours, who claim the land could be worth $250,000.

Their tussle ended up with the State Administrative Tribunal in December, before it being withdrawn in March.

Tomorrow, Cottesloe council will hold a special meeting to consider legal advice on the gate blocking public use of the cul-de-sac right-of-way 64 (ROW 64) off Lillian Street.

Curtin Avenue neighbours allege they and their children have been prevented from safe beach and walking access by the gate, allegedly installed by Lillian Street residents Sonja and Greg Madden.

“It affects half of next door, about half of my access, 4.5m of my other neighbour and a property in Reginald Street,” Curtin Avenue neighbour Bridie Howe-Keetelaar said.

When Western Suburbs Weekly visited last week, Mrs Howe-Keetelaar pointed out other fences, gardens, retaining walls and a large tree in ROW 64’s original boundaries.

The lane was used to cart outdoor toilet sewage from adjacent Curtin Avenue and Lillian and Broome street homes, but the council now has an annual paving program for the routes, including subdividers contributing to some of the upgrades.

Mrs Howe -Keetelarr became aware of the gate blocking her paved lane when she and her husband applied to renovate their recently-bought home, including their own rear fence entrance for lane access last February.

She said the lane’s gate might not have been reported earlier to the council because adjacent homes were rentals or occupied by the elderly for many years.

Attempts to contact the Maddens were unsuccessful, and the council did not reply to questions regarding the gate’s removal.

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