Surfers oppose Cottesloe pier proposal

Surfers were against a proposed pier for Cottesloe
Surfers were against a proposed pier for Cottesloe

SURFERS determined to save their winter wave spot led the opposition to a pier proposed by architect Laurie Scanlan for Cottesloe Groyne at a public meeting last night.

“When sand builds up, then this structure is in 2.5m not 5m water, the waves will be breaking under the pier and you’d have surfers going between the pier’s pylon,” surfer of 50 years Stephen Dobson said.

Surfer Toby Walsh said the proposal’s studies showed a potential 30 per cent reduction in waves if the pier was built and there could be a 30 per cent drop in wave height at the spot off the groyne.

The proposal consists of a 30m long pier costing about $15 million with a restaurant, underwater observatory, dive shop and jetty, and toilets at the other end of the groyne.

The proposal needs WA Planning Commission approval and Cottesloe Council’s nod because vehicle and pedestrian access is by a beachside path.

“That road is not capable of taking multiple vehicles, and the right turn to get on to it is dangerous,” Cr Rob Thomas said.

An artist’s impression of the proposed Cottesloe pier

Other public concerns at the meeting included the pier’s viability in storms, customers’ enthusiasm to walk to it in seabreezes and maintenance and disposal costs to the council and ratepayers if it failed structurally or financially.

Mr Scanlan said the pier had been located further away from the groyne to minimise impact on the surf break and the building was designed to last 100 years with the advice of engineers who built long-lasting structures such as jetties, wharves and industrial infrastructure world-wide.

He said once-daily truck deliveries would avoid access path congestion and a “more detailed” contract for the pier’s operators could solve the lease issues associated with the nearby Indiana restaurant.