Fo­cus needed on town cen­tre

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

THE Town of Cottes­loe has been told to de­velop a bet­ter town cen­tre, be­fore cre­at­ing a struc­ture plan for houses on ad­ja­cent rail­way land and try­ing to move nearby Curtin Av­enue.

“At what­ever stage, that struc­ture plan­ning process would by na­ture be some­what spec­u­la­tive and con­tentious, as well as re­sources-de­mand­ing and ex­pen­sive,” de­vel­op­ment ser­vices man­ager An­drew Jack­son said at the coun­cil’s Septem­ber meet­ing.

Mov­ing Curtin Av­enue, build­ing on rail­way land and solv­ing level cross­ing con­ges­tion has been the sub­ject of at least 22 coun­cil and State Gov­ern­ment res­o­lu­tions, re­ports, po­lices and stud­ies since 1991.

Mr Jack­son said cre­at­ing a struc­ture plan for the land be­tween Eric and Sal­vado streets to have in­fill hous­ing and a new av­enue, which the coun­cil would pre­fer to be in a trench with the rail­way, could take up to year, cost at least $200,000 and use a “large amount” of staff re­sources.

He said the Gov­ern­ment was cur­rently “not es­pe­cially fo­cussed on plan­ning for the rail­way and Curtin Av­enue” and he rec­om­mended to first cre­ate a smaller ac­tiv­ity plan so the town cen­tre in­te­grated more with the rail cor­ri­dor. The ac­tiv­ity plan would fol­low im­prove­ments in Sta­tion Street af­ter the re­cent up­grad­ing of par­al­lel Napoleon Street.

Mayor Jo Dawkins said back lanes in the town cen­tre may not be part of ac­tiv­ity plan be­cause they were not con­trolled by the coun­cil.

She said the coun­cil did not want to repli­cate Clare­mont town cen­tre’s re­de­vel­op­ment.

“It’s our in­ten­tion to keep a vil­lage at­mos­phere and be quite dif­fer­ent, with a ca­sual lifestyle and spe­cial­ity shops to cre­ate its own at­mos­phere,” Mrs Dawkins said.

She said that to tackle the claimed lack of Gov­ern­ment fo­cus on the rail­way, the coun­cil would re­open dis­cus­sions with the Depart­ment of Trans­port and Cottes­loe MLA Colin Bar­nett, and lobby for the rail­way land to be used for the in­fill de­vel­op­ment de­manded by the Gov­ern­ment by 2031.

Coun­cil­lors agreed to start the ac­tiv­ity plan af­ter the Sta­tion Street works.

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