Pep­per­mint Grove be­hind hos­tel lease

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion - By JON BAS­SETT

PEP­PER­MINT Grove Coun­cil sup­ports a 25-year lease so not­for-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 fees­im­ple 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.

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