Removal of gate on cards
COTTESLOE Council will order a private gate blocking a public lane for many years to be removed after a special meeting last Tuesday.
The meeting was closed to the public to consider confidential legal advice before councillors agreed to cancel a 15-month old licence held by Lillian Street residents Sonya and Greg Madden for their electronic gate, which neighbours said blocked cul-de-sac right of-way 64 (ROW 64).
Council records indicated there had been a gate in the lane before 1995, which was 10 years before the route was made into Crown Land, after it was created by the council before 1967.
Last week, councillors agreed the latest gate had been locked contrary to the February 2016-agreed licence, which said it must not deny ROW 64 access for adjacent 117A Curtin Avenue and 20 Reginald Street.
Allegations about the gate started early in 2016 when a Reginald Street landowner asked the council for its removal so she could eventually get rear access if she developed her property.
The council did not want to enter the neighbours’ dispute, noting the lane was narrow and had trees and a significant slope, so instead said the gate could only be removed if approvals were obtained for any subdivision, lane improvement and tree removal.
The dispute continued when 117A Curtin Avenue’s owners asked for the ROW64 access as part of renovations at the start of last year.
The Maddens also appealed a condition of the gate licence to SAT before withdrawing it in March and preventing any further council action until the appeal was finished.
The council’s solicitors will now write to the Maddens, giving them 14 days to conform with the order, with potentially another 14 days if another letter is needed. They can appeal to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).
After petitioning by a resident, Lands Minister Rita Saffioti announced a Lands Department investigation, but Cottesloe Mayor Jo Dawkins said the gate was an issue for her council and not the Government.
After the special meeting, Ms Saffioti said the council was responsible for the gate’s removal because it encroached on Crown Land and the situation would continue to be monitored by Government.