TAYLA TOUTOUNTZIS AND ANNE GEVANA
Concerned Sorrento residents are rallying against a plan to replace a range of local restaurants and other businesses with six-level apartment blocks on West Coast Highway overlooking Sorrento Beach.
If ultimately approved, the plan will allow a development slated to include three lots of six-level apartment buildings, and span the area bound by West Coast Highway, The Plaza and Raleigh Road in Sorrento.
Marmion Sorrento Duncraig Ratepayers’ Association President, and Sorrento resident, Stephen Kobelke says the proposal does not align with the Sorrento area.
“The proposed six-[level] (20.5-metre) tower plan features a bulk and scale that is not in keeping with a residential seaside suburb that is predominantly single and two-storey dwellings,” Mr Kobelke said.
“Bulk and scale is huge, parking is totally inadequate and there will be overshadow on nearby houses.”
Mr Kobelke, along with about 100 other local residents, raised these concerns at a community meeting last week.
He told InkWire that 98 per cent of those in attendance signalled that they opposed the six-level building plan.
The residents at the meeting also raised concerns about the new lease signed between BWS and Il Pirata, which could further affect the development.
“The property owner of the liquor store and liquor store parking area plus Il Pirata [has] just signed new leases with the operators (BWS) which means that section cannot start until at least 2031,” Mr Kobelke said.
“So we would have this construction going on for nearly 20 years.”
Sorrento Councillor for the City of Joondalup Michael Norman said the council was aware there would be opposition to the proposal.
“I’m not surprised [there is opposition], as there would be many people around here who don’t want six [levels],” Councillor Norman said.
“The important thing to note is when the public consultation process opens, they put in their comments or objections, and focus on planning criteria.”
At a meeting on April 21, the Joondalup council voted 12-1 to endorse the preparation of the structure plan. Councillor Norman was one of the 12 elected representatives who voted in favour of the motion.
Sorrento resident and Voyage patron Georgia Duncan, 20, said the area was in need of a renovation, but that she did not think a six-level building was necessary.
“I think it’s a very old, rundown block that could do with updating and some more parking bays,” Ms Duncan said.
“In saying that though I wouldn’t want to see an apartment block or office space there, or to see Voyage and White Salt close down.
“Voyage is a cafe that I visit quite regularly, and is part of the lifestyle of living on the coast.
“I don’t think a big building of offices or apartments which block the views of the surrounding homes is the best use of a great block of land in such an ideal location.”
Fellow Voyage patron and Duncraig resident Collette Speake, 47, was unaware of the structure plans until InkWire told her.
She opposed the idea of a six-level complex.
“I didn’t know about it,” Mrs Speakes said.
“We’ve not heard anything, so it would be good to know about it.
“If it’s going to be six [levels], I don’t think it would be particularly pretty on the coastline.”
The owners of White Salt and Voyage Kitchen were approached, but declined to comment.