Cott & confusion

The Cottesloe Council and lessee Andrew Forrest have agreed on a conservation plan for the redevelopment of The Indiana Tea House, one of Cottesloe’s most iconic and recognisable landmarks.

History of Cottesloe’s Indiana Tea House. Infographic: Kate Geldart.

A meeting was held on Tuesday, April 27 between the Cottesloe council and Mr Forrest’s developing group Fiveight, where the council accepted the conservation management plan.

Under the plan, the Cottesloe council has allowed Mr Forrest and Fiveight to remove everything apart from the pine trees and beachside promenade.

Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association committee member Stephen Mellor says the council has been secretive about what is going on, causing a lot of frustrations in the community.

“Every time you tried to ask a question you couldn’t really get what was going on. So as a Cottesloe ratepayer I’d love to know,” he says.

“We keep on hearing snippets, we have to dig and delve, but we are all positive in regard to getting the redevelopment done.”

Cottesloe resident Stephen Mellor outlines the general consensus among locals in regard to the redevelopment. Photo: Kate Geldart.

The conservation management plan will require the development not to block views and to adhere to heritage values.

Cottesloe residents express their thoughts on the redevelopment of the Indiana building. Video: Kate Geldart.

Manager of Beaches Café Melissa Doan says the redevelopment is a good idea for the future of the area.

“People need time to adapt to the change as Cottesloe is a very localised area to the point where many of the locals just love it as it is, they’re not willing to change it,” she says.

“I think overtime it will definitely be a good thing as it will probably attract a lot more people down to the beach and hopefully it will benefit us as well.”

Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association chairperson John Hammond says he wants the actual building known as the Indiana to remain, as he doesn’t think architects can be trusted to get it right.

“It needs to be kept modest, low-rise and sympathetic to the beach environment.”

Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association secretary Yvonne Hart says it makes no sense to demolish a building that is so famous that it contributes to WA’s identity.

“The Indiana building is perfectly situated, understated and elegant, with a small footprint at the water’s edge giving great access to all,” she says.

“Oversized and inappropriate architectural drawings would destroy what we love and value, a beach where we can sit on grass, keeping it simple but beautiful, immersing in the natural environment.”

The Cottesloe council and Fiveight are currently unable to comment on the redevelopment or the conservation management plan.

For more information regarding the redevelopment and conservation management plan and to view the full details of the Tuesday meeting, visit