The multi-million dollar reimagining of Indiana will soon return to council chambers as mining billionaire Andrew Forrest’s company agrees to meet the town’s costs for research.
The multi-million dollar reimagining of Indiana will soon return to Cottesloe council chambers as mining billionaire Andrew Forrest’s company agrees to meet the town’s costs for research.
Mr Forrest’s company Fiveight unveiled its proposed facelift of Indiana Teahouse in November, featuring a 31-room boutique hotel, underground spa, alfresco dining, a rooftop pool and bar.
At the Town of Cottesloe council meeting in December, officers recommended for any council decision over the Indiana proposal to be deferred until March.
However, councillors approved mayor Lorraine Young’s motion to first seek advice on commercial, legal, heritage and environmental impacts with no strict timeline except “as soon as possible”.
Part of the motion was for the proponent to incur the town’s costs in obtaining more information.
Ms Young said at a special electors meeting in February that negotiations were continuing but the town released a statement today to confirm the lessee had agreed to meet its costs.
“Given the very significant changes proposed by the lessee, Council asked that the costs of the required advice be met by the Lessee,” the statement said.
“The town is currently going through the process of appointing consultants to provide the required advice.
“When the advice is received, it will be considered by the administration and will be brought back in a report to council.
“It is hoped that this will be at the May ordinary council meeting and at that meeting a way forward, including appropriate community consultation, will be determined.”
“We’re grateful to the town of Cottesloe for working collaboratively with us and are hoping that our agreement to fund the council's research will culminate quickly in a decision to run a formal community consultation process and ultimately, lead to a decision on our development proposal within a reasonable timeframe,” he said.
A financial figure is yet to be confirmed.
Former Cottesloe mayor Kevin Morgan moved a motion at the special electors’ meeting last month for the town to refuse any lease changes to Indiana, particularly the proposed hotel and making any part of the building a private exclusive area.
The motion was passed by other electors in the room that night but was rejected by councillors at their meeting on Tuesday.
“As the Elector’s resolution would effectively prevent community consultation on the proposal, depriving members of the community of the opportunity to provide informed feedback, it was rejected by council,” the town statement said.
The council intends to revisit the matter in May.