The state government’s new vision for Scarborough Beach includes a town square featuring a host of cafes and restaurants, new boardwalks and recreation areas designed to get people closer to the ocean, as well as nearly 3,000 apartments and townhouses in surrounding streets close to the beachfront.
Premier Colin Barnett, Tourism Minister Liza Harvey and Planning Minister John Day released the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority’s draft master plan for the area for public comment today, a $57.5 million initiative designed to encourage hundreds of millions of dollars of investment from the private sector.
The state government will pitch in $30 million, while the City of Stirling will stump up the remaining funds.
The plan, which builds on a previous master plan created by the City of Stirling and was developed using an online survey that received more than 3,000 responses, comprises a 100-hectare redevelopment area stretching 1.6 kilometres down Scarborough Beach Road.
The redevelopment area covered by the master plan (click to enlarge).
The four precincts flagged in the proposal are: Scarborough Square, the entertainment and hospitality hub; Sunset Hill, a park built on sand dunes to allow people closer access to the beach; The Beach Hub, comprising a redeveloped surf club and a flagship bar and restaurant; and the Clock Tower, a gateway that facilitates better pedestrian movements and public transport links.
New lookouts, decking and boardwalks will provide better access to the beach, while skate facilities, a community and function centre, public art and events space are also included in the plan.
An artist's impression of Scarborough Square, which is designed to be the focal point of the redevelopment.
Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority chairman Kieran Kinsella said each precinct was designed to help activate the beachfront not just in the summer months, but in the cooler parts of the year as well.
“We’re hoping that what we’re providing here is a platform to create an all-year type of environment, so when the sea breeze comes in people can come in off the beach and enjoy the atmosphere of the cafes and restaurants and people will come here more on a 24-7 type of arrangement rather than picking our best days,” Mr Kinsella told reporters this morning.
“These type of facilities that we create should help us achieve that.”
The premier said the proposal was designed to unlock Scarborough’s potential to become the premier coastal area in the state.
“It’s going to be very exciting and will make this the most visited beach in Western Australia,” Mr Barnett said.
“It’s a bold project … this will be a revamping of Scarborough, which will become, along with the City of Perth, the prime tourist destination in metropolitan Perth.”
Construction of the precincts is expected to begin before the end of the year and last for two to three years.
A construction contractor will be appointed around the middle of the year.
Mr Day said he expected more than 2,800 new dwellings and 26,000 square metres of commercial space would be created in the area, subject to private sector investment.
In the foreshore area, the proposal calls for up to 775 dwellings and 9,000sqm of commercial space, while a larger mixed-use area along Scarborough Beach Road and West Coast Highway flags the construction of up to 1,258 homes and 16,000sqm of commercial or retail space.
An additional 526 dwellings and 1,000sqm of commercial or retail space is flagged to be built at the Gateway area, to the north of the redevelopment zone, while the plan also calls for 269 dwellings in two to three-storey buildings further away from the beachfront.
The MRA's vision for future private sector developments.
“Importantly the master plan does provide for the redevelopment of the privately-owned land in this area and we very much hope that it will be the stimulus for substantial private sector investment to improve the tourism and short-stay accommodation facilities here, but also more residential development and commercial development,” Mr Day said.
“Private landowners around here and property owners do need take the opportunity, to step up and make the investment.
“We believe they will get a good return on that, but they do need to show some foresight and make the investment and ensure there is going to be development according to high-quality design guidelines which are provided for in this master plan.”
Buildings up to 12 storeys will allowed to be developed along Scarborough Beach Road, in an area close to the beach, while there is also the potential for those to be extended to 18 storeys providing they meet certain requirements, including a minimum number of short-stay hotel rooms and green building guidelines.
Guidelines for other precincts include areas where buildings will top out at eight storeys, with the potential for four to be added if certain conditions are met, and a precinct of four-storey developments, with the potential for an extra two storeys in certain cases.
The MRA has set out height limits for specific precincts under the plan.
The Esplanade will also be extended north and south to provide more links to West Coast Highway, to lessen traffic impacts on Scarborough Beach Road, while the existing carparks on site will be reconfigured.
“Part of the consultation has identified there needs to be much better traffic access, but also removal of parking from the central area here,” Mr Day said.
“The parking that exists is essentially a barrier to the beach and the areas of high amenity so the parking arrangements will be changed and the road access arrangements will change to improve the flow north and south.
“As I understand it there will be approximately the same amount of parking, but some of that will be relocated and there will need to be greater advantage taken in multi-storey car parks.”
The City of Stirling’s $26 million swimming pool proposal is also included in the plan, which will be located south of the redeveloped surf club.
The public have until March 3 to voice their opinion on the proposal.