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Scarborough revitalisation hits rough SEAS

SCARBOROUGH residents are unhappy with plans to revitalise the beach foreshore, claiming they will end up with a ‘mini Surfers Paradise’.

The Stirling City Council plans to spend more than $4.2 million on revitalising Scarborough beach and surrounding areas into a thriving recreation and tourist destination.

An outdoor cinema, grassed amphitheatre and an aquatic playground are included in the plan, titled the Scarborough Environs Area Strategy, along with provisions designed to encourage high rise developments.

SEAS, which is yet to be formally adopted by council, also promotes more mixed residential and commercial developments, increases in residential density and more short-stay accommodation.

At a recent public meeting organised by the Scarborough Ratepayers Assoc-iation, residents passed a motion expressing their concern at the possibility high rise buildings and high density apartment developments could dominate the area.

Long-term Resident Nola Ginbey said the plan would turn the area into an exclusive suburb.

“The plan will develop Scarborough into an exclusive area for tourists and people with units,” Mrs Ginbey said.

“It will change the landscape forever and the high rise buildings will block residents’ views of the beach.”

City councillor and coastal ward representative Bill Stewart said many residents had clearly voiced their opposition to SEAS at the meetings.

“The residents do not want any more high rise buildings on the coast,” Mr Stewart said.

“They are taking inner city living concepts, which work in East Perth, and trying to transfer them here.

“And more creativity can be used to revitalise the area than simply just putting up high rise buildings.”

Mr Stewart suggested increasing the number of beach activities was the key to revitalising the area.

City planning manager Theo Looij agreed there had been a lot of concern from residents about SEAS but said these concerns would be taken into account and addressed by the city council.

“It is clear the introduction of high rise and high density developments have residents concerned… the council will look at these issues before making its final decision,” Mr Looij said.

Despite considerable investment in coastal development and infrastructure, Scarborough Beach has so far failed to live up to its potential, according to a report commissioned by the city.

And a makeover is the best chance the city has to revitalise the area and bring people back to the beach.

“We are in a new century now and it is time to bring Scarborough Beach into it,” Mr Looij said.

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