AMALINA FAHIZUL, HUGH FORWARD AND NATALIE ROGERS.
Residents concerned that they and local children are barred from a public laneway thanks to a big white gate with a code-activated lock will have to wait while Cottesloe council seeks legal advice on the matter.
Cottesloe town councillor Sandra Boulter said her colleagues were supposed to decide what to do about the gate at last night’s council meeting, but needed more time.
“We were going to make a decision last night but council had to defer the decision until the receipt of further legal advice,” she said.
Five properties back onto Right of Way 64, a laneway that leads to Lillian Street.
The gate is locked and requires an electronic code to open.
Lillian Street residents Sonja and Greg Madden have the code to the gate and sole access to the laneway.
Neighbouring resident, Bridie Howe-Keetelaar, wants to use the laneway as a walkway and said the Maddens had not given her family the code.
“We’ve tried the compromise; they’ve just acquired 54sqm of Crown land for free which everyone else should have the right to access,” she said.
“I feel like the only option now is to remove that gate.”
Also opposed to the gate and its lock is Curtin Avenue resident Katrina Tiller who wants access to the laneway so her children have a safer way of getting to nearby sporting facilities.
“The purpose of the public laneway is to provide an easy way to go up to the local park,” she said.
“We walk up and down the hill daily to kick the footy or walk the dog.
“It’d be nice and easy if we could avoid going on Curtin Avenue because all my kids are under seven.”
Cottesloe councillor Sally Pyvis said she originally voted against the application for the gate.
“When the issue came up in February 2016 I voted against issuing a gate licence because I believe it is a public laneway and it should be open to the public,” she said.
“The laneway was originally used for night carts to take sewage away from properties but now they can be places for children to play.”
This morning, Western Independent left voice messages for the Maddens but by 5pm had not received a response.
Cottesloe Mayor Jo Dawkins and all other town councillors – Katrina Downes, Mark Rodda, Helen Burke, Philip Angers, Rob Thomas, Jay Birnbrauer – were also contacted this morning but by 5pm Western Independent was yet to hear back.