Note: In May 2000 the Ministry for Planning released the "Leighton Rail Marshalling Yards Regional Planning Guidelines - Scoping Paper" and requested public comments by 31 May 2000. What follows is LAC's submission. We have prepared a map to help you interpret LAC's submission: click here to view it.


Coastal Planning for Leighton
a discussion paper

a submission to the Ministry for Planning in relation to the preparation of Planning Guidelines for Leighton

7 June 2000

prepared by the
Leighton Action Coalition Inc.


The Leighton Action Coalition (LAC) has prepared the following discussion paper as a submission to the Ministry for Planning (MfP) to assist in the determination of appropriate planning guidelines for the Leighton area.

This paper is not an all encompassing assessment of the issues that need to be considered as part of the preparation of the guidelines. It is intended to provide some preliminary input on the major issues. It is not LAC's intention to pre-empt the views of the broader community or the consultants. LAC will seek to provide further comment as individual issues are developed by the MfP or are raised by the community.

2.0 LEIGHTON FORESHORE - a community vision

In June 1999, LAC prepared a community vision for Leighton Beach. This resulted from a workshop attended by 65 participants (summary attached as appendix 1). A multi-disciplinary design team was formed to further consider the issues raised by the community and the indicative plan was prepared to give visual representation to the issues raised. It is not intended that the plan be read as a development plan. However, it does demonstrate that to achieve a good outcome at Leighton, considerably more land than is currently provided needs to be set aside as part of a new coastal reservation.

The purpose of this discussion paper is to provide a more detailed assessment of some of the main requirements to further demonstrate the need for a larger coastal reserve. The information provided herein highlights that LAC's Leighton Foreshore plan was accurate in highlighting some basic parameters but did not indicate sufficiently the open space reserve required to achieve an acceptable coastal planning outcome.


LAC suggests that the following principles should be developed as part of the regional planning guidelines for Leighton:

Note - all setback and planning widths referred to in this document are to be read as being from the first line of vegetation consistent with standard coastal planning practice.


To date, most of the coastal planning at Leighton has focussed on determining the nature of the biophysical requirements. The MfP have tabulated the considerations of different coastal consultants and agencies. Total setbacks quoted by the MfP to allow for biophysical factors range from 65 metres to 132 metres. There would appear to be considerable discrepancies between these opinions and some degree of caution should be exercised in deciding which figures to utilise.

FACTOR Rogers MfP Hsu# Eliot and Pattiaratchi * Department of Transport



0m Needs to be determined by further study No figure but says beach is currently eroding 0m Erosion rate over a minimum 100yr lifetime
Severe Storm 25m 25m 25m 25m 25m
Sea Level Rise





A time frame of longer than 100 years should be used 68m 49m
Safety Factor 20m 20m 20m 20m 20m
Allowance for foredune development and maintenance Not considered Not considered Not considered 20m Not considered
TOTAL SETBACK 65m 94m   132m 94m

* Eliot and Pattiaratchi have used a 100 year planning horizon. However, they also say "Assuming acceptable risk and given that Port and Leighton Beaches have prograded since construction of the North Mole, determination of the setback to development could be over a 50 year planning horizon. Under this calculation the required setback to development would be 126m."

# Hsu believes the coast is eroding but does not offer recession rates. He also acknowledges the possibility of engineering solutions for both rocky and sandy coasts as an alternative to wider setbacks. Engineering options may be hard structures or "soft" options (eg sub sand filtering). Engineering options are however less desirable, and at the very least the present Port Beach Road and Curtin Avenue alignments should be left in place with new development to the east of these.

(Extract from information provided by the Ministry for Planning)


It is unclear whether the recommended setbacks apply equally to the sandy coastline in Fremantle as well as the rocky coastline in Mosman Park. LAC questions whether the underlying Holocene limestone layer in Mosman Park is of sufficient height to provide protection once sea levels rise. In addition, the steep embankment along this coast, which includes considerable volumes of contaminated material, is not a stable environment. It is noted that WAPC policy DC6.1 recommends the 100 metre setback be applied for both stable "sandy coastlines" and "rocky coastlines". Special assessment of this area is required to achieve a sustainable outcome that reflects the potential environmental problems associated with the former landfill site.

Of most concern is that not all of the consultants and agencies have considered all biophysical factors. This partially accounts for the broad range of recommended setbacks. Other variations have resulted from consultants choosing different time periods in assessing the effect of sea level rises.

LAC believes that the following biophysical factors should be assessed, and suitable setbacks determined:

Erosion Trend - needs to be determined by further study although it is accepted that Leighton is probably a stable beach at present. However, the proposal to extend Rous Head, both in terms of the medium term completion of the existing extension and the long term further extension, creates a degree of uncertainty as to whether this relatively stable beach status can be taken for granted. In the limited time since the completion of the second stage of Rous Head, unseasonal erosion has occurred as far north as the Port Beach Tearooms node. It is unclear if the eroding section of beach will remain limited to the existing area or whether erosion further north will occur in time. Future works to Rous Head should only be carried out when it is certain that erosion issues can, and will, be controlled by the FPA.

Severe Storm - there appears to be uniform agreement that under existing conditions, a 25 metre zone could erode in a severe 1 in a 100 year storm. It is understood this figure relates to the beach areas backed by sand dunes. Consideration needs to be given as to whether this applies equally where there is a layer of underlying Holocene limestone.

Sea Level Rise - there is a large range of estimates for the erosional effect of long term sea level rises. Estimates for less than 100 years should not be considered, however even with this parameter applied the additional setbacks proposed by different consultants range between 49 and 68 metres. It is noted that whilst Dr Hsu did not provide a set back figure, he recommended that the timeframe for sea level assessment be greater than 100 years. Rigorous assessment of how the different figures have been arrived at should be presented to the community as part of the study process.

Safety Factor - a factor of safety of 20 metres has been uniformely applied by all consultants and would appear to be the minimum required given the inexact nature of the science of assessing the coastal processes.

Allowance for foredune development and maintenance - following the anticipated erosion resulting from a 1 in 100 year storm, any repair programme would benefit significantly if some dune remained after the storm. If a portion of vegetated sand dune capable of catching windborne sand can be retained, the cost and disturbance of repair is likely to be significantly less than would be the case if an instant sand dune had to be created from nothing. Planning to retain a portion of sand dune will ensure that subsequent erosion and wind borne sand does not impact on the recreational areas behind the dunes. The assessment by Eliot and Pattiaratchi that 20 metres should be allowed for foredune development and maintenance would appear to be justified.

Based on the existing considerations provided by the different consultants and agencies, it would appear that even without taking into consideration the potential sea level rises, that sand dunes at least 65 metres wide should be a pre-requisite for any area of sandy coastline at Leighton (i.e. based on 25m severe storm erosion, a 20m safety factor & an allowance of 20m for foredune development and maintenance) . Taking into account the potential sea level rises, as well as the other biophysical factors discussed above, LAC believes the MfP's recommended 94 metre setback for biophysical factors should be increased by 20 metres to provide an allowance for foredune development and maintenance. LAC would support a minimum biophysical setback of between 114 and 132 metres.

Recommendation 1 - that a minimum biophysical setback of between 114 and 132 metres be provided for at Leighton beach.


The desire to cater for a diversity of recreational uses along the coastline will necessitate that varying configurations of open space and public facilities be provided for. Many activities, including dog exercise, kite flying, and surfing, are not compatable with crowded beaches and if such uses are to be encouraged some low intensity usage areas should be maintained. There is also a diversity of preferences in relation to the degree of beach usage that individuals prefer; i.e. some people like it crowded, others want relative seclusion. This indicates that the provision of general public access and facilities should be focussed at nodes. Facilities for other recreational pursuits that require low intensities of people should be provided for between nodes.

The desire to retain a predominantly natural environment could conflict with the desire to maximise regional access to the beach. Directing beach usage to nodal areas where some hard landscaping can be incorporated with minimal impact will provide for greater opportunities to enhance the natural environment in other areas.

The overall length of Leighton beach allows for some areas to be set aside for high intensity usage and other areas for low intensity usage. An existing node has already been establish at the surf life saving club and is well serviced by the North Fremantle railway station. The potential for the coastal reserves to be made wider is greatest at this existing node, or more accurately, to the northern edge of this node. It is logical that the existing surf life saving club node be retained and enhanced as the primary regional destination for general beach usage. There is some potential to develop a smaller node around the old Cable Station and this opportunity should be investigated as part of the development of the planning guidelines.

Clearly, the requirements for recreational facilities at nodes will be vastly different than for inter-nodal areas. The facilities at a node will need to be provided for within a reasonable walking distance from the centre of that node. In terms of setting planning guidelines it may be best to determine the total area that needs to be provided around this node for such facilities and ensure it is provided within say 400 metres of it. By contrast, the inter-nodal requirements can obviously be spread out along the coastline and are therefore more lineal in nature. Therefore, setting planning guidelines for inter-nodal areas may focus more on reserve width rather than area. The following assessments of recreational needs have been separated in to inter-nodal areas, nodal areas, and other site specific requirements.

5.1 Inter-nodal recreational requirements

The following recreation requirements should form the basis of determining the width of reserve required over and above the setbacks required for biophysical factors:

Access road - a continuous access road should be provided along the full length of the coastline and be positioned towards the rear of the reserve. Two types of access road could be considered as appropriate and any area allowance for the access road should allow for one of these.

The first type proposed includes one lane in each direction (7.0m) with on road cycle lanes (3.0m), a central median to encourage safe pedestrian crossing (2.0m), and parallel parking on both sides of the road (5.0m). A landscaped verge should be provided on the east side of the road (5.0m) as a buffer to any Urban zoning. The overall width required for this proposed access road should be a minimum of 22 metres.

The second type of access road proposed would seek to maximise parking on the coast side of the road by incorporating right angled parking. This would provide for direct access to the reserve from a parked car and is also the preferred type of parking for viewing the coastline from a parked vehicle. However, this approach has some inherent problems that should be further considered. A median strip could not be provided because access to the parking would be required from both lanes, and this may affect pedestrian safety. In addition, reversing vehicles could conflict with the on road cycle lane, and at periods of high traffic volume, reversing out of a bay could be difficult. The overall road width would include right angle parking on one side (5.5m), parallel parking on the other side (2.5m), a safety zone between the right angle parking and on-road cycle lane (2.0m), cycle lanes (3.0m), one vehicular lane in each direction (7.0m), and a verge on the east side of the road (5.0m). The overall width required for this type of access road should be a minimum of 25 metres.

Recommendation 2 - that between 22 and 25 metres be set aside for the provision of an access road.

Nodal carparks - in addition to the on-road parking, small nodal carparks should be provided at frequent intervals along the coastline. These carparks require a minimum width of 18.0 metres to allow for right angled parking on either side of an access aisle. The carparks should be separated from the access road by a landscaped buffer of approximately 6.0 metres . Trees should be planted in the carparks at every sixth bay. Based on existing parking provision, it may be appropriate to provide this type of parking to approximately one third of the length of the coastline. It may also be appropriate that carparks be restricted in length to about 50 metres to avoid the creation of "dragstrips".

Recommendation 3 - that nodal carparks be provided to approximately one third of the coastline and that an overall planning width of at least 24 metres be allowed for carparks.

Principal shared pathways (PSP) - a PSP or dual use path is required for the full length of the coastal zone. This function is in addition to the on-road cycle lanes and proposed veloway, both of which serve different functions. Traditional dual use paths have been approximately 2.4 to 3.0 metres in width. In coastal areas, these pathways are heavily utilised by cyclists, roller bladers, joggers and the like. It is recommended that a design width of 4.0 metres be used similar to the pathway at Trigg Beach. It is assumed that on the ocean side of the path a landscaped buffer zone will be included as part of other requirements. However, a buffer zone is required between the PSP and adjoining roads and carparks to avoid conflicts created by people leaving their vehicles and crossing the PSP. A minimum buffer zone of 4.0 metres is suggested to provide for adequate site lines.

Recommendation 4 - that a planning width of 8.0 metres be provided for a PSP for the full length of the coastline.

Informal pathways - casual use of a PSP can conflict with the more active use by more active cyclists and bladers. Walking pathways should be provided in addition to the PSP to allow for a safer environment for people walking with dogs and young children on bikes or roller blades, etc. It may be acceptable in some areas for these types of pathways to be included within the area to be set aside for biophysical factors. This would provide pedestrian access to a more natural environment and may not require additional reserve width. However, such pathways also make good barriers between dunal environments and open space areas because they provide for ease of maintenance.

It may be appropriate to allow for a walkway to some areas along the coastline, although it is not considered essential that a separate planning width be established for this in all areas. A walkway should be 2.0 metres in width to provide for service vehicle access and a reasonably high amount of usage. In addition, these paths should be separated from the PSP for reasons of safety and to allow for a softer landscape. A buffer of approximately 6.0 metres should be provided. Larger buffers will obviously be included where general recreational space is provided.

Recommendation 5 - that a continuous informal pathway be provided along the coastline and that a planning width of 8.0 metres be allowed for this in some areas.

Open space for coastal woodland - as part of the implementation of the Vlamingh Parklands, and to develop the theme of a natural landscape, it would be desirable to provide some open space behind the dunal areas to develop swales of tea tree woodland. To be effective, it would be preferrable if a clump of tea trees formed a canopy width of at least 30 metres.

Recommendation 6 - that open space areas be set aside for the creation of tea tree swales and that a minimum planning width of 30 metres be allowed for this in some areas.

Open space for recreation activities - it is acknowledged that a water sensitive landscape design will be required for the coastal zone. This will limit the extent to which grassed areas can be provided. However, there is a need for some grassed nodes in the inter-nodal coastal zone to provide for rigging up areas for sailboarders, and for passive recreation areas protected from the sea breeze. Some open space areas could be provided without the need for reticulated grassed environments and may include children's playgrounds and shade structures.

Some of these activities, such as sailboard rigging up areas, could be allowed to encroach into the area set aside for biophysical factors. However, as a general planning rule, space should be allowed for these activities behind the dunal areas. Open space for recreational activities may not be essential in all areas but should be provided for at regular intervals along the coastline. To be effective, these areas should have a minimum planning width of 30 metres.

Recommendation 7 - that open space for recreational activities be provided for behind the dunal areas and that where provided it have a minimum planning width of 30 metres.

The above planning widths should be used to determine an appropriate size for a new foreshore reserve at Leighton. Not all recreational functions need to be provided for in a continuous ribbon-like approach. Indeed the carparking, woodland, and general recreational areas will best be provided for as small nodal areas linked together by the continuous pathways. However, the frequency at which these three recreational functions needs to occur is such that they will collectively require a planning width of approximately 30 metres to be provided along the coastline. When this is added to the average planning widths for the other functions, an overall planning width for recreational purposes of 66 metres is indicated, as tabulated below.

Recreational function Range of planning widths required




Planning minimum

access road

22.0 m

25.0 m

23.5 m

24.0 m

principal shared path

8.0 m

8.0 m

8.0 m

8.0 m

informal pathways

0.0 m

8.0 m

4.0 m

4.0 m


0.0 m

24.0 m

12.0 m

30.0 m

coastal woodland

0.0 m

30.0 m

15.0 m

general recreation

0.0 m

30.0 m

15.0 m


30.0 m

125.0 m

77.5 m

66.0 m

For the purpose of determining an appropriately sized open space reserve, this 66 metre planning width should be added to the widths identified for the biophysical factors, i.e. a range of between114 - 132 metres. Therefore, where possible the coastal reserve at inter-nodal areas, and where no other site specific requirements apply, should be between 180 metres and 198 metres.

Recommendation 8 - that the eastern boundary of the coastal reserve at any inter-nodal area be setback from the first line of vegetation by at least 180 metres, where possible, to allow for coastal biophysical factors and recreational requirements.

5.2 Site specific requirements

There are a number of site specific requirements which should influence the configuration and size of the Parks and Recreational Reserve. These have been separated into the following categories:

* Vlamingh Parkland requirements;

* road linkages

* old rubbish tip embankment;

* recreational requirements at the regional node;

* parking requirements at the regional node; and,

* land area required at the regional node.

5.3 Vlamingh Parkland requirements

The requirements for the Vlamingh Parklands were provided for in the "Fremantle Regional Strategy - 1994" and subsequently in "The Vlamingh Parklands" report of 1998. The preparation of the planning guidelines for Leighton provides an opportunity to implement the recommendations relevant to coastal planning contained in these documents. Based on these two documents, there are a number of areas of land that should be included into a wider open space reserve along the Leighton coastline.

Recommendation 9 - that the following areas be incorporated into the Parks and Recreation Reserve:

The Railway Station Link is critically important to the successful integration of the station and the coastal reserve. This link should be created as a reserve prior to any further consideration of development around the railway station. The location should be indicated as being on an alignment beginning at the north of the existing railway station through to the north end of the existing surf life saving club. The final alignment and configuration should be provided for as part of the structure planning process following the completion of the planning guidelines. This would allow for detailed consideration to be given to the urban design of such a link.

5.4 Road Linkages

LAC remains sceptical of the need to extend Curtin Avenue through the Leighton Peninsula and is especially concerned that the transport planners have totally neglected coastal planning requirements. Clearly, the proposed alignment of this road will compromise the coastal setback requirements identified above. LAC would prefer that functional improvements to the configuration of the four lane Stirling Highway were investigated as an alternative to any new regional road west of the existing passenger railway line.

In the event that the two lanes of Curtin Avenue are extended along the western side of the railway line, it would be appropriate to provide links between this extension and the coastal reserve. One such link would logically exist at Walter Place, although this should not be configured as the main link into the Port as this would perpetuate the conflict between regional traffic and the coastal reserve. A new link road could also be incorporated as part of the railway station link identified above. Another linkage could also be included as part of the proposed Wellington Street extension. Other links may also be warranted.

Recommendation 10 - that regional road reserves not be permitted within any coastal setback zones and that the Department of Transport give further consideration to upgrading the configuration of the four lanes on Stirling Highway as an alternative to extending Curtin Avenue through the Leighton Peninsula.

5.5 Rubbish Tip Embankment

The steep embankment along the Mosman Park section of Leighton Beach was artificially created as part of a former tip site and night soil depository. The fill used is most likely contaminated to varying degrees. The gradient of the 10 metre high embankment ranges from approximately 1:1.3 to 1:0.7. This is far too steep to allow for stabilisation and makes access to the beach dangerous. Retention of this steep slope will result in ongoing coastal management problems for the local authorities. For example, the construction details of the proposed emergency access road down this embankment to service the surf reef are completely unacceptable in coastal management, construction cost, and aesthetic terms.

The Vlamingh Parklands report envisaged that the landscape environment for the park, which includes the area of this embankment, should be improved to re-establish as far as possible the environment that de Vlamingh would have witnessed more than 300 years ago. Photographs of the area indicate that the landscape existing prior to the tip site operations was that of a sand dune with a gentle gradient above the underlying Holocene limestone layer. It would be appropriate for this to be re-established as far as reasonably possible. The benefits of this would be to :

- remove contaminated fill;

- provide a gradient that can be stabilised using local plant species;

- allow for improved access to the beach;

- allow for the sensitive construction of the emergency access road;

- provide for the landscape requirements of the Vlamingh Parklands; and

- remove the need for the ongoing, unsightly, and ineffective brushing of the embankment.

The ability to modify the topography along this artificial embankment requires that additional open space reserve be provided to allow for the regrading of the slope. This should be considered as an integral part of the assessment of the biophysical factors. For example, if a 1:5 slope gradient was considered acceptable in terms of stabilisation, landscape design and access, then a zone 50 metres wide would be required for the modified embankment. This should be the subject of further detailed consideration to assess whether access ramps can zig-zag down such a slope without the need for engineered retaining.

Recommendation 11 - that the coastal reserve be of sufficient width to allow for the remediation and recontouring of the steep embankment in Mosman Park, and that any proposed gradient allow for a natural dunal planting and improved access to the beach without the need for engineered retaining.

5.6 Recreational requirements at the regional node

In addition to the requirements for a link between the railway station and the surf life saving club, the recreational requirements at this regional node require special consideration. To determine how wide the coastal reserve should be at the regional node, an audit of the recreational requirements is necessary. As part of the preparation of the planning guidelines, appropriate recreational activities need to be identified. Once activities are identified, it should be possible to determine a minimum area of land required to satisfy the necessary requirements for each activity. The bulk of these activities should be clustered around the node to maximise the vitality of it and to minimse the impact on other areas of the coastline. To maximise vitality, these activites should probably occur within approximately 150 metres of the node. Sufficient parking needs to be catered for within a reasonable walking distance of the node, i.e. within 400 metres. For the purpose of the exercise it is assumed the centre of the node is the north western tip of the existing surf life saving club buildings.

The following is a preliminary assessment of the main recreational activity requirements around the surf life saving club:

Surf life saving club buildings - the existing surf club buildings cover a site of approximately 80 m x 30 m, or 2,400 square metres. (This compares to the two storey club at Cottesloe on 1800 sqm of land, excluding facilities under the Indiana Tearooms). The life saving club has indicated that it may wish to expand some facilities in the future. It may be appropriate to allocate some 3000 sqm. for surf life saving club buildings. The existing buildings are well within the erosion risk area, therefore for long term planning purposes, a new area behind any biophysical setback zone of 3000 sqm. may be required.

Ablution facilities - it is likely that the existing ablution block will be demolished in the short to medium term. There appears to be a preference to construct two smaller facilities, one south of the surf life saving club, and one north of it. Each new facility may require a site area behind the biophysical setback zone of approximately 150 sqm.

Kiosk, restaurant & alfresco facilities - the existing kiosk is located within the erosion risk zone. The facility is somewhat limited and does not include any alfresco dining area. The community is likely to expect that improved facilities would be provided in the coastal zone. The facilities at Point Walter have often been referred to as providing a desirable range and quality of outlets suitable for a public foreshore reserve. The site area of the Point Walter facilities, making an allowance for a larger alfresco area, is approximately 1500 sqm. Leighton needs to cater for significantly larger volumes of visitors than Point Walter. As a comparison, the Port Beach Tearooms occupies a site area of approximately 3200 sqm, and the multi-storey Indiana Tearooms at Cottesloe occupies a site of approximately 2000 sqm. For planning purposes an area of 3,500 sqm. set behind the setback area for biophysical factors may be required for improved kiosk, restaurant and alfresco facilities.

Passive recreational space - additional public open space at the node is required for picnics, barbecues, and grassed areas for informal recreation. Similar areas at Point Walter and South Beach provide good local examples of the type of area that is required. The area at South Beach between the southern carpark and the kiosk/ablutions building is approximately 11,000 sqm. and is well utilised on summer weekends. Whilst South Beach is not a regional beach, the comparison provides some indication of the area that might be required at Leighton. For planning purposes, an area behind the biophysical setback zone of some 15,000 sqm. should be set aside for public recreational space. This area would be inclusive of PSPs, pathways, promenades, grassed areas, parkland, playgrounds, barbecues, shade structures, etc.

Informal active recreation space - the community is likely to expect the inclusion of some informal active recreation facilities such as beach volleyball, basketball, skate boarding and in-line skating. The extent of these needs should be determined through targeted community consultation. New activities are likely to develop over time and may replace the needs of current recreational trends. It is clear, however, that some space should be provided, and that planning for known activities is a logical approach. More importantly, if such active recreation is to be provided for without compromising the desire for a predominantly passive recreation area within a more natural setting, then separate and well located areas must be established for informal active recreation.

The beach volleyball activity currently occurs in an area where a low sand dune will be required. It may be possible for this to still occur in an area between a new dune and the existing buildings. However, for the reasons stated above, an area for such a facility should be reserved behind the biophysical setback zone. This would allow for beach volleyball to occur both on the beach and in a maintained area protected from the sea breeze. An area of 30m x 15m, or 450 sqm, may be required for this use.

Basketball facilities have become increasingly popular and are a logical requirement for a regional coastal reserve. However, they need a dedicated space that does not conflict with the needs of other beach users. An area of 900 sqm. may be required for this use.

Communities constantly struggle with the need to locate skate parks in close proximity to residential areas. The coastal reserve provides an excellent opportunity to locate a quality skate park servicing the region. It should be a larger skate park than the small local facilities in the surrounding local authorities. It is particularly important to ensure that sufficient area is set aside for this type of use to avoid conflict with other activities. An area of 900 sqm. may need to be set aside for this use.

Recreational activities to be provided for within 150 metres of the regional node.

Area required


surf life saving club


ablution facilities


kiosk, restaurant & alfresco areas


passive recreation space


informal active recreation space


Total area


An area of approximately 2.5 ha. should be provided at the Leighton regional node to accommodate the above requirements. This equates to an area with dimensions of say 250 metres long and 100 metres wide, although other configurations could be considered.

Recommendation 12 - that at least 2.5 hectares of land, set behind the biophysical setback area, and within 150 metres of the surf life saving club node, be set aside for recreational needs.

5.7 Parking requirements at the regional node

The area identified above for the regional node has no provision for any parking. The quantity of parking required at the regional node will need to be determined as part of the preparation of the planning guidelines. Clearly, the quantity of existing parking is inadequate for current levels of beach usage. In addition, most of this parking is within the erosion risk zone and should be relocated in the long term. It may well be that current levels of beach usage are constrained by the inadequate parking. It may also be the case that as more parking is provided, more people will favour this beach versus other beaches where parking is more restricted, e.g at Cottesloe.

Leighton is a comparatively under-utilised regional beach. Compared to other regional nodes, the Leighton node has less than half the usage (measured as the number of people per lineal metre of beach) than at Cottesloe. It could be argued that Cottesloe has reached its capacity and that further increases there would be detrimental to recreational enjoyment. By comparison, Port and Leighton beaches could absorb some increased usage without necessarily compromising the diversity of beach usage along this stretch of coast. In this context, the creation of a high intensity node, for those who seek such an environment, may be an acceptable goal. The carrying capacity of such a node is likely to be determined by three factors, as follows

- the distance people will be prepared to walk from a carpark;

- the ability to move people through the erosion zone without causing damage to the dunes; and

- the tolerable density of people both on the beach and in the water.

Comparisons with other regional beaches would appear to be the only logical way of determining an acceptable carrying capacity for planning purposes. The Ministry for Planning is in the best position to make such comparisons, however, an examination of the Cottesloe area sheds some light onto what might be an acceptable planning scenario. Within 400 metres of Cotteloe beach there are approximately 950 parking bays (including two large carparks with capacities of 234 and 368 bays.) These service a beach of approximately 400 metres in length, i.e. similar to the Leighton node. If this amount of parking were to be provided at Leighton, then an area of approximately 2.4 hectares would be required.

The Minister for Tourism has suggested that not all the beach parking needs to be provided in the coastal reserve, but instead could be provided on adjoining development sites. However, it is questionable whether any developer or local authority could justify providing free parking (as required by the State Government for a coastal area) in an undercroft arrangement when each bay would cost between $12,000 - $15,000 (i.e. a $14 million parking station for 950 bays). It would be more appropriate to provide sufficient coastal reserve area to cater for the majority of the parking needs.

It should be remembered that the identification of space requirements for future parking needs is a planning tool that is used to determine the overall size of the coastal reserve and should not be taken as a desire to create a sea of bitumen. Conversely, good planning should seek to avoid the difficulties that the lack of parking is causing at beaches like Cottelsoe where the coastal reserve was an accident of history rather than having been rigorously planned.

The decision to provide additional parking should be taken in conjunction with strategies to encourage alternative means of access. It should also be remembered that peak parking needs only occur on summer weekends. There may be a preference to ensure that some of the area identified can be used for overflow parking without the need to construct carparks. Options that encourage reciprocal usage of parking should also be considered, such as weekday park-n-ride facilities being available for weekend beach parking.

Recommendation 13 - that an area of at least 2.4 hectares, set behind the biophysical setback zone, and provided for within 400 metres of the surf life saving club node, be included within the coastal reserve. This area to be increased, if required, following detailed assessment of future parking requirements by the MfP.

5.8 Land area required at the regional node

The total land area required for recreational purposes at the regional node can be determined by adding the area identified for recreational activities (2.5 ha.) and the area required for parking requirements (2.4 ha.). This total land area of 4.9 hectares should be provided behind any setback zone determined for the biophysical factors and within 400 metres of the Leighton node.

South of Walter Place, opportunities to provide for additional coastal reserve would require that Port Beach Road be downgraded to an access road and be relocated onto land previously occupied by the freight railway line. Allowing for the oil industry as a boundary (setback 160 metres from the first line of vegetation), the maximum area that could provide for recreation and parking needs is a strip of land 21 metres wide (allowing for a 25 metre access road and a biophysical requirement of only 114 metres). Within a 400 metre distance from the Leighton node (taken as the northwest tip of the surf life saving club) the area available south of Walter Place is limited to approximately 5250 sqm (i.e. 250m x 21m). The preparation of the planning guidelines should determine whether this road and rail reserve land is available for this purpose, and if so it should be created as a reserve.

North of Walter Place, the coastal reserve should provide for the biophysical factors (at least 114 metres minimum), 4.375 hectares of recreational and parking areas (say 88 metres width by 500 metres long) and for a road requirement of at least 22 metres. Therefore a coastal reserve with a minimum width of 224 metres should be established commencing at Walter Place and extending 500 metres north.

Recommendation 14 - that at the existing surf life saving club node the coastal reserve be increased in width to be at least 224 metres wide extending for 500 metres north of Walter Place, and at least 160 metres wide extending 150 metres south of Walter Place.


A preliminary assessment of urban design and microclimate considerations may assist in determining preferred options for the location of activity nodes, scenic roads, carpark locations, linkages to other nodes such as the train station, and future development options. Clearly, detailed consideration of these issues should form part of the structure planning and coastal management planning processes following the adoption of the planning guidlines.

6.1 Views and vistas

The following views and vistas should be maintained and enhanced:

Where possible a diversity of microclimates should be provided for within the coastal reserve, both for recreational enjoyment and to allow for appropriate landscaping options, as follows:

Recommendation 15 - urban design and microclimate considerations should form part of the structure planning process following the establishment of the planning guidelines. Some consideration of these issues should be considered at this stage to assist in the integration of coastal planning issues and transport planning options.

7.0 Appendix - LAC community workshop summary


Notes from Community Workshop - 8 May 1999

Attendance: approximately 65 people


Environmental natural, natural restoration/regeneration, sustainable dune system, environment for fauna (kytes etc.) 35
Use safe beach, metropolitan (regional) beach, free, class free, welcoming to teenagers & youth 23
Views and appearance visually available, highlight visual uniqueness, retain views in both directions 21
Parkland develop a managed parkland reserve 15
Access diversity of public access, ease of access, sustainable access (i.e. maximise rail access etc.), maximise public access, disabled access, provide numerous pedestrian crossings 13
Landscaped areas shade (6), open space (3), trees & shrubs (3) 13
Design approach low key (6), environmentally sensitive (5) 11
Cultural reflecting the past, all cultural significance - aboriginal, european, natural 6
Maintenance low maintenance (4), financially self-sustaining (0) 4
Roads scenic drive & rest point (2), separate regional roads from beach (1) 3
Other tourism/eco-tourism (1), provide land behind the beach(1), highlight narrowness of peninsula and highlight topography, artistic and stimulting, contiunuity of building forms, linkages to local areas. 2




Recreational recreation, passive use, playground,picnic/bbq area, tree planting, cycling, windsurfing, shelter, toilets, showers/taps, walk the dog 31



eco-centre, community centre, coastal vegetation centre, heritage interpretation centre, wind farm - energy efficient, aboriginal cultural interpretation, "mainland Rottnest" approach, 29
Infrastructure re-open Leighton rail station, railway access, maximise railway station access, parking, coach parking, disability access, informal small boat launching across beach 19
Beach activity sunbathing, swimming, surfing, surf lifesaving, fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving 15
Driving/walking 40 km/h speed limit, local traffic only, scenic drive, views from pedestrian bridge 12
Other public art, artist in residence, meditation centre, amphitheatre, "bell tower", skate board park, tourist attraction, hang gliding & model gliding, environmentally sensitive restaurant, Elizabethan village, historic railway, 6
Residential residential housing 0

Key points from group mapping exercise

Group 1

Youth facilities located near surf reef (just south of Montessori School) - basketball, volleyball, skateboard park, bmx track etc.

Dune area and coastal scrub for most of marshalling yards and up behind school and McCall centre.

Meandering access road position to suit dune restoration needs. Calm Port Beach Road, make slower, scenic drive. Local secondary road instead of present road. No big trucks.

Establish a coastal park management board to look after park.

Create a green corridor (family friendly walking trail) between Rocky Bay and Leighton Beach on the Craig Street alignment. Establish a cultural tourism trail - low key trails, storylines, meditation points, aboriginal input (dingo, wagyl), sandhills restored and extended.

More dunes at Leighton Beach node at back of Lifesaving Club.

Possible medium density housing extending north from Walter Place up as far north as northern end of existing railway station.

Group 2

Youth recreation north of old Leighton Railway Station.

Keep footbridge

Marshalling Yards south of footbridge - alter present contours of marshalling yards - re-instate original contours. Mix of natural and cultivated plantings with bbq's, playgrounds, car parking.

Small commercial centre north of Walter Place (trianglular area bounded by Walter Place and Railway up as far north as north end of station) to include kiosk, cafe, surfboard/bicycle hire

Safe access from station to beach.

Group 3

Re-open Leighton Railway Station. Link to existing stone development north north-east of new station (i.e. where old houses and garden centre are on Stirling Highway). Provide a precinct of temporary accommodation, YHA, food outlet etc. Could have interpretative centre here - early arrivals, heritage etc.

South of Leighton Station develop marshalling yards as a Park (not supported by some in group, others stated that if we must have development it should be limited, be low impact residential development, 25% public housing, no high rise)

South south-west of N Freo station (400m radius only), allow R40 residential with 25% public housing an imperative, to extend south across Walter Place into the oil storage areas in next 30 years. No high rise, no hotels, no convention centre.

Develop 100m from shore as land based Rotto - bikes, low key, public, heritage/eco/plant interpretative centre (early settlers at the beach etc.). Restore dunes & native vegetation, add shade trees.

Development/Residential to be innovative, limestone, wood, corrugated iron, fibro, no brick & tile, pole houses, native vegetation, norfolk island pines, no heritage fakes, modern sympathetic to old, but no copies no fakes!

Group 4

Re-open Leighton Railway Station to improve public transport access to beach.

Provide un-interupted access at grade to ocean from new station and retain footbridge.

Surfing beach north of Leighton Station, childrens and family beach south of Leighton Station.

Provide another crossing/walkbridge at Craig Street.

Small development node for about 100m north of Walter Place.

Calming of Port Beach Road, 40 km/h, local access.

Soft scrub areas, low maintenance, with walking, cycling, and roller blading.


Provide a dune system including foredune, and stable dunes and swales with a stable landscaped, tree environmnet behind.

Group 5

North of Leighton Lifesaving Club node including marshalling yards - wider natural dune vegetation, calmed scenic drive off set from beach, train station re-opened with low key facilities.

At Leighton Lifesaving Club node - information centre, cultural centre with parkland (green picnic zone etc.), rest places to sit and play.

Railway land in front of oil tanks - recreational reserve to include skateboarding, rollerblading, bmx, carparking, cycle hire.

Group 6


Shade trees and vegetation!


Shade shelters and wind breaks.

Re-open railway station. Provide parking facility surrounded by parkland and amenities (toilets, food?)

No blocking of views!

Grassed rigging area for windsurfers opposite footbridge.

Restore, preserve, minimal amenities, enhance natural aspect, maintain existing style/atmosphere, reduce reliance on cars, encourage public transport, informal/natural/cultural/"Australian" historical info.

Leighton Action Coalition Inc.
C/- 34A Holland Street
Fremantle WA 6160
Tel: 9335 5182

Email: (Sue Harrington, LAC spokesperson)