J SHED INCOMPETENCE A WORRY FOR KINGS SQUARE
After the Western Australian Planning Commission refusal for approval I can’t get out of my head what an outrage the 21-year lease is Sunset Events got from the City of Fremantle for the J Shed tavern, as it shows incompetence by COF officers and lawyers involved. Did anyone at the City check any of the planning rules the WAPC refers to in its decision to reject the tavern and outdoor music venue? Shouldn’t the lawyers have picked it up also?
And what about the Minister for Lands and the Minister for Local Government who both said it was o.k?
Here a reminder of the WAPC ruling:
1. The proposed application does not comply with the requirements of the Clause 30 of the Metropolitan Region Scheme as it is inconsistent with the purpose for which the land is reserved under the scheme, inconsistent with the orderly and proper planning of the locality and does not allow the preservation of amenities in the locality.
2. The proposal does not provide sufficient on- site car parking;
3. The proposed application does not comply with the requirements of Development Control Policy 5.3 – Use of Land Reserved for Parks and Recreation and Regional Open Space as it is not of a nature and scale of the proposal is compatible with the use and zoning of the surrounding land, the nature and purpose of the reserved land and the environmental character of the location;
4. The proposed application does not comply with the requirements of Development Control Policy 5.3 – Use of Land Reserved for Parks and Recreation and Regional Open Space as it is not identified there being a community need for the proposed facility in the proposed location and the proposal is not consistent with existing or proposed land use and management plans;
5. The proposal is inconsistent with clause 4.1.2 (b) of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF14 – Fremantle West End Conservation Area Policy as the proposal does not demonstrate a low key use and is not compatible with the ethos of the area;
6. The proposal is inconsistent with clause 3.4 of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF26 – Planning Policy for the West End of Victoria Quay as the proposed land uses are not compatible with the primary or ancillary land uses desired for the locality;
7. The proposal is inconsistent with objectives 3.1 and 3.2 of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF5 – Arthur Head Reserve Strategy Plan as the proposal is not a low profile commercial uses of J-Shed reflective of and is not compatible with the history and maritime themes of Arthur Head and the foreshore;
8. The proposal is inconsistent with Clause 2 of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF6 – Arthur Head – (West End of High Street, Fremantle) as the proposal is overloading the vicinity with proposed developments
None of that was picked up by the COF officers and lawyers or the officers at the Lands Department and Local Government Department. How can that be? That is not acceptable!
And then we read the statement in the Herald by the acting Director of the City saying the City is expecting Sunset Events to start the 21-year lease early next year. The lease was given for a tavern and live music venue the WAPC has ruled out in that location, so what is the City talking about!
Surely someone is responsible for this debacle and I would like to know what Fremantle’s new CEO Phil StJohn is going to do about it, because just shrugging the shoulders and say shit happens is really not anywhere near good enough.
The J Shed disaster makes me fear the worst for the Kings Square Project the City signed off on with Sirona Capital. Did the COF officers and lawyers really cross all the Ts and dot the Is? REALLY? Or will financial experts Martin Lee and Craig Ross be proven right that the deal is a financial disaster for the ratepayers of Fremantle, because someone at the City of Fremantle did not check all the details carefully?
Heads should roll, the media should start asking the hard questions, and the Minister for Local Government needs to do his job and investigate the City of Fremantle for its incompetent handling of the J Shed issue.
We can only hope and pray the officers and lawyers did a more thorough job on checking the details of the Kings Square contract than they did on the J Shed lease.
So what are you going to do about it CEO Phil StJohn?!