Freo's View

BLACK BOXED WINDOWS FOR FREO’S MYER BUILDING

 

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PROBUILD have started to remove the protective foil at the windows along Queen Street of the former Myer building. The black looks a whole lot better and more classy than with the sheets on.

Latest info I received is that the final contract with PINDAN for the new City of Fremantle civic centre will be signed this week.

Roel Loopers

BETTER URBAN INFILL VERY IMPORTANT

 

WA Planning Minister Rita Saffioti has released stage one of DESIGN WA, the guidelines to improve the quality of urban infill.

One of the most heard complaints in Fremantle and all over the suburbs is the mediocre design of most of the new residential apartment and other buildings in our character cities, but planning rules and even design advisory panels have had little impact on improving the architecture and streetscapes, this will hopefully now improve, depending on how strict and strong the new policy can be enforced by local councils, JDAP, SAT and the WAPC.

Rita Saffioti’s statements says:

Design WA includes clearly defined objectives about what future developments should consider, and includes it in the revised Residential Design Codes. Objectives include:

  • Appropriate scale to respect the local character and context;
  • Minimum apartment sizes based on floor space and number of rooms;
  • Safe, healthy environments with good natural light and ventilation;
  • Development that creates walkable neighbourhoods with high amenity;
  • Green space such as shady trees for outdoor spaces and mature tree retention; and
  • Development that enhances local neighbourhoods. 

The policy will come into affect soon, on May 24, 2019, so that is a good thing.

One thing I have been wondering about is why urban infill and medium/high density buildings are demanded in older suburbs by the State Government but not in brand-new suburbs which are developed near public transport corridors. That makes no sense to me.

Roel Loopers

ANOTHER STEP FOR THE KINGS SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT

 

 

Riggers are dismantling the building crane this Saturday that assisted in building the new home for the FOMO retail concept and commercial office spaces by Sirona Capital.

Contractors for PROBUILD were high up in the sky lowering the large crane to the ground in sections.

Roel Loopers

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FREO KINGS SQUARE REDEVELOPMENT UPDATE

 

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More large glass windows have been installed on the former Myer building at Kings Square that is being developed by Sirona Capital as part of the Kings Square Redevelopment Project. We are slowly getting an idea what it will look like.

PROBUILD is hard at work to finish the buildings on time for the opening around Christmas this year.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE NEW CIVIC CENTRE CONSTRUCTION READY TO START

 

Civic Centre

 

Builders PINDAN have started to put new fences up around the area of the new Kerry Hill Architects designed Fremantle Civic Centre at Kings Square.

I hear from a very reliable source at the City that the contract will be signed this week, so the construction work should be starting soon.

Roel Loopers

A CITY INVESTMENT WORTH DEFENDING

 

Like most people in our community I don’t like the secrecy about the financial implications of Fremantle’s new Civic Centre at Kings Square. I do not understand why the CEO or Mayor don’t simply declare we had to borrow $ 20 million, or more, or less, that we will have a future return on leasing commercial property within the building, the extra rates income the City will be receiving from the new Kings Square buildings Sirona Capital is building, and other new development, etc.

After all, the Kings Square development is an investment in Fremantle’s future, and with all decisions governments make, some people will support it while others will criticise it. That’s just the way we are. But be upfront and stand your ground, Fremantle Council, because that will be respected.

I was pondering last night what I believe the Kings Square Redevelopment Project means for our city. I see it as a stone thrown in a pond that creates a ripple effect of more development and activation and that is exactly what has been happening.

The Manning building, Woolstores development with hotel, Hilton Doubletree hotel, Heirloom and LIV apartments, the development of the Justice and Police complex in Henderson Street with another hotel, the Little Lane residential on the former Spotlight site and residential development at Fremantle Park behind the former Energy Museum, boutique hotel and tavern next to the markets, Atwell Arcade, the Synagogue development, and planned development of Fremantle Oval, etc. Surely all that warrants that our council makes a substantial investment.

All over the world towns became cities because of the organic growth of them. Houses were built, a square was created where farmers sold their food, a church was next, more shops opened, more houses were built around that, schools and pubs were needed, more shops, and so they grew as a community.

That is what is happening again in Fremantle. The organic growth out from Kings Square  into surrounding areas. Kings Square is that little pebble that creates the ripples that are making a huge difference. Is it worth the investment? I believe it is, but I still would like to know how much the Civic Centre is actually going to cost.

Roel Loopers

FREO’S SMALL HOUSING ALTERNATIVE GETS STATE APPROVAL

Posted in accommodation, city of fremantle, city planning, housing, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 12, 2019

 

 

The City of Fremantle’s ground-breaking new approach to infill housing in suburban areas, called the ‘Freo Alternative – Big Thinking about Small Housing’, is now official following approval by the Minister for Planning.

In March last year the Fremantle Council voted to change the City’s Local Planning Scheme and adopt a new planning policy to stimulate development of a wider choice of housing in Fremantle’s suburban areas while maintaining what people value about their neighbourhoods.

The Freo Alternative project began in 2014 when the Australian Urban Design Research Centre and local architects were engaged to model different small housing types and test if they could work in a Fremantle environment.

That was followed in 2016 with a widespread community engagement campaign to establish what attributes the community most valued about their suburb and the benefits and challenges of small housing types.

The City’s community engagement efforts were recognised with the Planning Minister’s Award at the 2017 Planning Institute Australia WA Awards for Excellence.

Key provisions include:

Only applies to lots larger than 600 square metres
Dwellings to have a maximum floor area of 120 square metres
Maximum of three dwellings on lots of 750 square metres or less
Minimum of 30 square metres of outdoor living area per dwelling
Developments to have higher than standard energy efficiency ratings, and include solar panels, rainwater tanks, grey water systems or meet best practice accessibility standards
A minimum of 70 per cent of the entire development to be open space
At least one large tree to be retained or planted for each dwelling
A maximum of one parking bay per dwelling
Developments to be referred to the City’s Design Advisory Committee to consider design quality

The Freo Alternative will initially be applied to specific locations within the City of Fremantle – in sections of White Gum Valley, Hilton, O’Connor, Beaconsfield and Fremantle – that meet certain criteria regarding proximity to public transport, existing lot size and housing stock and heritage streetscapes.

The new provisions are subject to a five-year sunset clause.

Roel Loopers

CAN FREMANTLE INDUSTRIAL ARTS PRECINCT BECOME A REALITY?

 

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A community working group came together at Stackwood on Monday afternoon to discuss if the dream of a Knutsford Industrial Arts Precinct can become a reality or if  the challenges are too daunting.

Architects, artists, planners and three Fremantle Councillors attended the meeting, as did Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt and CUSP Professor Peter Newman, and chair of the City’s Design Advisory Panel Geoffrey London.

The Mayor said the Knutsford Street area was an amazing precinct with amazing opportunities, but the question was what we want to create here and how do you compliment ‘making things’ work with the rest of the community?

Participants said a Fremantle Industrial Arts Quarter was all about place, people, creativity, resilience, community, heritage and innovation. It would be funky, green, amazing, economic, vibrant and sustainable.

Geoffrey London said it would need water-sensitive outcomes for infill developments and asked how can we make it into a sustainable precinct. He suggested to narrow the very wide roads which would create lots of recreational opportunities on the verges.

Participants suggested that housing that related to the industrial area with distinctive architecture should be considered, as is storm/grey and black water management solutions. There should be housing typologies for sustainability and density.

Peter Newman said the examples shown from European developments looked all the same, and I agree that many of these sustainable developments look monotonous. It is probably a challenge to create innovative and attractive buildings when one needs density to make it sustainable and affordable, so that would be a major challenge.

One huge challenge is the soil contamination of the area and how to remedy that, and also how to combine noisy industrial art studios next to residential housing. It is also important to combine living and working environment, so that artists can live where they work.

But how do we do it? A planning framework would be required, and community input, and State Government changing some of the suffocating planning rules.

People want bigger visions, and we need new governance and investment structures for these innovative ideas. Who has got the power to change the dynamics and create a culture of innovation?

Many of the warehouses are probably not worth saving but we should retain a warehouse typology in the precinct, and we need to be clear about the minimum standards we want to achieve and develop visual guidelines. What is the Knutsford style?

And the last speaker of the workshop said it would take five people who are willing to make less money to want to make a difference, to get it started.

It is a very challenging project and it will need a Heart of Beaconsfield style of approach to start finding practical, innovative and creative solutions. There is no doubt in my mind that the area has huge potential to become something special!

Roel Loopers

 

 

 

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SOUTH FREO CARPARK PRIORITY OVER PEDESTRIAN CROSSING

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, city planning, local government, parking, shopping, Uncategorized by freoview on February 10, 2019

 

 

The FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council will on Wednesday evening debate minor changes to the Lloyd Street/Hampton Road intersection and the exit from the Peaches/IGA shopping centre car park.

Council in its incredible wisdom decided last year that these pretty irrelevant adjustments were more important than a safe pedestrian and school crossing on Hampton Road between Lloyd and Scott streets.

Councillors decides that they knew much better what is needed and ignored the advise of traffic experts, City staff, and the community survey of local people, who actually use these roads and the school pedestrian crossing daily, as I do.

Now the City wants to spend a lot of money on minor changes which will make very little difference because the awkwardness of the car park exit will remain, no matter what they do, because it is too close to Hampton Road and that can’t be changed.

The frustration there is sometimes and mostly the incompetence of drivers who block two lanes when they turn left out of the Lloyd Street car park exit to either turn north or south onto Hampton Road. Making the two lanes more legible will not make an iota of a difference to those motorists who can’t turn a corner properly and hold up traffic.

So instead of spending some $ 300,000 of State Government money on getting a proper pedestrian crossing on Hampton Road and re-opening the Scott Street intersection the City will be wasting all that money on basically nothing at Lloyd Street. Yes Minister!

Roel Loopers

 

MINISTER AND MAYOR DIFFER ABOUT VICTORIA QUAY PLANS

 

There appears to be a misunderstanding between WA Planning Minister Rita Saffioti and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt about the terms of reference for the Steering Group which will plan development on Victoria Quay at Fremantle Ports.

I have highlighted in bold where the Minister and Mayor got a difference of opinion about the area it involves.

The Freo Mayor commented on this Freo’s View blog yesterday:

A key difference is that this one will look at all of Victoria Quay from the Maritime Museum to the traffic bridge and see if we can move the roll on roll off cars etc further south and open up the area around the Passenger Terminal. This is the first time we have got government agreement to look at this and the right people are around the table.” Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

but in the media statement the Planning Minister states:

“Successful development of Victoria Quay is dependent upon a range of organisations committing to a vision for the 13-hectare area between the Maritime Museum and D Shed, then actively playing their roles to make it happen” WA Planning Minister Rita Saffioti.

So the Freo Mayor believes it is about the entire area from the traffic bridge to the Maritime Museum, while the minister believes it only about the area between the museum and D Shed.

The development plans for Victoria Quay between the Maritime Museum and D Shed were always on the cards and the Port is keen to start developing the 13 hectare area, but Fremantle Council wants it to go all the way to the traffic bridge, but that appears not to be happening if one takes the statement by the Planning Minister for a fact.

Could someone at State Government please let us know which of the two statements above is correct, so that the community and interested parties know what we are dealing with. Thank you!

Roel Loopers

 

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