Freo's View

FREMANTLE OVAL PRECINCT A GREAT OPPORTUNITY

 

Integrated into the heart of Fremantle, the vision for the Fremantle Oval Precinct is to re-establish and offer an active venue for sport, community, cultural and health pursuits.

Work on creating a concept for Fremantle Oval and the surrounding areas is underway with the City of Fremantle having established a Steering Group and a Reference Group.

The Steering Group consists of three directors of the City, the CEO of the South Metro Health Service and the Manager City Design and Projects of CoF.

The Reference Group is very large with three Elected Members,  the Area Manager Infrastructure of South Metro Health, a representative from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Culture, The CEOs of the South and East Fremantle football clubs, the President of the Fremantle District Cricket Club, the CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, a representative of the University of Notre Dame, and three managers of the City of Fremantle. WOW, they must have veeeery looooong meetings so that everyone can have their say!

And what is it all about?

1. CONNECT WITH THE SURROUNDS

The precinct is re-established in a way that integrates its internal uses with one another as well as reconnecting the precinct into the fabric of the city centre.

2. CONSOLIDATES A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

Develop and enhance the precinct in a manner that consolidates and increases sporting activities on the Oval as the primary use and as a Centre of Excellence for football, while respecting the heritage of the precinct.

3. BRINGS ADDED PUBLIC LIFE

Augment sporting uses at the venue with entertainment, cultural events and community activities that bring added public access and life to the precinct.

4. ENABLES REGENERATION AND INTEGRATION

Consolidate health activities on the hospital site; enabling regeneration and improved integration with the surrounding city.

5. IMPROVES PUBLIC ACCESS

Develop key perimeter sites that improve public accessibility and increase pedestrian activity at ground level, throughout the year.

6. BALANCES TRANSPORT ACCESS

Enable a balanced portfolio of transport access arrangements to the precinct.

and there is more:

PUBLIC OPEN SPACE

Provide Open, Green Space for a Healthy City

Ensure the precinct provides open and green spaces for access by city workers, residents and visitors.

Reveal and Visually Connect the Precinct

Key views, vistas and links are established, protected and celebrated.

BUILT FORM

Optimise Activity through Appropriately Scaled Development

Ensure development opportunities optimise activities / density through appropriate height, mass and setbacks.

Respond to the Environment

Seek excellence in design and aesthetics; develop in a fashion that is responsive to local environmental conditions and sustainability principles.

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL

Integrate into Fremantle’s Historic Urban Fabric

Where practical, extend the urban grid of the city into the precinct to improve legibility and urban integration, whilst acknowledging the historical informal and open nature of the precinct.

Celebrate Heritage and History

Understand, reveal, enhance and interpret the unique heritage attributes of the precinct and its context.

MOVEMENT AND TRANSPORT

Invite People In

Improve pedestrian access, permeability and sense of safety across the precinct and along adjoining streets.

Create Good Journeys

Enhance physical connections between the precinct, prison and town.

What appears to be missing are some creative people; architects, artists, placemakers, and also yet again no attempt to involve community groups from the beginning, so yet again they will have to be reactive and that often results in the groups being criticised for being negative.

When will they ever learn at local government that it is advantageous to involve members of the community from the very start because it means a lot less hassles when it comes to planning issues, etc.

The Fremantle Oval Precinct is a huge opportunity for the City of Fremantle and while they mention a time frame of 20-30 years for the development this one is more realistic and achievable than the South Quay development ideas.

Roel Loopers

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN ON FREO’S FUTURE

 

The West Australian newspaper published a feature article by Ken Acott today about Fremantle’s future with the headline Freo ripe for new investment to retain its edge.

The article is based on analysis by PCW City Pulse and features the opinion of Nadia van Dommelen, who is a partner in that firm, and also Freo Mayor Brad Pettit.

A lot of what van Dommelen says is not new and she puts a lot of hope in a new waterfront development along Victoria Quay and the move of the container port to Kwinana, so that is still far too far away to be realised.

But Nadia van Dommelen rightly states that Fremantle needs to stop comparing itself with other cities and be proud of the special character and gritty uniqueness of the old port city.

While van Dommelen is excited about eventual waterfront development she believes that the working port, sheds and railway are all part of Fremantle’s charm, and any future development needs to be authentic. She says there is now major opportunity for transformative investment in Fremantle, and that is already happening

I believe Fremantle’s immediate future needs intensive city planning that deals with all the current and imminent development, and that the City’s Council and planners need to have a strategic plan for creating better and more public realm that connects the new developments in the CBD.

The Heirloom and LIV apartments at Queen Victoria Street will be joined in the next few years by the Little Lane apartments in Adelaide Street, the Hilton Doubletree hotel development and apartments at Point Street and the Adani Hotel on the Woolstores site.

Add to that the development of the Manning building, the huge Kings Square development, plans for a new Fremantle Oval Precinct, a small boutique hotel next to the Fremantle Markets plus a four-storey hotel at the former Court and Police site at Henderson Street, and one can envisage a huge change in the inner city that will require more detailed planning for people movement, parking, safety, and enjoyment.

It is imperative that Fremantle Council is very realistic and very pragmatic about what it needs to do and what can be achieved. This is not the time for pie in the sky ideas but for the elected members to have their feet firmly on the ground.

I hope it’s not a bad omen that the West Australian on-line article about Fremantle’s future features a photo of the Botega cafe that recently closed. ; >)

Roel Loopers

 

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WHY POSTPONE FREMANTLE PROJECTS HALF WAY?

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 12, 2018

 

Fremantle Councillor Andrew Sullivan had a grumpy old evening at the FPOL Committee last night, and he had valid reasons for it.

Sullivan said he was not happy at all that the planned Esplanade hub was pushed back by up to three years and that the Naval Stores at Cantonment Hill renovations would only be done in half.

“It frustrates me that almost always we postpone big projects halfway” he lamented. In three years time we will agains spend hundreds of officers’ hours and community consultation to start all over again.

It is fair to wonder why this happens when the 2018/19 budget also allows for a new $ 25,000 concept plan for a city square at the railway station. When Alannah MacTiernan was a WA government minister more than ten years ago I walked with her from the port building to the railway station looking at plans for the upgrade of Phillimore Street, a new square at the station and a new roundabout at Cliff Street.

Three years ago CODA architects created plans on behalf of Fremantle Ports for the Victoria Quay development that also included detailed plans for the relocation of the busport and a town square, so why do we need more experts and spend more money on what already has been done?

The masterplan for Princess May Park was approved two years ago, but nothing has eventuated, so why the community consultation and all the hours of creating it?

Even more years ago then Councillor John Dowson complained that the City wanted to do a masterplan for the reactivation of the West End. Go to the library he said and look at the glossy document the City did on this only 2-3 years ago. Why reinvent the wheel again?

For an outsider it all looks self serving so that that someone who might be called a special projects officer, who is hidden somewhere among the hundreds of city staff, will have a reason for his/her job, so they are given useless tasks and repeat projects that have already been well investigated. It’s a waste of time and money.

Councillor Sullivan was rightly frustrated and Fremantle Council needs to learn to prioritise better and stick with the projects they have approved, not pushing them down the line of priorities when something else that also looks worth doing comes up.

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE LIV DESIGN WITHOUT LOV

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, Uncategorized by freoview on July 10, 2018

 

 

If the LIV apartment buildings at Queen Victoria and Quarry Street, due to open in August, are the heritage of the future for Fremantle than God save the Queen.

To paraphrase Wilson Churchill; we will fight bad architecture at Council house, on the streets and on the beaches, and we will fight inappropriate development in the local and state government offices and on election days.

The mediocre boredom and bland sameness of LIV is an insult to Fremantle’s unique heritage character. It’s LIV without LOV.

Fremantle deserves much much better!

Roel Loopers

BAUGRUPPEN CONCEPT FOR FREMANTLE

 

Baugruppen_Render_aerialcloseup

 

Western Australian homebuyers are being offered the opportunity to be part of a unique project that would see them band together to finance, purchase and construct a new apartment development – removing the developer from the process in a move expected to deliver significant savings.

The Baugruppen Demonstration Project, to be located at LandCorp’s award-winning WGV residential estate in Fremantle’s White Gum Valley, is a partnership with the University of Western Australia.

Based on a German concept, Baugruppen – which translates to “building groups” – is a process allowing individuals to group together and become their own developer of well-designed, sustainable higher-density housing suitable for their long-term needs.

The Baugruppen process has the potential to deliver multi-unit housing that is more affordable, more diverse, more sustainable and supports the establishment of community.

The WGV concept design has been prepared by multi-award-winning Fremantle Architect, Michael Patroni of spaceagency, and features “stacked homes” with no common walls.

Single-storey modules will accommodate one bedroom, one bedroom plus study, or two-bedroom homes, while double-storey modules accommodate three or four-bedroom homes.

All homes feature cross ventilation, abundant natural light and generous private outdoor space, with shared facilities including a common room, guest suite, community gardens and rooftop terrace. 

Registrations are sought from homebuyers interested om taking part in the Baugruppen Demonstration project at WGV.

Homebuyers group together through the settlement and development process, and on completion of the project, apartments are strata-titled and individually owned as they would be in a conventional development.

WGV is WA’s first One Planet Community, and has set new benchmarks for affordable, community-focused, sustainable living – and as such, it’s the perfect home for this project.” said Mr Marra.

In addition to cost savings and sustainable living, Baugruppen Projects deliver great community bonds and build networks between neighbours through the process.

This will be the first apartment building in WA to be delivered using the Baugruppen model, and the first higher density project of its type in Australia. It’s another great example of LandCorp’s Innovation through Demonstration approach, and one we believe will be very well received by the market.”

Interested participants should contact Cindy at Dethridge Groves Real Estate on cindy@dethridgegroves.com.au by 15 August. For more information on the Baugruppen Demonstration project at WGV, please visit www.baugruppen.com.au

 

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WA PLANNING GREEN PAPER BUT NO ARCHITECTS

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, Uncategorized by freoview on July 6, 2018

 

The WA state government has released a green paper of changes to the planning process. It is 81 pages long, so too long to blog it all, but below the most important aspects of it.

Fremantle architect Tobias Bush already remarked on social media that the word architect has not once been used on all the 81 pages, and that is a rather remarkable oversight, and a slap in the face of those professionals who create the future of our cities.

 

  • Local governments to have up-to-date local planning strategies, including one for housing, through which the community has a say in how their neighbourhood will be developed.
  • Make strategic planning for sustainable development the purpose of planning in Western Australia.

Make the planning system easy to access and understand

  • A single concise State Planning Policy framework with common elements for State, regional and local plans and policies.
  • A comprehensive local planning scheme will be available online for each local government including a local planning strategy, the statutory scheme and local planning policies.
  • Reduce red tape by standardising commonly used zones.

Open up the planning system and increase community engagement in planning

  • A Community Engagement Charter with a focus on up-front community involvement in strategic planning.
  • Re-balance Development Assessment Panel processes including recording meetings, providing reasons for decisions, and undertaking more comprehensive investigation and consideration of complex proposals.
  • Local governments to report annually on their planning responsibilities.

Make the planning system well-organised and more efficient

Refocus the planning system to deliver quality urban infill

  • Revise the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) to include 5-7 specialist members and increase their focus on strategic planning and policy development.
  • WAPC to delegate more statutory matters to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and accredited local governments.
  • Rethink administrative processes that add unnecessary time and cost to approvals processes.
  • The State Government, WAPC and local government to collaborate on the planning and delivery of key centres and infill locations and forward planning of infrastructure.
  • Develop a state planning policy focused on delivering consolidated and connected smart growth.
  • Provide for coordinated land use and transport planning of key urban corridors.

 

Roel Loopers

HOW TO LEGISLATE FOR BETTER CITIES?

 

 

What can a small city like Fremantle of just over 30,000 residents learn from a mega city like Singapore with over 5 million people? It was a question Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt asked when he went on a study tour with the South West Group and the Mayors of Melville, East Fremantle, Cockburn, Kwinana and Rockingham.

Yesterday at the monthly Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel the Mayor shared his thoughts and some photos, and it was a thought provoking presentation.

Brad Pettitt said that city greening was the extraordinary success of Singapore, as developers were required to create large green spaces on and around new buildings, but there is also a greening of highways, rooftops, walkways and gardens, and road corridors of trees that make large parts of the huge city look delightfully green. That is certainly a lesson we can learn from in Fremantle and in Western Australia, as European countries also do that much better and more intense than we do over here.

The largest vertical garden in the world is also in Singapore, comprising of 57,000 pot plants!

How we can legislate for it is altogether the question though. It probably needs to be done at state level, but there is always a risk that local council then lose control of their city planning.

I have suggested before here on Freo’s View that in appropriate locations Fremantle City should consider a percentage for green space, where developers are granted additional height if they create the equivalent floorspace into a green open space near or within the development.

Brad Pettitt also showed some less desirable and quite ugly highrise development that we definitely don’t want in WA.

The Freo Mayor also mentioned how massive the port of Singapore is with 35 million containers(TEU) a year.

Singapore has over 17 million international tourists a year, compared to WA of less than a million, and it is strongly branding itself as a green sophisticated city. Brad Pettitt thought Fremantle should celebrate its Aboriginal history more and make it part of our brand. We need a major attractor, Pettitt said.

The Mayor said that heritage was highly valued and protected in Singapore and that there is a lot of street activation in heritage areas, something missing in Fremantle, but there was a lack of solar energy use and Singapore was trying to catch up on that.

Brad Pettitt asked if there was a case to be made for greater hight if it helped to create better public realm, because the urban sprawl could no longer be supported in WA. “Get a train to Butler and see what we are doing!”

In that context it is good to note a change of heart by one of Melbourne’s leading urban planning experts Rob Adams, who ten years ago strongly supported densification and urban infill, but now says it has destroyed many streetscapes in the city because the public realm improvements did not eventuate when they started building highrise.

I say it again here that I would love to see a forum about what appropriate architecture, development and density for Fremantle could be, so I hope someone will organise an event that I would love to be part of.

Roel Loopers

WHAT DOES THE COMMUNITY GAIN FROM HIGHER DENSITY?

 

A new report by the Property Council of Australia appears to contradict the push for small houses and backyard infill by the City of Fremantle.

Hap-hazard low-density infill presents a major obstacle to coordinated and strategic development, the report claims. It suggests that to prevent this kind of on the hop development councils should introduce a minimum size of 1,200sqm blocks for development.

The report argues that people need to acknowledge that they are getting better outcomes from high-density development, but that shows not to be the case here in Fremantle, where nothing or very little is added to the public realm near medium and high-density new apartment blocks. Where are the new parks, grassed areas, community spaces, children’s playgrounds?

According to the report Perth will have 4 million residents by 2050, with many living in  apartments and townhouses near transport hubs and using trains for transport.

It will be interesting in this context to hear Freo Mayor Brad Pettitt speak about the lessons we can learn from Singapore at the next Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel, coming Tuesday at 6pm.

Roel Loopers

FROM THE FREMANTLE PLANNING COMMITTEE

 

The Fremantle Council Planning Committee met in North Fremantle last night with an agenda of interesting items.

The two storey additions to a house in Thompson Road received the normal for and against public speakers and was deferred to full council.

The four-storey mixed use development of tourist accommodation, residential and restaurant at Parry Street, that has interesting architecture, was sent on for approval to JDAP, and the Wild Bakery will be able to relocate to the corner of Scott Street and South Terrace, although nearby residents were worried about parking issues.

An alteration in Hale Street was hotly debated but Councillors believed it should have a chance to be modified and  it will go to full council.

The awning at the new FOMO retail building on Kings Square received criticism from the City’s Design Advisory Committee, but Councillors agreed with Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeilly that the whole FOMO concept was about fun, impermanence, and transitional, and thus self-invigorating, and that the awning most likely would be replaced or modified to keep having a a visual attractor, and respond to the changing functions of the area.

Councillor Adin Lang needs to get his act together as he is embarrassing himself. He twice voted last night opposite from what he wanted to vote for and the Chair had to ask for the members to vote again, so that Lang could change his vote. This has happened before, so that is not good enough.

Councillor Lang unfairly makes himself look as if he is not the brightest light on a Christmas tree, but I believe it is either a lack of concentration by the young Councillor, or not doing his homework, and studying the agenda and attachments properly. He has been on Council for seven months, so he should understand process and procedure by now.

Roel Loopers

 

PROPOSED CHANGES TO WA PLANNING PROCESS

 

The WA Government has released its plans for changes to the planning process, stating that the present process is more about process than it is about quality outcomes.

The discussion paper that is now out for public comment focusses on five areas which I have copied and pasted here for Freo’s View readers:

1. Strategically-led

2. Legible

3. Transparent

4. Efficient

5. Delivering smart growth

  • The State Government, WAPC and local government to collaborate on the planning and delivery of key centres and infill locations and forward planning of infrastructure.
  • Develop a state planning policy focused on delivering consolidated and connected smart growth.
  • Provide for coordinated land use and transport planning of key urban corridors.

Key reform proposals

Make strategic planning the cornerstone of the planning system

  • Local governments to have up-to-date local planning strategies, including one for housing, through which the community has a say in how their neighbourhood will be developed.
  • Make strategic planning for sustainable development the purpose of planning in Western Australia.

Make the planning system easy to access and understand

  • A single concise State Planning Policy framework with common elements for State, regional and local plans and policies.
  • A comprehensive local planning scheme will be available online for each local government including a local planning strategy, the statutory scheme and local planning policies.
  • Reduce red tape by standardising commonly used zones.

Open up the planning system and increase community engagement in planning

  • A Community Engagement Charter with a focus on up-front community involvement in strategic planning.
  • Re-balance Development Assessment Panel processes including recording meetings, providing reasons for decisions, and undertaking more comprehensive investigation and consideration of complex proposals.
  • Local governments to report annually on their planning responsibilities.

Make the planning system well-organised and
more efficient

Refocus the planning system to deliver quality urban infill

  • Revise the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) to include 5-7 specialist members and increase their focus on strategic planning and policy development.
  • WAPC to delegate more statutory matters to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and accredited local governments.
  • Rethink administrative processes that add unnecessary time and cost to approvals processes.

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