Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle prison, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on February 26, 2018




Congratulations to Fremantle Prison for receiving the Gold Medal for Cultural Tourism at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards!

Visiting Fremantle Prison is a great experience which I recommend to young and old.

Knowing one’s history is very important to staying connected to our roots.

Have you tried the new CONVICT HISTORY tour there yet?

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on February 24, 2018


The Fremantle Herald this week is full with opinions about how to protect Freo’s unique character when it comes to approving new development.

My old North Fremantle mate and former chair of the City’s planning committee Gerry MacGill says that Fremantle’s Councillors are struggling with the concept of exceptional architecture that grants developers discretionary additional height.

MacGill believes Council should not just rely on the opinion of the Design Advisory Panel but that the elected members are eminently qualified to make judgements on how the Woolstores development integrates with the surrounding streetscape and nearby buildings in regard to scale, massing and height.

I too found that at the special planning meeting Councillors and the Chair of the DAP were more concerned about small picture things and semantics like adding more bricks, than about the big picture; if the proposed building actually fits in well with the unique Fremantle character.

Also in the Chook is an opinion piece by architect Carl Payne, who often comments on Freo’s View.

Payne writes that the Manning Building approval shows that we only pay lip-service to heritage and that heritage protection is often not imposed if it affects the building’s owner.

The architect writes that the actions of Fremantle Councillors are not consistent with the Burra Charter heritage ideals and that compromises are made too easily to appease developers.

I am aware that a team from North Fremantle Slavin Architects also had a meeting with Mayor Brad Pettitt talking about their concerns about the often inappropriate architecture Council is approving in the CBD.

But there is more in the Herald with a full page advertisement by the Fremantle Society, which shows photos of buildings they believe ‘work’ and building which do not work. It comes as no surprise that there is not a single high building FS likes.

There is no doubt in my mind that Fremantle Council is bending over backward to accommodate development in Fremantle, and while I absolutely support the rejuvenation of the ugly east CBD Council needs to do a lot more to protect our city’s beauty. The architecture of the planned Woolstores development is not anywhere near good enough to consider it to be of exceptional quality, because it insufficiently addresses and respects Fremantle’s unique character. It’s not the height that worries me most, but the aesthetic incompetence.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on February 1, 2018




The clouds over Fremantle created an unpleasant humidity for the Roundhouse volunteers and the sea breeze came in rather late and quite weak, so it was a bit of a struggle for just two of us.

But school holidays are over so it was rather quiet anyway. Nice view though.

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on January 23, 2018


ma 4


The application for the $ 10 million development of the Fremantle Manning Buildings was unanimously approved by all five members of the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel-JDAP this morning with some minor amendments. The most significant one was to allow the percentage for the art contribution to go to reinstating the former balcony and verandah along William Street.

The Manning property runs from William to Market Street and all along the southern side of the High Street Mall, and is owned by Fremantle-based developers Silverleaf.

The development includes a micro brewery with tavern and restaurant, as well as commercial and retail accommodation.

The future of the Wrightson’s barber shop was a concern and consideration during the deliberations with questions asked why we do not have planning policies that protect social heritage as well as buildings.

We were assured that the Wrightson’s shop front will be retained and that the barbers have been offered relocation to Market Street, but Chair Ian Birch expressed the sentiment of all panel members that he hoped the developers/owners would be able to accommodate the barbers in the same location.

Councillor Jon Strachan was concerned about the staged development aspects of the proposal but was assured by the architect that it was simply not practical to do it all in one stage.

Strachan also said that the initial drawings had raised concern at council, but that the developers had positively worked with City of Fremantle planning and heritage staff to improve the application and respect the heritage of the building.

He said that the quality of the heritage report gave him confidence that an outcome the city can be proud off will be achieved.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said it was nice to see heritage buildings getting a new lease of life. She also said we should keep in perspective that in the 1990s there were 21 licensed pubs in Fremantle and now only 11.

Chair Ian Birch said that the active use and refurbishment was the best way of protecting heritage buildings.

Two other amendments were part of the approval. One that heritage values override other development considerations and the other that an archeological dig will be conducted before the commencement of the development.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, historic, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on January 19, 2018



1963 – corner of High St and Newman Court. Newsagent on the corner, with the Hall behind and in the rear left the back of the Centennial Building

ARCHAE-AUS Cultural Heritage Management have opened two more trenches near the corner of High Street and Newman Court for their archeological dig at Fremantle’s Kings Square  to look for remnants of late 1800s shops and a hall.

They report to have found substantial foundation of the hall, so that is exciting historic news for Fremantle.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, food, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on January 15, 2018


French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested that the famous French breadstick Baguette should be heritage listed, so I was wondering what great food items we in Australia could put on the world heritage list.

No doubt that the good old meat pie and sausage roll are favourites, and probably the chiko roll is still up there for some, although I have never eaten one.

Anzac biscuits are a safe bet for heritage listing, and in our seaside town of Fremantle fish&chips is a must. Or if we want to stick with bread like the French president, why not Bread Pettitt?

As a multicultural society we probably also claim pizza and sushi as Australian food.

Any other suggestions? ; >)


Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on January 6, 2018


The proposal for the development and part demolition of the Manning buildings will come before the City of Fremantle Planning Committee this Wednesday January 10 at 6pm.

The plans by developers Silverleaf include a 250 patron dining area and 250 patron tavern and a micro-brewery, as well as office and retail accommodation.

The approval authority for the $ 10 million project is the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel. The City of Fremantle Officer’s Recommendation to the CoF Planning Committee is to recommend the conditional approval of the three storey development, that will retain the Manning Arcade between the High Street mall and Paddy Troy Lane.

The modernisation of the Frematle CBD is inevitable and should in general be welcomed I believe, as long as new development proposals are considerate of the heritage character of the inner city.

Silverleaf is a major player in Fremantle and therefore has an obligation to the community to do excellent and attractive development.

While Silverleaf is applying for the Manning development, and soon will be applying for the development of the Woolstores shopping centre and Justice and Police complex in Henderson Street, it still has not completed the development of the Attwell Arcade building and installed all the cladding on the four-storey building.

Completion of the Atwell development should be a requirement by the City of Fremantle before Silverleaf gets approval for any new development in Fremantle.

The planning officers also recommend the requirement of a photographic archival record of the existing building, but that should be amended to a professional high-resolution photographic archival record, as we might otherwise end up with useless low-res amateur photos.

Council meetings will be held at the North Fremantle Community Centre at Thompson Road during the Kings Square Project construction and start at 6 pm.

Roel Loopers





Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on December 14, 2017


I hear on the Fremantle Notre Dame University grapevine that they are considering an exciting new project in the historic West End on the corner of Cliff and High streets, where they were going to build the new School of Nursing and Midwifery building.

Rumours have it that NDA is contemplating changing the present carpark behind the so-called Wedding Wall into a public park, with water feature, historic interpretation of the old Freo tram, a place to linger and relax for NDA students, tourists and locals.

There might even be an archeological dig on the site, which is next to the former Tram Building and only metres away from the historic Roundhouse, before the park is created.

Just another exclusive for Freo’s View. ; >)


Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, history, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on December 11, 2017


An archeological dig will be conducted at Fremantle’s Kings Square in January to find remains and related items of the former St John’s church, which was demolished in 1882.

A team from Archae-aus and Museum of Moving Objects will search at four locations on Kings Square from January 15-21, 2018, so keep an eye out for them.

I am still waiting for the announcement of the start of the demolition of the Queensgate building, that was due to commence in November.

Project managers Sirona Capital have assured me this won’t delay the construction of the Kings Square project and FOMO retail concept.

Roel Loopers




Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 7, 2017


The highly farcical tavern proposal at J Shed on Bathers Beach saga continued last night when the Planning Committee of Fremantle Council refused again the proposal by Sunset Events for a 400-patron tavern at the number one studio on the A Class reserve.

In its utter incompetence in this matter Fremantle Council has managed to make victims of both the proponents and opponents of the development at historic Arthur Head. That is a remarkable feat!

Some four years ago Council supported the applicant driven proposal for a 1,500 patron outdoor music venue and 850-patron tavern and signed a 21 year lease with Sunset Events.

This was against strong opposition of West End residents, J Shed artists, FICRA, Aboriginal and  heritage groups and Fremantle Ports, but our Councillors had their rose-coloured ACTIVATION glasses on and suddenly wanted something much bigger than a cafe, restaurant or small bar, as was invited for in the Expressions of Interest document.

All public submissions were ignored and even the packed full Townhall special electors meeting was dismissed because our elected members knew best what is good for us.

In good faith and with the justifiable assumption that Council would approve the tavern and music venue Sunset Events signed a 21-year lease, but now their scaled-down proposals keep getting rejected and that is extremely unfair to them.

I agree with last night’s refusal and the refusals before that because a large tavern is not acceptable for one of our state’s most significant historic areas, but to leave the proponents in limbo with no room to move shows arrogance, naivety and incompetence by those Councillors who voted for the 21-year lease.

J Shed artists have had their nerves stretched to the limit as their livelihood is at stake, and Sunset Events rightly insists that the project has to be financially viable for them before they invest millions in sewerage, toilets, a commercial kitchen, etc.

The way Fremantle Council has handled the J Shed proposal is so absurd and incompetent that it might well have been an episode of the satirical TV series Utopia.

Sunset Events has every right to being frustrated and should take legal action against Fremantle Council for wasting their time and money, because reducing the scale of the tavern even more would not make financial sense for them.

One has to seriously wonder why it is that only after four years officers and Councillors now decide that a tavern is inappropriate for the A Class reserve, the heritage area and the Bathers Beach Art Precinct, although they signed a lease for it. That, as Planning Committee chair Jon Strachan pointed out, will make any size tavern un-approvable in the future and leaves Sunset Events in limbo.

It is an absolute disgrace and those Councillors who voted for the long-term lease should kick themselves in the backside really hard and get an injection of a dose of reality.

Roel Loopers

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