Freo's View

FREO THINKS BIG ABOUT SMALL HOUSING

Posted in city of fremantle, housing, lifestyle, living, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 29, 2018

 

I am a bit lazy because of the flu and fever I have, so just some points I copied from this media release  by the City, as I could not attend last evening’s committee meeting:

The City of Fremantle has given its final approval to a ground-breaking new approach to infill housing in suburban areas, called the ‘Freo Alternative – Big Thinking about Small Housing’.

Council last night 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 still maintaining what people value about their neighbourhoods.

State government has set density targets across the metropolitan area to cater for population growth and limit urban sprawl, but poorly planned or inappropriate infill developments are often met with a backlash from local residents, and don’t always match housing needs.

The proposed planning scheme amendment and policy will now be sent to the Minister for Planning for final determination.

The Freo Alternative is the result of more than three years of research and community engagement. Because of the widespread concern about the impact of infill development in our suburbs, Fremantle wanted to create a shared community vision of the future of housing in the city

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said “We needed to come up with a way of delivering more diverse and affordable housing while retaining the established form and feel of the streestcapes and neighbourhoods that people love about where they live.”

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 key themes to emerge from the consultation included having a range of housing choices, good access to transport, retention of open spaces and trees, good quality design, sustainability, affordability and encouraging community interaction.

The proposed amendment to Fremantle’s Local Planning Scheme establishes seven special control areas throughout the suburbs with special provisions for small infill development, as an alternative to traditional single lot subdivision.

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.

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

To be reviewed in four years, Freo Alternative may then be rolled out across further locations.

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HOW TO GET MORE SOCIAL HOUSING?

 

 

Winter, wet weather and cold nights are not far away and make me worry about the many homeless people we have.

There are around 13,000 homeless people in WA and 105,250 in Australia and the main reasons for homelessness are poverty, unemployment, lack of affordable housing and poor mental or physical health.

The waiting list to rent a Homeswest place is three years, so why do governments not legislate for more affordable and social housing I wonder.

Maybe the City of Fremantle could add affordable housing as an incentive to receive extra height for new development in some appropriate pockets of our city. What about allowing for a discretionary extra height of one storey if the developer agrees to make half of the floor space of that extra storey available for affordable and social housing?

The floor space for affordable/social housing is allowed to be spread within the building and does not have to be on the top floor that will create additional income through penthouse apartments.

I believe Fremantle Council should seriously consider this as an option to entice developers to embrace social housing.

Roel Loopers

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QUALITY THE KEY FOR SMALL INFILL DEVELOPMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, housing, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 19, 2018

 

The City of Fremantle’s Strategic Planning and Transport Committee will this Wednesday deliberate the implementation of Scheme Amendment 63 for Small Infill Development.

Small houses and so-called granny flats are popular but rare in Fremantle, so there is a need for them. However it is essential that PSA 63 does not become a license for a glut of unsightly portable mining dongas and sea containers in backyards as a form of alternative housing. Design quality needs to be one of the priorities when planning officers decide on approval.

You can read the entire agenda item on the City’s website. Click on Agendas and Minutes.

I have selected and copied some considerations addressed in the agenda below:

The Freo Alternative is an investigation into alternative housing forms for Fremantle’s suburban areas, to address gaps in provision.

The second stage of the Freo Alternative is a proposed amendment (no. 63) to the City’s Local Planning Scheme No.4 (LPS4 or Scheme) and a local planning policy (LPP3.20) for small infill housing in specific areas of lower density coded residential land in the City of Fremantle. The purpose of the proposal is to increase housing choice for smaller households in Fremantle’s suburban areas while maintaining what people value about their neighbourhoods. The approach focuses on the scale of housing, rather than the traditional metric of number of dwellings per land area.

The major themes that emerged from these discussions with the community were: location, housing choice, built form, sustainability, open space, trees and landscaping, community, and car movement and parking.

following spatial aspects contributing to the negative impact of infill housing:

reduction in tree cover

doubling in roof cover, crossover and paved area

decrease in usable outdoor space including private garden, open space and living areas

increase in areas required for vehicles including vehicle parking and manoeuvring

increase in impermeable hard surface.

The modelling and further research brought up a number of additional considerations. Based on this, council resolved to further refine the previously agreed principles, including a cap on the number of small houses, 70% open space and 25% DPZ requirements, to ensure a resultant scheme amendment achieves the purpose of providing diverse and affordable housing types in the City, whilst also retaining the character of the area.

Ensure good quality design outcomes including design that is responsive to local character and context.

The design of a development contributes greatly to the visual interest of the building.

Roel Loopers

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NORTH FREMANTLE GOOD PROPERTY INVESTMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, housing, property, real estate, Uncategorized by freoview on January 31, 2018

 

North Fremantle was the leading suburb in real estate price growth in 2017 according to REIWA.

Median house prices in North Freo jumped by 26.3%, with Applecross coming second with 24% and Dalkeith third with 20.9%.

Bicton also did well with a 17% increase in median house prices.

 

Roel Loopers

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THE FREO ALTERNATIVE HOUSING VISION

Posted in city of fremantle, housing, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on November 1, 2017

 

Stage two of the Freo Alternative housing concept is about to start and realising the vision through planning policy.

The first stage of the concept was about generating a shared community vision on the future of housing in Fremantle, and now the City wants to identify how it can change our planning rules to allow for smaller homes in suburban locations, while protecting the things we love about our neighbourhoods..

Through the community consultation process it became clear that eight themes are important to the Fremantle community: housing choice, trees and landscaping, open space, sustainability, community, built form, car movement, and location. 

Fremantle Council would like to hear your thoughts on the proposed planning rules and are holding community sessions in the suburbs.

White Gum Valley | 15 November 2017  4.30 – 6.30pm at Sullivan Hall –  2 Nannine Ave, White Gum Valley.

Fremantle | 16 November 2017  4 – 6pm at Holland Park – Holland Street, Fremantle.

Beaconsfield | 19 November 2017 & 26 November 2017 8am – 12 noon at Growers Green Market – front lawn of South Fremantle Senior High School, Lefroy Road, Beaconsfield.

Hilton | 22 November 2017  4 – 6pm near the entrance to Gilbert’s Fresh – 308 South Street, Hilton.

Samson | 23 November 2017 4.30 – 6.30pm at Samson Recreational Centre – 44 McCombe Ave, Samson.

You can read the proposed planning changes in more detail online and complete the survey by 5.00 pm 2 February 2018.

If you have any questions contact C0F: email: planning@fremantle.wa.gov.au or phone on 9432 9999.

Roel Loopers

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WA GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR FREO MAYOR

Posted in city of fremantle, housing, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 1, 2017

 

 

WA Housing Minister Peter Tinley strongly endorsed Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and his council at the Housing and the Future event at the Moores building last night.

Tinley urged people to “Vote for Brad!” saying the success of Fremantle’s urban infill was a fundamental guide for the government to use as an example in W.A.

The Minister said that Fremantle Council has lead the change in the metropolitan area with their strategic planning for revitalisation.

The Housing Minister said it was essential for the government to partner with the private industry to offer a diverse range of housing options, and that Housing was a $ 14.5 billion agency that delivered social outcomes.

Tinley said there was a “structural disconnect with affordability” and that 44 per cent of four-bedroom homes have just a single occupant. He said it was important for future planning to consider what the built form contributed to the community.

REIWA President Hayden Groves surprisingly expressed that the urban sprawl was no longer sustainable and said real estate transactions had dropped from 71,000 in 2006 to only 31,000 last year.

He said REIWA was trying to create greater revenue resources for the government through property, and that the bottom of the cycle was here and the real estate market was more stable.

Affordability was a problem, Groves said, with low income earners priced out of the market. The private property sector also needed  to take responsibility for that, not just governments.

The REIWA President said that changes to negative gearing were a problem because it removed the incentives for investors.

Government support for first home buyers needed to be adapted as it supported the urban sprawl, Groves claimed, and that Labor’s Metronet was a fabulous policy.

It is important to offer affordable rent, as well as affordable housing and the Fremantle WGV and Nightingale developments were great.

Mayor Brad Pettitt, introduced as Dad by the MC, said Fremantle Council was passionate about housing, but it was hard for young people to live in the city. It was important to match up people through diversity and affordability and getting the mix right.

He said inner city residents were estimated to increase by 40 per cent by 2070. At present only 721 people live in the CBD. “Fremantle’s problem is that there are not enough people here.” But we are on the cusp of being a more vibrant city with more people living here, Pettitt told the crowd of developers, architects, politicians and real estate agents.

During the Q&A Minister Peter Tinley said that properties were only affordable once-the first time-after that they returned to the market and often become unaffordable.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said that stamp duty was a disincentive to downgrade for older people, and that the State Government should reward those councils who are doing infill, through investment in their infrastructure.

Pettitt said it could be frustrating for local governments to deal with the State, and it had taken 18 months to get a Planning Scheme Amendment approved.

Peter Tinley said that Metronet was the centrepiece of WA’s infrastructure and housing and transport were working together in steering committees. We need to know who the people are who are going to live near near train stations and public transport hubs, because it is all about the communities we create, not just about living in concrete boxes.

In reply to a question from the floor it was disappointing to feel that housing for people with a disability appears to have been put in the hard basket. Accessibility and adaptability were real challenges, the Minister said.

I was surprised to hear that one in five people in WA have a disability. That is not a minority group, so governments need to do a whole lot better to cater for them!

REIWA President Hayden Groves said he is trying to change REIWA’s thinking, as they felt threatened by urban infill up to now, but that was changing as the urban infill was not sustainable and cost too much in infrastructure. It was important for the governments to give incentives for people who wanted to down-size, or right-size as it is now called.

Housing and the Future was a good begin of a very important dialogue we need to have. I believe a more substantial forum on housing should be initiated after all the election hype is over.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

 

THE FUTURE OF HOUSING FREO FORUM

Posted in city of fremantle, housing, Uncategorized by freoview on August 29, 2017

There is an interesting forum Housing and the Future
 on at the Fremantle Moore&Moore cafe in Henry Street this Thursday August 31 at 5.30 pm.

The diversity and affordability of housing is something that needs to be revisited by state and local governments, and the way the government supplies social housing as well, so this will be a good forum to participate in.

The forum features WA Minister Peter Tinley, the Member for Willagee,  Hayden Groves, President of the Real Estate Institute of WA, and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

Tickets are $ 50.00. Finger food, beer, wine and soft drink included.

Click on the link below for more info.

https://bradforfreo.tidyhq.com/public/schedule/events/15525-housing-and-the-future

 

Roel Loopers

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FREO ARCHITECT DAVID BARR STEPS UP

Posted in architecture, fremantle, home, housing, living, Uncategorized by freoview on July 12, 2017

 

01_ARCHITECTURAL DOCUMENT_1

 

Congratulations to Fremantle architect DAVID BARR who won the LandCorp Step Up competition for sustainable medium-density housing with their ‘passive haus’ design for North Coogee.

Here the reasons why the judges believe they deserved to win:

KEY POINTS

AFFORDABLE DESIGNS
The winning design delivers a cost-effective build process, but also addresses the ongoing cost of living in the home through sustainability measures and shared facilities.

DESIGN QUALITY
Featuring an active edge, with integrated planter boxes on balconies and gold-finned window frames, a roof garden and shaded back verandah, the design offers a balance of privacy and community and will deliver an attractive, landmark development.

SUSTAINABILITY
The project will be Western Australia’s first apartment building to achieve an average 9-star NatHERS rating. It employs climate-responsive design and will be a Zero Energy building, meaning it will generate more energy than it consumes annually.

INNOVATION
The project will use a prefabricated ‘passive haus’ construction system, the first of its kind in Western Australia, which allows a rapid build process and significant savings on construction costs.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
A PV system supported by 42kWh of energy storage will allow energy generated on-site to be used on-site, reducing peak demand by 30%.

WATER EFFICIENCY
A shared underground rainwater tank and above-code water efficiency measures are expected to reduce average water use by 60% and cut household water bills by up to $180 a year.

WASTE EFFICIENCY
Construction waste is dramatically reduced as a result of the prefabricated ‘passive haus’ system, and any waste created during the build will be recycled. The project includes space for green waste composting and a ‘swap space’ allowing residents to offer items they no longer need, but which may be useful to someone else.

FREO HISTORY FOR SALE

Posted in architecture, fremantle, heritage, housing, Uncategorized by freoview on May 3, 2017

 

The historic Warders Cottages next to the Fremantle Markets in the Henderson Street Mall still have not been sold and the Heritage Council hopes these six will be sold to one owner.

The Police and Court precinct, including the cottages next to it were sold to Freo developers Silverleaf.

The cottages that have been sold so far fetched on average $ 600,000.00  each.

They are very tiny and definitely not suitable for a small bar as the steps to the first floor are very steep and the rooms claustrophobically small.

I wonder though if the new security gate is really the best solution at these heritage buildings and if not something more suitable and sympathetic to the old style could have been installed. Pretty bad taste!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE EAST CBD DEVELOPMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, development, economy, hotel, housing, tourism by freoview on March 19, 2017

This photo taken from the top of the Fremantle Townhall on Friday has historic significance for Fremantle as the inner east CBD will look very different in a few years from now with major development plans for the area.

In about five years we will see the new Woolstores shopping centre commercial, hotel and student development by Silverleaf, the Point Street Hilton Doubletree hotel project, and the eight-storey residential development of the former Spotlight building, and just beyond that the residential development next to the Hotel Australia at Beach Street.

Roel Loopers

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