Freo's View

FREMANTLE LITTLE LANE CBD LIVING

 

Little Lane development

 

The YOLK group has started the sale of new 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments of its Little Lane development on the former Spotlight building site next to Target in Adelaide Street in Fremantle.

The seven-storey building will have residential apartments above a retail and cafe hub that will modernise and revitalise the run down Westgate Mall.

There are also plans for the development of the Woolstores shopping centre site and for a Hilton Doubletree hotel on the Point Street carpark site, which will reinvigorate the lacklustre east of the Freo CBD

Roel Loopers

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SO VERY LUCKY TO LIVE IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, indian ocean, lifestyle, nature, Uncategorized by freoview on May 3, 2018

 

sunset 1

sunset 2

 

The ocean has always been the big leveller in my life. It is the place where everything comes in perspective and where one’s own relevance diminishes in the realisation of the enormity of the universe.

When the body gets invigorated by the cold storm that sprays water in one’s face and when one sees the mighty dramatic sky above the roaring waves, one realises that we are all so different, but so very much the same.

The oceans makes me more aware of our vulnerability and that we all want to be liked, loved and respected and that basically we want to wake up tomorrow and live in peaceful harmony with our fellow human beings and with nature.

Late yesterday afternoon when I took these photos on the South Mole I though how incredibly lucky I am to be living in beautiful Fremantle, a city with a strong, caring and compassionate community and that I live in this amazingly beautiful island country of Australia.

Roel Loopers

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WORLD OF RENOVATION CLOSED DOWN

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on April 18, 2018

 

liquidation

 

It is disappointing but not a surprise that the World of Renovation shop by the Million Dollar Makeovers renovation experts in Fremantle’s High Street has closed down.

The business was ostentatious and pretentious, and three of the businesses of owner Sasha deBretton have gone into liquidation, according to the West Australia today.

The quite lovely cafe at the back already closed sometime in January.

Roel Loopers

MORE FROM THE FREMANTLE PLANNING COMMITTEE

 

More from the Fremantle Council Planning Committee:

  • A small bar and deli for 29 Leighton Beach Boulevard in North Fremantle was approved by the City of Fremantle Planning Committee last night after many people spoke for and against it.

One of the main concerns was noise from the alfresco area rising up to the balconies of residents because of the hard surface below.

It is a fair concern that could be addressed if council insisted on noise control, such as carpeting the alfresco area and putting a soft noise reducing top over it and plants around it, but a small amendment only addressed the area of alfresco activity and that it could not expand.

  • The development proposal for a cafe/restaurant next to Frank’s the butcher in Wray Avenue came back to the Planning Committee, after the proponent had taken the plans to the State Administrative Tribunal after they were rejected by council. The committee last night was adamant. that not enough changes had been made and that parking in the very popular hub was already and issue that could not cope with another cafe, so the proposal was rejected again.
  • The Solar Farm on the former tip site in South Fremantle was approved. Concerns about contaminated dust were deemed unnecessary as the site will be monitored while it is largely without control now.

It is a bit of a surprise that people now are concerned about contaminated dust when a solar farm will be built over the surface and no doubt acts as dust reduction and the site will be professionally managed. A very good outcome I believe.

  • Bad acoustics in the North Fremantle Hall is still an issue and the large public gallery which included twenty Curtin University students had to move chairs to the sides to get closer to be able to hear the Councillors and staff. Unacceptable.
  • A rather farcical situation at the start of the meeting when chair Jon Strachan ruled that all public submissions would be heard before the committee deliberated, but he was overruled by his colleagues who wanted the procedure to remain as it is and that the public speaks before each item which is then debated by committee. It means that people who are not interested in other items on the agenda don’t have to sit through the entire meeting, so it is a basic courtesy to the community.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREO-SUCH A BEAUTIFUL CITY

 

Freo 1

 

Some Fremantle impressions I took yesterday. A tiny hole in the wall cafe, two bookshops combined in a reflection, the Fishing Boat Harbour early morning, and lots of bikes at another cafe.

Freo is full of hidden treasures and surprises. Explore it!

Roel Loopers

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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STATE GOVERNMENT CREATES URBAN INFILL MESS

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, lifestyle, living, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 26, 2018

 

The issues Fremantle faces with urban infill, demanded by the State Government, are not unique to our city as an editorial by POST community newspapers editor Brett Christian shows.

Claremont residents are up in arms against proposed high density near the Loch Street train station. Christian writes “Distress in voices heard in the council chamber revealed the anxiety felt by home owners selected for high density infill.”

“These are real people with real fears who cannot be dismissed as being NIMBYs.”

Brett Christian says that the WA Government is keen to forcibly cram more housing units around transport hubs, which leads to permanent changes in the lifestyle.

The editor writes that Government planners naively believe that new residents will abandon their cars and use public transport when evidence proves the opposite.

Let me note here that public transport use in Perth has dramatically decreased over the last years and that only a very small percentage of those living within a ten minute walk from a railway station do use the train to work, according to government figures.

Christian rightly laments that local councils are being caught in the middle of the infill mess created by the state.

In Fremantle we are getting more and more inappropriate and unacceptable high rise development that will change the unique character of our city forever.

Yes, we need more people living, working and staying here to boost our local economy, but any development needs to show sincere consideration for the heritage, streetscapes and amenity, and that is not happening.

Fremantle Council has done well to encourage substantial development but it now needs to scale back and stop approving mediocre architecture in our inner city.

Tell developers and architects that if building proposals are not exceptional and great they are not good enough for Freo!

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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IT’S ALL ABOUT POPULATION FREO!

Posted in city of fremantle, lifestyle, living, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 27, 2017

 

There were calls at the South Fremantle election forum last night, and we have heard them before, that Fremantle should be like Copenhagen or Amsterdam when planning the future of transport, and that lightrail is a top priority for our city, but is this realistic?

Fremantle is not a European city, but a small port city on the west coast of Australia with a population of just 30,000. It would be considered a country town in Europe. Copenhagen had 583,525 residents and Amsterdam had 821,752 in 2015, so that is a significant and very important difference, because it is all about population numbers.

Shared streets are popular and safe in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, etc. because of the sheer numbers. When you are in your car at a traffic light behind 200 cyclists there is no way that you are going to consider to sneak passed them. You just stay behind until they turn left or right, or onto a bicycle lane. It’s safety in numbers!

In Fremantle probably fewer than 100 cyclists a day ride through the Cappuccino Strip, and mostly on their own and not in numbers, so some idiot drivers will try to sneak by them, careful not to scratch their car on the planter boxes, so they are dangerously close to cyclists.

Lightrail is not a financially viable option in a city of just 30,000, so we need drastic population growth before the state government or private investors would consider it. It is at least 15-20 years away, like the outer harbour, no matter how often we dream about it.

But why the obsession with European cities anyway? Fremantle is a very unique small city that needs to be nurtured and be allowed to organically grow. It needs sensible and sensitive medium-density infill and strongly improve residential, commercial and visitors’ numbers to help boost our economy, but we’ll never be a huge city like the European cities, and I like that.

European cities have slowly grown, layer upon layer for many centuries and Freo is still relatively young at 188 years old in that regard. Fremantle’s population has only grown slightly from 20,444 residents in 1901 to just 30,000 in 2017, so fewer than 10,000 people in 116 years. And Aboriginal people were not counted in 1901!

Why do some people want to change Freo into a city with a European character, when it is a pretty comfortable place that just needs good adjustments, more eye to detail and a lot of TLC?

Fremantle is a tree that already has strong roots, but that needs some healthy fertiliser in the form of good development, population growth and strategic planning, and some of that has to come from state and federal governments.

We need to lose the inferiority complex and be proud of Freo. We should stop believing it needs to change to a more European model, because we are very different, with a very different climate and outdoor lifestyle, and not anywhere near as hectic as the big European cities are, and our population numbers do not stack up to compare Freo with Copenhagen or Amsterdam.

It is telling that Sirona Capital gets it! They have come to the conclusion that Fremantle is like no other place and that it needs an all new and exciting very Freo retail concept at Kings Square. FOMO does not exist anywhere else in the world and will help Freo’s reputation of having a unique character and lifestyle, and we can build on that.

Let’s assist in Freo’s growth by collaborating better. If we all take ownership of our city we can create something together for future generations that we can be very proud off!

 

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

DIFFERENT VIEWS OF FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, lifestyle, photography, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on August 4, 2017

 

freo 1

 

Even after over twenty years of wandering the streets of Fremantle, someone once called it loitering with intent, I always find new images to shoot, as I did this cold Friday morning.

Roel Loopers

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