Freo's View

QUARRY STREET DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES

 

The first item on Wednesday’s Fremantle Council Strategic Planning and Transport Committee is an interesting and challenging one because it is about the City-owned properties 9-15 Quarry Street.

Proposals for the development of the sites have been controversial and not to the liking of local residents who want to retain the low-rise streetscape on the southern side of Quarry Street while it is more likeley that developers would want to build medium to high density there.

The officers recommend to:

Introduction of a uniform zoning of Mixed Use and residential density of R80 with a plot ratio of up to 1, across the lots.

Introduction of specific building height limits and setbacks, to reflect the site’s location and facilitate a transition between high and low density.

Introduction of policy controls to include specific boundary wall, overshadowing, interface and pedestrian access link controls.

Councillors and staff held an on-side workshop on April 1 this year and the agenda state that:

The following broad parameters were discussed at the informal Councillor workshop:

Priority for residential land use given the need to encourage more people to live near central Fremantle, without excluding the potential for a modest mixed use component;

A residential coding of a medium-high density (achieving an equal or greater yield to that under current zoning – previously estimated around 34 dwelling units – refer to December 2018 report);

Diversity of dwelling types is preferred but should not be prescribed beyond the new requirements recently introduced into the R-Codes Volume 2 by Design WA;

Building height up to 4 storeys (reflective of provisions already applicable to Lots 2 and 1 and its associated sub-area) in the centre of the site with lesser heights on the boundaries with existing low density residential (including that to the south-west);

A higher quality design outcome is desired on site, as far as this can be achieved through traditional planning processes (noting the much stronger emphasis on this aspect established in the new R-Codes Volume 2 by Design WA);

Existing vegetation should be encouraged to be retained but not be prescribed beyond the new requirements recently introduced into the R-Codes Volume 2 by Design WA;

There should be specific provision on where boundary walls should be permitted, along with minimum setbacks for upper floors to limit bulk and overshadowing on neighbouring properties;

Pedestrian access should be incorporated through the site to provide a connection to Fremantle Park and to potentially activate the ‘dead’ corner at the back of the site

The site walk-around reinforced local community concerns about excessive bulk and height, impacts on amenity, the suitability of the site to accommodate non-residential uses and concerns about design quality. Support was expressed for the proposed pedestrian connection into Fremantle Park.

There have been suggestions made to use the sites for age-care and affordable housing and Slavin Architects released plans on how good low-rise development could be achieved at Quarry Street.

The sites are very well located close to the railway station, high frequency buses, the Leisure Centre and Arts Centre, shopping, schools, Fremantle Park, Princess May Park, etc.

It will have to be seen if developers are interested at all as there are a lot of apartments still vacant at Heirloom and LIV and the proposed Hilton development could not manage any pre-sales of the apartments on offer there.

The residential development of the former  Energy Museum, which is very close to 9-15 Quarry Street has also not eventuated although the Match group has stated it will go ahead with it.

Any other ideas for the sites? Share it with the Freo community!

Roel Loopers

HAVE YOUR SAY ON HEART OF BEACONSFIELD DEVELOPMENT

 

190524 Davis Park structure plan resized

 

One of the key pieces in the plan to revitalise the Fremantle Heart of Beaconsfield has been released for public comment.

The Davis Park precinct is an area of 10 hectares of land bounded by South Street, Lefroy Road, Caesar Street and Fifth Avenue consisting of mostly state-owned social housing.

City of Fremantle Director of Strategic Planning Paul Garbett said the state government is looking to redevelop the area and has submitted a structure plan to guide the process.

“The state government through the Department of Communities has a policy to decentralise large pockets of social housing and redevelop the land to create a range of more diverse and affordable housing options,” Mr Garbett said.

“The Davis Park precinct currently contains around 260 dwellings that are fairly old, low-scale residential. These homes are accessed by a number of cul-de-sac roads, so connectivity with the surrounding neighbourhood is poor.

“For this reason the Department of Communities is keen to redevelop the Davis Park precinct to create a more diverse mix of housing, with both private and public housing and better connections to surrounding areas.

“The structure plan submitted by the Department of Communities shows details such as where roads and public open space will go, as well as types and locations of housing, community facilities and other land uses.

“As the authority responsible for local planning, the City of Fremantle’s role is to assess the plan and make a recommendation to the WA Planning Commission, which will make the final decision on whether the plan is approved or not.

“To help the City prepare its recommendation to the WAPC, we’d really like to hear from the local community and get some feedback on the structure plan.

“Community feedback at this stage is important because, although it doesn’t include details such as the design of new buildings, a structure plan does guide later stages of planning such as subdivision and development applications.”

The Davis Park structure plan proposes the creation of a mixed-use precinct along South Street, with retail, commercial and residential properties.

Public open space around Davis Park will be expanded and an innovation precinct will be established to provide opportunities for alternative housing styles.

Redevelopment of the Davis Park area is a key part of the broader Heart of Beaconsfield planning project, which will guide the redevelopment of surrounding areas like the Lefroy Road Quarry and the former South Metropolitan TAFE site.

An information stall will be set up at the Growers Green Farmers Markets at Fremantle College on Sunday 16 June, with the opportunity to speak with representatives from the Department of Communities and the City’s planning staff on the structure plan proposal.

For more information and to make a submission visit the City of Fremantle’s My Say Freo website. Public comments close on 21 June.

WHAT IS GOOD TASTE IN BUILDING DESIGN?

 

I think all of us who often complain about the mediocre new architecture we are getting in Fremantle should be delighted that the new DESIGN WA guidelines will apply from today on, but I am quite skeptical about the impact it will have, because good design is like good taste. It is very personal and hard to quantify.

Often when I have slammed the design of buildings others have commented they liked what I believed was atrocious architecture, so why would expert panels be any different in their different taste and preferences? Who dictates what good taste and good design is?

The new DESIGN WA guidelines are all about aesthetics and a review panel of 50 people will decide which planning proposal is in good taste and which one is not. The design review panel comprises of people from architecture, urban design, planning, and landscape architects plus more from heritage, public health, sustainability and engineering. It will be near impossible to reach consensus in such a big group I fear, so Chair Geoff Warn, who is the WA Government Architect, will have a big job ahead of him.

DESIGN WA has got rid of the controversial R-Code system applied up to now, so I wonder if Fremantle and other local councils will also do that. I’ll ask the Fremantle Planning Department if changes will be made in that regard.

I believe that our cities and communities deserve much better design than what we largely have been getting lately, especially for substantial apartment and office buildings. Retaining the tree canopy or providing significant numbers of trees and plants and creating much better streetscapes and public realm will be a very positive step forward. Let’s hope it can all be realised.

Roel Loopers

A WORLD OF ACCUSATIONS

Posted in city of fremantle, home, lifestyle, living, media, social media, Uncategorized by freoview on March 31, 2019

 

I first thought it was an April Fools joke when I received this comment to my blog today, but it is a day early:

Roel
I am requesting you take down the story regarding World of Renovation and you defamatory and inaccurate comments immediately.
should you link not be removed within 48 hours, I will be taking legal action and involving the media for your defamatory, damaging and inaccurate story about your assumptions, not others and not facts.
https://freoview.wordpress.com/2018/04/18/world-of-renovation-closed-down/

I request confirmation of the removal of this link urgently or I will pursue with legal action against you

Sasha deBretton

This is by now a long forgotten story which I posted on April 18 last year after the mainstream media; The West Australian, Perth Now/Sunday Times, Channel 7, and others had reported that Sasha deBretton’s companies had gone into voluntary liquidation and that she owed a lot of money. See links below:

https://www.perthnow.com.au/business/perths-sasha-debretton-places-rich-list-renovation-companies-into-liquidation-ng-b88809626z

https://thewest.com.au/business/70-suppliers-and-tradies-owed-620000-in-million-dollar-makeovers-liquidation-ng-b88822231z

https://www.propertychat.com.au/community/threads/sign-of-the-times-million-dollar-makeovers-wa.31280/

Nothing I posted on Freo’s View about that is defamatory and neither is the post inaccurate as it was widely published that Million Dollar Makovers and World of Renovations had closed shop.

But I did what Miss deBretton demanded and deleted the post from last year, otherwise her threatening comment I received today would also have disappeared as it would have been attached to the post.

The news has been all over cyberspace, social media; Twitter, Facebook, and mass media and I have not read any retractions in any of the newspapers, so what is Miss deBretton on about threatening me with legal action and going to the media nearly a year after the post was published on this blog?

In my very long life I have learned that one takes responsibility for one’s own failures and not blame others, so my friendly advise to Ms deBretton is to do the same.

It is not very clever to rekindle the fire when you want to hide the facts, but that is what Sasha deBretton has done. I deleted the post, not because it is defamatory or inaccurate, but so that she realises that it is not a good idea to threaten and bully me, because now the demise of her failed businesses is in the news again.

For those who can’t remember. The World of Renovations in Fremantle’s High Street was opened by Mayor Brad Pettitt, but by February 2018 it became clear that not all was well as the great-looking cafe closed first and then the large showroom as well.

The place is still vacant and the name is still on the facade.

Roel Loopers

HILTON FENCES DEBATE ON AGAIN

 

Fences in the Fremantle suburb of Hilton have been debated at Fremantle Council frequently lately because of unauthorised and inappropriate fences being built by home owners.

On Wednesday the Hilton fences policy will come before the Strategic Planning and Transport Committee with the officers proposing only minor changes. The policy would basically remain the same but with some flexibility to allow for variations.

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION
Council:
1. Resolves to endorse the following modification to Clause 1.5 of the Hilton
Garden Suburbs Precinct Heritage Area Local Planning Policy 3.7 for the
purposes of community consultation:
1.5Street Walls and Fences
1.5.1 Street walls and fencing forward of the building line shall be a
maximum height of 1.2 metres and shall be visually permeable
above 300 millimetres.
1.5.2 For properties located on South Street, between Stock Road and
Lee Avenue, front fencing shall be visually permeable above 1.2
metres to a maximum height of 1.8 metres, with piers no higher
than 2.0 metres.
1.5.3 Solid masonry (brick) rear fencing shall be permitted for those
properties backing onto Stock Road to a maximum height of 2.0
metres.
Council may, at its discretion, vary the requirements of clause 1.5.1
where it is satisfied that the proposed street wall and/or fence:
a. Is consistent with character of the prevailing streetscape (including,
in relation to this clause only, the house directly across the street and
the three houses on either side of that opposing house, where these
are located within the Hilton Heritage Areas) AND maintains clear
surveillance between the street and the dwelling; or
b. is a maximum of 1.5m in height and a minimum of 80% visually
permeable.
2. Request the preparation of community engagement material including clear
explanations and diagrams and undertake consultation on the proposed
changes to Clause 1.5 of the Hilton Garden Suburbs Precinct Heritage Area
Local Planning Policy 3.7 in accordance with Local Planning Policy 1.3 and
the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015.
3. Notes that the conduct of the review of the fencing provisions of the Hilton
Garden Suburbs Precinct Heritage Area Local Planning Policy 3.7 responds
to the review requested in the petition presented to Council on 12 December 2018.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on HILTON FENCES DEBATE ON AGAIN

LITTLE LANE BIG DEVELOPMENT FOR FREMANTLE

 

little lane 1

little lane 2

 

It looks like the Little Lane residential development by the Yolk Properties group on the former Spotlight site at Fremantle’s Adelaide Street will soon be getting under way.

Retail incubator Many 2.1 which occupies the building have just announced that their last day in that location will be Sunday March 10.

This will be the closest residential development to Kings Square, so it will be exciting to see it going up.

Meanwhile we are still waiting for the SKS Group to start on the Hilton Doubletree hotel down the road from Little Lane on the corner of Adelaide and Point streets, but I hear rumours that they might even start their Cockburn hotel before starting the very much delayed one in Fremantle and that would be unacceptable.

Roel Loopers

GOOD AFFORDABLE PROPOSAL FOR QUARRY STREET

 

Quarry-181205

Quarry-181205

As reported here on Freo’s View yesterday it is unlikely that Fremantle Council will sign off on a scheme amendment that would increase density of City owned lots in Quarry Street to R100, after the local community opposed it during public consultation time.

But positive members of the Fremantle Arts Centre Precinct, including local architect Murray Slavin, are offering an alternative solution for the development of the lots, which are for sale, that would see an increase from R25 to R60 and buildings of only three storeys.

The proposal is for 42 affordable residencies which include small studio apartments and a mix of two and three bedroom apartments that would include renewable energy, developed within a Mutual Not For Profit Structure.

The proposal is specifically designed for low-cost housing and aged care accommodation, with state of the art IT to accommodate on-line data and a health-ready response to enable the comfort and security of seniors.

The proponents believe the site is particularly appropriate for the elderly and less abled because of its proximity to the Fremantle Leisure Centre and Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle Park and public transport. All City of Fremantle facilities for the residents would be within walking distance.

The project responds to the desire to downsizing by empty nest seniors and to the national need for low-cost public housing.

The specifically designed seniors’ apartments respond to the need of a simplified independent lifestyle for older Australians-a transition to delay entry into dedicated aged care facilities.

The project would also accommodate a mix of age groups, which would help against social isolation, and to showcase optimum use of renewable energy and water use, and fast evolving new transport developments.

The item about a possible scheme amendment for the City of Fremantle owned properties  are on on the agenda of Wednesday’s Planning Committee, so come along and have your say. It starts at 6pm at the North Fremantle community Hall on Wednesday December 5.

Roel Loopers

NO HIGHER DENSITY FOR QUARRY STREET?

 

The potential scheme amendment and zoning to R100 density for the properties at 7 and 9-15 Quarry Street in Fremantle is unlikely to proceed because of strong community objections to the idea.

The properties are owned by the City of Fremantle, which wants to sell them, but the community consultation showed that local residents are in favour of zoning the street for low-density R25 instead of medium-density R100.

Main concerns were the impact on the residential amenity of the streetscape, so the officers’ recommendation for this Wednesday Planning Committee is:

The report concludes that whilst there is planning merit in establishing a consistent zoning and suitable transitional density in this location, the complexity of developing mechanisms sufficient to address concerns raised to the satisfaction of the community, and the relatively modest increase in centre catchment/development yield likely to be achieved, does not warrant progressing the matter through all the stages of a formal scheme amendment process.

Roel Loopers

BUILD US HERITAGE OF THE FUTURE!

 

An opinion piece in the West Australian by Suzanne Hunt, the WA president of the Architects Institute of Australia, caught my eye because the headline claims that ‘Architects make great cities’ I don’t believe the architectural reality in Perth can sustain that claim.

Ms Hunt wants architects appointed to the Metronet Reference Group and Infrastructure WA, because in her words It would ensure that local planning incorporates the very best examples of good design. Really?!

Suzanne Hunt also writes that Architects advocate for small policy decisions, which create happier, healthier and more connected suburbs, but that is unfortunately not what most of her colleagues are doing.

Drive and walk through the Perth metro area and you’ll see mostly boring, mediocre and visually unattractive multi-storey buildings, which have little regard for the streetscape and public amenity and which do very little to add new public open spaces with trees.

What we have been getting instead are bland concrete boxes which are often too high and bulky. The ‘creativity’ of the architects is putting cladding or screening on facades to hide the boredom of the actual building. That is make-up only that is trying to hide the flaws.

I get it that architects need to make a living and that the developers they design projects for are mostly interested in getting as much profit-making floor space as possible, and that beauty, aesthetics and great design are not  priorities for them, hence many architects compromise and design average buildings, instead of enhancing our suburbs with creative and inspiring new buildings.

That is the reason why so many of us are against suburban infill, not necessarily because of the proposed hight and bulk, but because we want to retain the unique character of older places like Fremantle, and that means we want heritage of the future in outstanding and beautiful buildings, not mediocrity.

Roel Loopers

WHERE IS REAL GOVERNMENT ACTION ON HOMELESSNESS?

 

One of the problems going to many forums about homelessness and (affordable) housing is that you have heard it all before and wonder when the action will start and the talk fests stop.

Nothing I heard last night at the Politics in the Pubs event by the Fremantle Network at The Local Hotel was new, but that isn’t the fault of the two speakers, who were equally frustrated about it.

Sam Knight of RUAH said the fundamental thing is that homeless people need homes, but they also need support workers to help with social, health and mental health problems.

The cost on the health system by not supplying sufficient affordable houses is enormous and governments fail to recognise that.

Victor Crevatin, the Director of Housing and Support Services at Fremantle’s St Patrick’s, said St Pat’s has been working with homeless people since 1971 and in 2017 had supplied 31,000 meals and 1,200 clothes to those in need, and 500 people were given accommodation.

Like Sam Knight, Crevatin said it is not just about providing houses, but that it needs support services to get people back on track.

There is the need to turn the generational NIMBY attitude around, and it is all about education to get rid of the bullshit myth about affordable housing and anti-social behaviour!

Sam Knight said it was also about offering the right mix of housing. We need to give choices about accommodation from shared accommodation to single apartments. “What are the best low-cost constructions we can do?” We need to recognise housing has a social and health aspect!

As I heard a week earlier at the Fremantle Safety Forum, there appears to be a serious issue with support agencies not collaborating well and the state government should do something about trying to streamline that, so that there is better coordination and information sharing, to the benefit of those in need.

Comment: I have supported the Fremantle Network since it started and have very often found the meetings very good, but the nice bloke, who shall remain unnamed, who took over from Rachel Pemberton to organise the Fremantle Network loves hogging the limelight. Last night again his introduction of the topic and two expert speakers was far too long. Just a short and succinct intro will do instead of babbling on for 15 minutes. Participate in the Q&A as Rachel used to do, but don’t give a very long speech. It’s not about you!

Roel Loopers

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