Freo's View

FREO’S STUNNING STREETS

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2020

There is not much happening in Freo currently, but I feel that is just the quiet before the storm, when the weather is warmer and more events will be on.

So here two photos I took of Fremantle’s beautiful heritage buildings along Cliff and High streets.

Roel Loopers

SLIP STREET ATTRACTION

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on September 19, 2020

I love Slip Street in Fremantle Port. One day, I hope, it will become a tourists attraction with lots of restaurants, cafes and bars. That would connect Victoria Quay to Arthur’s Head and the Fishing Boat Harbour and revitalise the West End of our city.

The renovations of the old building are nearly completed and it looks very good.

Slip Street runs parallel to Fleet Street, the street that leads to the South Mole.

Roel Loopers

TAKING PHOTOS IN PUBLIC PLACES IS LAWFUL!

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on September 16, 2020

 

 

 

Here we go again! When I took this arty reflection photo of the Walyalup Civic Centre in the revolving door of the Department of Communities I was questioned by a very polite-and ladies!-very good-looking young security officer.

He wanted to know what I took photos off and told me I could not take photos of the building or the people, but I-equally polite-pointed out I did not have to answer his questions and the Newman Court is a public open space and I have the lawful right to photograph anything and anyone.

I just wished someone would educate security and police officers about taking photos in public places, because I am getting peed off being questioned about it.

The photo is not great, so I would normally not have published it, but now I do it because I am annoyed.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE MOSQUE?

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on September 12, 2020

 

 

Where others only see glass windows I see reflections. This might look like the start of the construction of a beautiful mosque, but it is the Fremantle Walyalup Civic Centre, with the new windows reflecting one of the FOMO buildings at Kings Square.

Roel Loopers

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FRUSTRATIONS ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING PROCESS

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on September 6, 2020

 

 

WA Premier Mark McGowan said at the breaking of soil ceremony at a massive Subiaco development that he wished the Western Suburbs would embrace highrise the way his hometown Rockingham has. I don’t assume that Fremantle is classy enough to be called one of the Western Suburbs, but have little doubt we were included in the Premier’s sentiment and that made for a sleepless night, where I contemplated the State Government’s demand for urban infill and high density living, especially in older suburbs along transport corridors. That was apparently not applicable for Midland where the Midland Redevelopment Authority could have created a highrise satellite city just 35 minutes away by train from Perth, without doing much damage to the public realm.

Dare I mention that the Premier, like many supporters of urban infill, does not live in an apartment but in a nice house with garden, but that is just a small reward for living in a place where other-strange-people live, where the ugly mullet is a lifestyle statement, where bogans roam and where there are more street fights on a Friday night than in notorious Northbridge during a year.

Why is there expectation that unique character suburbs, such as Fremantle, Subiaco, etc. embrace high density urban infill, but not for the new suburbs to the far north, east and south?

And that guided my tired brain to the whole tedious and frustrating planning process that makes developers and architects angry, because it creates lengthy delays. An architect I bumped into on Friday told me a project they are working on has already been five times before a Design Advisory Panel of a local council, but the DAP only meets once a month, so the project is already delayed by five months. Once the DAP ticks it off it still will need to go to the planning committee and full council, where elected members will also want to have their two bob’s worth, with possible deferrals, changes, etc. So with a bit of luck the project gets planning approval within a year. That is unacceptably long!

That brings me to the Design Advisory Panels peer reviews, which are professional ego clashes, where DAP architects patronise equally, often better, qualified architects and tell them how to improve their planned buildings. That is also done by council’s planning staff, elected members, Joint Development Assessment Panels, and it means that the micro-managed projects have often a worse outcome instead of a best outcome.

For cynics planning approval must look to be self-serving, because it keeps planning staff in the job and creates a nice bit of extra income for the highly-paid DAP members, so any suggested or demanded change is good, because the plans need to be modified and again debated during long talk fests.

In the creative professions hardly anyone ever agrees with another professional. Give ten architects the same brief and they will all come up with totally different designs, and each one of them will believe their design is the best and most suitable. The same applies to photographers, graphic designers, copywriters, musicians and artists, hence the Fremantle Society will always find some architects who will slam a new planning proposal as inadequate or inappropriate. That is also why discretionary additional height, based on design excellence, does not work, because it is a subjective process about taste. How do we quantify and define what excellent design and good architecture is? Whose taste is better than others?

The State Government, as part of their Covid-19 Recovery Plan, wants to fast forward the planning process and take some of the powers away from local governments. That does not guarantee best outcomes either, because JDAPs are often pro developers and a lot less about creating great communities and public realms.

There need to be better and faster ways to create better-BEST-outcomes, especially for older unique cities like Fremantle! Any realistic and pragmatic suggestions?

Roel Loopers

PS. I like Rockingham. More precisely, I like the few hundred metres of foreshore boardwalk with the lovely cafes, restaurants and bars near the jetty. And I like it because Mister 91%, Mark-Rocky-McGowan, our Covid warrior lives there. ;>))

 

 

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NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY’S COURTHOUSE NEGLECT

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on August 22, 2020

 

 

It is very disappointing that Fremantle’s Notre Dame University is allowing the old courthouse on Marine Terrace to become so unsightly and looking uncared for, because NDA neglects to look after the historic building properly.

It really is not the right attitude for an educational institution and they should take urgent action to keep the building in top condition.

Roel Loopers

FREO’S MEN OF STEEL

 

men of steel

 

Freo’s Men of Steel. A graphic photo of the construction work on the Fremantle Walyalup Civic Centre at Kings Square.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE’S GLASS IS HALF FULL

 

glass

 

The first of the large vertical framed glass panels are being installed at the Fremantle Walyalup Civic Centre at Kings Square and they are looking good.

Roel Loopers

SECOND ROUNDHOUSE FOR FREO

 

Drum roundhouse

 

I only noticed it yesterday afternoon that Fremantle has a second Roundhouse. The so-called drum of the new Walyalup Civic Centre at Kings Square resembles the old gaol at Arthur’s Head.

Roel Loopers

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CHANGING THE WEST END HERITAGE POLICY AN IMPROVEMENT?

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 5, 2020

 

The City of Fremantle is seeking community opinion about possible changes to the West End Heritage Area Policy and potential scheme amendment:

https://mysay.fremantle.wa.gov.au/westend?fbclid=IwAR0Vr5y_kR-qVaTSXaT5IPboZULJuiWOOE6Tm-hlhAo_AaBl416UFzRraCw

We’re seeking feedback on a draft local planning policy (LPP) for the West End Heritage Area. We’re also seeking input on a potential amendment to the City’s local planning scheme relating to upper storey setbacks in the West End.

This is very important as it is all about preserving the heritage integrity of the West End and no longer requiring the fourth storey of new buildings there to be set back.

The opinions about that will no doubt differ, so have your say, read the entire document on the link above.

Roel Loopers

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