Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, development, heritage by freoview on September 1, 2015

quest 2 quest 1

I am very concerned about what is going on at the Fremantle Quest serviced apartment development on the corner of Pakenham and Short Street.

When I addressed Council on behalf of the Fremantle Society then Planning Director Phil St John and heritage architect Alan Kelsall assured the public gallery that the additional hight approved for the building was all about preserving the interior heritage integrity of the building, but that is not at all what it looks like today.

The entire interior of the building has been ripped out and only the facade is still standing and I doubt very much that this is proper preservation of Fremantle’s extremely important heritage.

I will email these photos to Alan Kelsall and hope to get a response from him because I am greatly worried about this process.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Truly Independent.

I received following explanation from the architects through Fremantle heritage coordinator Alan Kelsall:

All the columns and roof trusses had to be removed for buildability reasons to allow excavation and construction of the new structure. The portion of columns and roof trusses that are  to be reinstated will be done so in their original locations. The remainder of the structure is to be permanently removed as  per the planning approval.


Posted in fremantle, heritage, roundhouse by freoview on September 1, 2015

The historic Fremantle Roundhouse is on the road to modernisation. The oldest public building in Western Australia has just embarked on an interpretive design project for new displays with a $ 17.440 grant from Lotterywest, supported with a grant of $ 5,000 from the City of Fremantle. The Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides who manage the building also put $ 5,000 of their money toward the process.

The new committee is keen to make the Roundhouse an even better experience for visitors and tourist guides and new office systems are being introduced for on-line bookings for schools, weddings and events.

We are contemplating introducing new uniforms, maybe some night-time openings in summer and improving our services to the tourist industry.

All guides at the Roundhouse are volunteers and we need some more, so if anyone is interested come and introduce yourself  to us. We are open every day of the week from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm.Training is provided. It is one of the most relaxing and positive days to do a shift at the old jail and talk to people from all over the world. I can highly recommend it!

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Truly Independent.


Posted in city of fremantle, elections, local government by freoview on August 31, 2015
I don't like selfies much. ; >)

I don’t like selfies much. ; >)

I believe it is essential for a candidate standing for the Fremantle local council election on October 17 to have total independence and integrity and not be influenced by political party politics and ideologies. For that reason I will not ask for or accept donations to run my campaign and while I am very aware that might affect my chances of being elected, I believe it is the right way to go.

I will not have the finances for glossy media campaigns in the local papers and I won’t have party supporters doing door knocking or handing out pamphlets either, so my ever smiling face, my common sense and my sense of reality will have to convince you to vote for me.

I am a great believer in true and sincere community consultation and consistent governance. As someone who was born in a room behind my parents corner shop, and lived there and helped out in the shop for the first 18 years of my life, I understand the hardship of retailers. I started my own small business in Perth in late 1984 so I understand the issues we business operators all face.

I have worked as a shop assistant, DJ, kitchenhand, cook, waiter, market researcher, tutor, supervised summer markets, edited blogs, and worked as a photojournalist for newspapers and magazines. This has given me a broad knowledge base to help me make informed decisions.

Art is one of my passions and I have been supportive of the WA arts industry from the day I arrived here. I was a-not so-silent partner in an art gallery, have curated exhibitions and have had many solo and group shows. I have also been a strong supporter of the Fremantle Chamber Orchestra and the Bathers Beach artists.

Good governance, like life, is all about balance and about considering everyone, and it is about being realistic. Local government in my opinion has to be first and foremost about the immediate needs of community and that also requires long-term and consistent planning and not ad hoc policy making on the hop.

Freo’s heritage can not be compromised and needs to be preserved and protected at all cost!

I am a realist who works toward achievable outcomes by prioritising what is essential and needed first. I love city planning and placemaking and creating how a city can grow and improve. Fremantle needs change but it only needs good change that is a real improvement, not superficiality that makes good media headlines.

My only motive for putting my hand up for Council is because I deeply care about Freo and the community.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield WA 6162. Phone 0419850981


Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on August 26, 2015

It has taken years and bloody hard and dedicated work by Fremantle Councillors and officers and members of the North Fremantle community, but Freo Council finally signed off tonight on the Mc Cabe Street/Stirling Highway Local Planning Policy 3.11 and agreed to cap height at 33 metres.

Can I just say from my own observation that COF officer Paul Garbut deserves a medal for being such a down to earth and outstanding community liaison person. His matter of fact approach took a whole lot of negativity and aggression out of the process, so well done, Paul! (When the pay rise comes you can buy me a beer. ; >)

A few community speakers were still critical of the process, and that irked Councillor Andrew Sullivan who had put a lot of thought and work into it, and he lamented that in Fremantle “It is always about height!” This will not be the perfect and the best solution, Sullivan said, and he was disappointed that Councillors and the public did not get to view better 3D modelling. (It is something I have been critical about for years!)

Councillor Sam Wainwright rightly asked why Council wanted to relax the 15% affordable housing policy and said Council needed to be consistent with it, but Councillor Bill Massie said it was an impediment to developers.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said Council could learn from the intense community consulation process and that it should be implemented more often, and I totally agree with that!

At the end I believe this is a good compromise that will please some and irate others. Everyone involved tried their best and the North Freo community can be proud that they kept fighting.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Truly independent


Posted in city of fremantle, development, local government by freoview on August 25, 2015

It excites me to see so much development happening in Fremantle but it also very much disappoints me that so many of the new buildings are boring and not at all the heritage of the future we were promised by Fremantle Council.

The one thing we should blame Council for is that they did not tell us the truth and that they should not have promised us anything, because approval for large development is given by the State’s Development Assessment Panel(DAP) and the State Administrative Tribunal(SAT) and Fremantle Council can only recommend against or for an applications in a submission to the State agencies.

What happens at State level reminds me a bit of the time when there was public discussion about rapists who claimed that women did not really mean it when they said no to having sex, being raped. The DAP and SAT also tell us they know what is best for the community and they don’t care that we scream and yell no to bad and inappropriate development.

The State Government says that high-density infill is good for us, so we are supposed to relax, spread our legs and let them have their way with us, so they can brutally destroy the unique character of our older suburbs with ugly out of scale monstrosities. They rape our communities with bad infill!

Two local councillors sit on DAP and often are highly frustrated because there opinion, and that of the community they represent, is overruled by the State bureaucrats who have the majority on the panels and who pretend to know better what is good for our communities. They are pro-developers, not for good appropriate development. The 17-storey building approved on the former Subiaco markets site is a good example of DAP madness and ignoring local government.

The whole planning process has become a joke that erodes local government democracy, and it does not help either to have a Council that is hell-bend on development and willing to compromise on quality too fast. That is disaster in the making.

State Government needs to lessen their influence on local planning and allow the community to decide what they want their suburbs to look like. It is madness to enforce out of scale infill in character suburbs and destroy their unique ambience when there is plenty of space for higher density buildings on the periphery.

Godlin Barnett and his disciples need to stop ramming their development religion down our throat and listen instead to what we want, and that is great modern and exceptional development in the right areas.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! The truly independent

Stop press! This just from WA Today:

Applecross residents vow to continue fighting two-storey, 24-hour McDonald’s after mediation hearing at the State Administrative Tribunal failed.

Read more:
Follow us: @watoday on Twitter | WAtoday on Facebook


Posted in development, fremantle, heritage by freoview on August 24, 2015

Queen Victoria Street development

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and the Fremantle Herald newspaper report today on the proposed new development by the Defence Department on the former Toyota site at Queen Victoria Street in the East End of Fremantle.

Three buildings containing up to 166 residential apartments and street level commercial accommodation will be built, but they look pretty bloody boring and not at all heritage of the future class.

What needs to be done is give the three buildings different facades, and one or two should have a slight set back so it does not look like a massive front when one drives into Freo from the east and north.

Developers and designers propose far too simplistic and mediocre buildings for our city and they really need to be doing better and show more respect for the unique character of our city.

The proposed new buildings are opposite the iconic Dalgety woolstores, being developed at present into the Heirloom by Match residential accommodation. That building deserves respect, which means restraint needs to be shown with new buildings on the opposite side of the street.

It is great that Queen Victoria Street finally is getting modern buildings, but they need to be more creative and outstanding.

An information session and showing of plans will be held at Kings Square on Friday September 4 from 3-6 pm.

Roel Loopers



Posted in development, fremantle by freoview on August 24, 2015

new 1new 2

Two more developments in the West End of Fremantle with Notre Dame University planning to build a three-storey building to house lecture theatres on the corner of Cliff and High streets that has the famous ‘wedding wall’ Let’s hope they reinstall the windows in the ‘wedding wall’ and design an outstanding building next to the former tram building. The good thing about a new building there is that it will get rid of the ugly parking lot and the equally ugly back of No 1 High Street.

Just down the road in High Street a chemist is opening next to the Orient Hotel, and that is the kind of diversity we need to get in Freo. We have an oversupply of cafes but not enough variety in retail.

It is now also up to UNDA to finally start implementing what the have signed for in the MOU with the City of Fremantle for years, and that is to activate the street level of their buildings and lease them out to retailers.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Truly Independent!!


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage by freoview on August 18, 2015

quest 1quest 2

The Quest serviced apartments development in Pakenham Street in the West End is progressing well, and I am happy to see new tourist accommmodation being built in Fremantle, but I am worried about the way it is done.

When I addressed Council and opposed the additional height of the building on behalf of the Fremantle Society I was assured by the heritage architect and the then director of planning that the discretionary height was only allowed to best preserve the interior heritage of the building. What I photographed yesterday though looks like the entire interior of the building has been demolished with only the walls and columns left standing. Is it supposed to be like that City of Fremantle Planning Department?

Just down the road at Henry Street the developers want to go up to five storeys at the former Workers Club site. They claim they deserve the extra height to preserve the heritage facade of the building, but the facade is so mediocre and ugly, and in my opinion has no heritage value, and could be demolished.

Will Fremantle Council break its promise that the West End would be safe from inappropriate buildings in height and bulk, and allow the unacceptable height that comes with the feeble excuse of preserving heritage?

Let’s not play games with Freo’s historic West End, that is the biggest drawcard for tourists, and let’s stop here and now and not allow any discretionary additional and inappropriate height in that part of the city. Developers keep pushing the envelope and it only takes a tiny push for Freo Council to fall over backward to accommodate new development that is unacceptable to the community.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, heritage by freoview on August 15, 2015

workers club

This extremely boring facade of the former Fremantle Workers Club supposedly has heritage value, and is the feeble excuse of the developers who want additional discretionary height to a five story residential building in Henry Street in the centre of the heritage West End, where the height limit is 14 metres.

When the Fremantle Society and many others in the community fought Planning Scheme Amendment 49 that allows buildings of up to 13 storeys in the CBD we were told over and over again by Mayor Brad Pettitt and Council that the West End would be safe from high development and that they would not allow inappropriate heights there, but developers keep pushing the envelope and once one gets through the system others will follow suite and the west end will turn into a disaster. Allowing this development would set a precedent for the area that is not acceptable to the community.

The West End and heritage buildings is why thousands of tourists flock to our city. Almost every one of the 110,000 visitors who come yearly to the Roundhouse marvel at the stunning view down beautiful High Street, so why would anyone want to destroy that and build inappropriately high buildings that will stick out from the heritage buildings and destroy streetscapes and the unique character of the old city?

The facade of the former club is ugly and does nothing for the streetscape of Henry Street, so demolish it and stick to the height limits for the West End. The overall mediocre design of the building is one that shows greed and pushes the number of apartments to the limit and one has to wonder if that is really the kind of infill development Fremantle wants and needs.

The east of the CBD along Queen Victoria and Beach streets is far better suited to erect higher residential and commercial buildings and make a modern entry statement to Fremantle, but the west end of town should be sacred and demands to be protected from greedy developers and average architecture.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, development, j shed by freoview on August 13, 2015

The Sunset Events project of a tavern at historic J Shed on Arthur Head  has taken on a new form with the City advertising for public comments on changes. The City of Fremantle seeks comment on an application received proposing- Partial change of use to Tavern (including live music), additions and alterations to existing building.

Project architects CODA write that the new plans “Significantly reduced the scale of the development. Consequentially the impact of the project both from a heritage and community aspect has also significantly reduced.”

Two things stand out for me, the first one a two stacked sea container structure as a micro brewery to the east of J Shed at the southern end, making and end to the thoroughfare to Fleet Street and the steps up to Mrs Trivett Lane and the arts studios at Captain’s Lane. That is very bad for connectivity to Victoria Quay and the cohesiveness of the Bathers Beach Art Precinct.

The proposal to have the entry to the tavern and live outdoor music venue straight next to the workshop studio of sculptor Greg James is madness. It would mean the artist would lose access to his workplace when large queues of music lovers line up in front of his door to gain access to concerts. The entry proposal also affects Greg James’ ability to use a forklift, his ute and trucks that might be needed to transport heavy sculptures from his studio to their destination. I am a big fan of CODA but to put the entry there is a stupid idea that needs to be revisited and changed, because it is unacceptable to the artist who works daily and often on weekends at his workshop. A new operator should not interfere with his livelihood and restrict access to his lease at any time of the day or week.

I also wonder about the planned extension of the boardwalk from Kidogo Arthouse, which the City of Fremantle wanted to create good connectivity between the Fishing Boat Harbour and the Maritime Museum and Victoria Quay. The tavern proposal would mean the pathway would have to go around the restricted live music area of the A Class Reserve, heading west to then come back east to north to Victoria Quay. That creates a wayfinding problem and might stop people from using the north south/south north direction. It also limits the visitors to the art galleries of J Shed as they can only come in from the north and no longer from the Fishing Boat Harbour direction.

In my opinion this is a selfish plan where Sunset Events rides rough shot over the long-term artists who have been at J Shed for twenty years. These plans need to be changed to show more respect and consideration for the existing operators at J Shed.

Roel Loopers


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,213 other followers

%d bloggers like this: