On Wednesday the City of Fremantle’s Planning Committee will debate the development application for the Hougoumont Hotel extension in Bannister Street again and the officers’ recommendation is for it to be rejected as it is not compliant with the West End Conservation Area Policy.
The owners of the hotel want to build a 48 rooms, restaurant, bar and 34 car bays, and a conference room with a roof top terrace. It is basically four storeys with a loft, but since there is no preservation of heritage that might be used to get discretionary extra height the proposal is not acceptable and should be thrown out.
Final decision is with the State’s Development Assessment Panel, so we can only live in hope.
The HEIRLOOM by MATCH adaptive re-use residential development of the former Dalgety woolstores at Queen Victoria Street in Fremantle’s east CBD is taking shape, with some of the scaffolding coming down and revealing the facade.
The development is a partnership between Sirona Capital and the Match group and is being constructed by BUILT. A BUILT. supervisor confirmed to me today that the apartments are progressing well and looking great. There are still some for sale so if you would like to live in inner city Freo, why not check out this building.
Staying with development, it is interesting to note after my article on the Woolstores shopping centre site development and my call last night for better design, that the State government is now looking into introducing strict guidelines for better architecture of highrise for infill development, according to an article in today’s West Australian.
The plans for a 12-storey mixed-use building development by Silverleaf on the Fremantle Woolstores shopping centre site will no doubt have many people in Freo up in arms since many believe that buildings of that height have no place in the CBD.
The height battle was unfortunately lost years ago when Fremantle Council rammed through very controversial Planning Scheme Amendment 49 against the majority of submissions by the public received by Council, so the building height proposed is within the PSA 49.
While I would have preferred a building not higher than 8-9 storeys in that location my main concern is the design quality of the building, as Silverleaf does not build outstanding buildings.
There was no doubt Silverleaf would develop the site once they bought the property and there was also never any doubt for me that they would go for the highest possible building allowed under PSA 49.
I doubt fighting the height at Fremantle Council or the State’s Development Assessment panel will make any difference so the best we can probably do is insist on good architecture for such a prominent building.
I realise there will be people not agreeing with me but I really like the new building of the Mediterranean Shipping Company in Cliff Street. For me this is one of the better buildings being developed in Fremantle at present, so well done to North Fremantle architects Murray Slavin.
Just in time for Easter old development plans for the Rialto building on the corner of High and Henry street have been resurrected by owner and former Fremantle Councillor Steve Gorman.
The plans I viewed are not very detailed but my first impression is that the three storey building would fit very well in the West End heritage area.
The building will be mixed commercial, residential and hospitality use with a restaurant and pizza oven, a function centre and dance floor at ground level and apartments on the two upper levels.
The building will also get verandahs in Henry Street and High Street. The images of the plans are copyright and can’t be published yet, but that will no doubt change once the public consultation process starts, so stay tuned.
The owners of the Port Stationary building in Fremantle’s High Street have applied to demolish the building, without showing plans for the development of the site.
The exterior of the building is very bland next to the majestic heritage buildings to the east and west of it, so I personally see no issues with demolishing it. I would however make approval to allow that subject to first seeing the building development plans, otherwise we might end up with an ugly vacant site in the heritage street for years, and that would not be acceptable.
No doubt architect Ben Braham, who is the son of the building owner, could produce a stunning design for a great building that will compliment the streetscape more than the ugly building that is there now.
No demolition without development plans though! We are experiencing what it look like at Point and Queen Adelaide street where buildings were demolished to make way for the Hilton Doubletree hotel development that is now delayed for at least two years, leaving Freo with an ugly site.
OnePerth reports that the State Heritage Office is investigating the unauthorised erection of a large timber deck on the northern side of Kidogo Arthouse at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach. The building is also known as the heritage listed Kerosene Store.
The gallery received permission in July 2015 to build a small toilet block and deck of a total area of 13.6mx3.8m but instead only built a large deck of 13.6mx5.12m but not the toilet block.
The State Heritage Office says the deck is inappropriate in material, height and size and built over a significant archaeological area, and that is detrimentally affects the cultural heritage significance of the building.
A state committee will decide on March 22 if retrospective approval will be given or the owner forced to demolish the $ 75,000.00 deck that already has been used for the pop-up Kelp bar, weddings and functions and the recent World Match Racing Tour.
This is not good news for owner Joanna Robinson who fought with Fremantle Council for years to get approval to build toilets, why she changed her mind after approval for that was finally given is anyone’s guess and might cost her dearly.
I had a busy day yesterday that started in the morning with photographing the heritage-listed Warders Cottages which are being restored, and ended late afternoon with photographing the fully restored historic Gunners Cottages, before going to Fremantle Council to hear there that the Townhall will also be restored, so a very good day for heritage in Fremantle.
I was a bit early for the Council meeting, so wandered around Freo and took these late light photos of the Cappuccino Strip and Sail&Anchor pub.
Get ready for car free Cappuccino Strip Sundays during three weekends in April!
The heritage listed restored Fremantle Gunners Cottages Married Quarters at Cantonment Hill were officially unveiled yesterday by Defence Housing Australia, and it is a delight to see the old cottages looking all great again and ready to be occupied by Defence personnel after they were vacant for many years and left to deteriorate badly.
The cottages have all been given names of s0ldiers who served and died in wars, with signs behind the buildings explaining who these soldiers were. The one big disappointment for me is the use of colourbond fences at the pathway steps that show blatant disrespect for the historic significance of the site.
It took a lot of pressure and lobbying from the City of Fremantle, Melissa Parke MP and the Femantle Society to finally get some action from the Defence Department, who have added a few more houses to the ten old cottages which have great views over the harbour and are an easy fifteen-minute-walk to the Freo CBD.
Once the Cantonment Hill masterplan gets implemented the cottages will be at a prime location next to Fremantle’s most stunning park that has sensational ocean and river views and promises to become THE spot to be to watch the sunset.
It is fantastic and long overdue to see significant heritage restoration in Fremantle with the Warders Cottages in Henderson Street also under way and the City of Fremantle ready to spend around $ 2 million on fully restoring the dilapidated Townhall.
There is serious restoration work going on at the heritage listed Warders Cottages in Fremantle Henderson Street. It will be a big improvement and will make a huge difference to that part of the inner city when the old cottages are being occupied again.
I hear there is also interest for the old Courthouse and Police Station the WA government put up for sale and that would be fantastic.
There is no doubt that Fremantle is on the way to recovery and that additional residents, workers and tourist will help revive the retail industry that has been struggling for many years.