Freo's View

FREMANTLE INSOLVENCY CLAIM RIDICULOUS

Posted in city of fremantle, development, fremantle society, kings square, local government by freoview on January 25, 2017

Claims by the Fremantle Society that the City of Fremantle is insolvent were strongly rejected as ridiculous by Deputy Mayor Dave Coggin at the Ordinary Council meeting on Wednesday. Coggin demanded that the Society would send him the report by the certified public accountant they claim had provided the Fremantle Society with the advise that the City was technically insolvent.

Another ridiculous claim by the Fremantle Society was the lack of community consultation on the Kings Square Project.

I don’t know where these people were when Planning Scheme Amendment 49 was debated and the Fremantle Society under my presidency had a scale model in shopping centres to show the proposed heights, which we rejected and wanted lowered, but we did not succeed.

There was also extensive community consultation on the Kings Square development and even a Citizen Jury which I addressed on behalf of the Society, and I went to all the other community meetings to make suggestions. One outcome of that was that Newman Court now no longer will have vehicular access and parking.

Also ridiculous is the expectation that a private developer like Sirona Capital would make the roof tops of the two new buildings accessible to the public. Who is going to pay for security and public liability and how many privately owned buildings in the Perth CBD have public roof top access?

More ridiculousness in the claim that Fremantle Council has a conflict of interest in recommending to JDAP approval for the two Kings Square buildings. The City is not the decision-making authority, and as Councillor Doug Thompson pointed out as a body Council cannot have a conflict of interest or perception of that, but individual Councillors need to make their own decision if they believe they do have a conflict of or financial interest, which none of them declared.

Saying that Council cannot debate the development of a property they have sold would mean for example Council could not make planning approval for the Hilton Doubletree hotel development on the Point Street carpark site the City sold.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said Sirona Capital was very serious about creating the best possible outcome and had even instigated workshops to improve the building design and enhance the character of the inner city. High calibre people from all sections of the community had attended the Sirona workshops and we will get an outcome we all will be proud of, Pemberton said.

Planning officers told Council and the public gallery that the developers had made significant changes over the last three months in collaboration with the Design Advisory Committee and the DAC now believed the design was at a stage where it was acceptable for them to recommend approval, but more changes would be required and be part of the City’s recommendation to JDAP.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE KINGS SQUARE PROJECT DESIGN

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, planning by freoview on January 25, 2017

Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle will this evening debate the design of the Kings Square project buildings and if it should recommend approval to the State’s Joint Development Assessment Panel, which is the decision-making authority for the development.

Most important for me here are the comments by the City’s Design Advisory Committee, and they have several issues with some details of the proposal.

While the DAC says they are overall in support of the proposal and opportunities this brings to the retail core of the city centre, they believe that improvements can and should be made, so I suggest Council defers the matter until the architects have made the changes the DAC has suggested.

The DAC clearly states that the design is at a stage where the committee cannot recommend support or not for the proposal and they need to get more refined and detailed plans before making a recommendation.

I support the Kings Square project but it is such a huge and significant development for Fremantle that we need to get this right and every detail is fine-tuned before Council should recommend approval.

The height is within Planning Scheme Amendment 49, so not much use arguing about that now, but for the developers to show a night shot with lots of people on the roof is bad and unnecessary spin, since this is an office building that will not be occupied after office hours, but for maybe a couple of office parties each year.

Let’s stick with the facts, and that for me this is the most essential development project for Fremantle in its aim for economic recovery. Let’s do it well and make it a new attractive feature for our city!

Roel Loopers

 

KINGS SQUARE DESIGN ON FREO CITY AGENDA

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, kings square, local government by freoview on January 23, 2017

Ordinary Council of the City of Fremantle will on Wednesday evening debate the design of the Myer and Queensgate buildings that will start the Kings Square development.

The planning authority for the buildings is the WA Joint Assessment Panel, not CoF, but Councillors will send a recommendation to JDAP, so it is important still for the community to have their say on it.

I like it that the initial design has evolved and the buildings are now separated through a shopping mall between them that will go from Newman Court through to William Street. For security reasons there will be gates on either end so it will not be accessible to the public, and anti-social elements, after hours.

There is also a five cinema complex part of the development and plans for bars, restaurants and cafes to make Kings Square a 24/7 destination.

The new Civic building will also be built at the same time and should be ready to move in by the start of 2020 if all goes to plan.

I support the development of Kings Square as I believe it is essential for the economic recovery of Fremantle, so bring it on asap!

You can view the plans and proposal on the City of Fremantle website. Click on Minutes and Agendas on the top left of the page and download the agenda.

Roel Loopers

 

STOP DISRESPECTFUL DEVELOPMENT IN WEST END

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on January 23, 2017

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This is the boring bland building proposal for the corner of High and Cliff streets in Fremantle’s historic West End that Notre Dame University believes is good enough and acceptable for the heritage listed area. It isn’t by a long stretch.

I am a big fan and supporter of Notre Dame, but this is just not on!

Please do write your submissions to the City of Fremantle and the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel before February 13 as we cannot allow the destruction of Freo’s historic West End through uninspiring architecture that shows no respect whatsoever for the historic significance of the area. This building needs to be stopped at all cost!

Go to Community Engagement on the CoF website (top left) and submit your objection to this boring building.

Roel Loopers

UGLY NOTRE DAME HIGH STREET DEVELOPMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on January 19, 2017

Fremantle Notre Dame University has submitted their very disappointing building plans for 3 High Street on the corner of Cliff Street to the City of Fremantle.

The very boring and ugly five storey building will house the Nursing School, a theatre and a bar, but in my opinion it is absolutely inappropriate for Fremantle’s historically significant heritage-listed West End.

This proposal is utter boredom and lazy architecture that does not compliment, reference or respect surrounding heritage buildings and the close proximity to Western Australia’s oldest public building the Roundhouse.

UNDA has decided to go straight to the State’s Joint Development Advisory Panels which is also disappointing.

There will be a community session at the Townhall (back steps near Many 6160) on Thursday February 2 from 5.30-6 pm and written submissions to council need to be in by February 13. Please write in and tell UNDA we want beautiful buildings in our West End and not the ugly rubbish they are proposing.

To view the plans and pictures click on the Community Engagement page of the City of Fremantle website.

Roel Loopers

ICONIC HEIRLOOM BEAUTY FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, building, development, fremantle by freoview on January 18, 2017

 

heirloom

Delighted to see the Heirloom by Match residential development of the historic former Dalgety Woolstores at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria Street. It was the first time in years this morning that there was no scaffolding around it.

What a beautiful iconic entry statement to our city it is!

Roel Loopers

FREO’S PLANNING PROCESS NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, local government, planning by freoview on January 13, 2017

18-22-adelaide-street-development-plans

 

At the Planning Commission on Wednesday evening the Chair of the City of Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee Professor Geoffrey London expressed concerns about the proposed building for 18-22 Adelaide Street and how it would impact on the public realm, etc.

It made me wonder if the planning process needs to be adjusted to give more power to the DAC and make developers and their architects aware that unless the DAC suggested changes to the design are made the building application will not progress and be put in front of the Elected Members.

It is a waste of time to bring a planning approval to the Councillors when the expert architect panel is not happy with the design plans, hence the deferrals and delays we are getting and applicants are upset about.

It seems very strange that the DAC still has concerns but the planning and heritage officers recommended approval for the in my opinion totally unsuitable building for historic Kings Square.

It is likely there are inflated egos involved in the process and architects not wanting to take advise from other architects who are on the DAC, but tough titties to those who design shit and want us to believe we are looking at red roses.

I cannot at all understand that planning officers recommend approval when DAC architects have serious concerns, and the idea that this can be sorted after planning approval has been given is ridiculous because the developers will believe they got away with it.

In this case the developer is expecting discretionary additional height for an boring, ugly box and wants even more reward for building rubbish by asking to be exempt from paying the percentage for art/heritage sum.

Kings Square is a very precious and historically significant area of Fremantle and nothing but the best is good enough. As Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge said, we want beautiful buildings!

Roel Loopers

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UGLY KINGS SQUARE BUILDING BACK TO DRAWING BOARD

Posted in city of fremantle, development, heritage by freoview on January 11, 2017

The building proposal for a five-storey tourist accommodation at 18-22 Adelaide Street at Fremantle’s Kings Square was unanimously deferred by the City of Fremantle Planning Commission tonight.

Public speakers objected to the proposal because of inappropriate height, heritage concerns and deemed it detrimental to adjoining properties and the public amenity.

It was pointed out also hat approving this inappropriate building would set a precedent for other property owners in the area.

Occupants of units at the Cantonment Street Dodson’s building behind the proposed development claimed it would negatively affect their lifestyle, sun light and air flow into their building and were also concerned about the staircase being too close to their living areas which would result in noise issues.

Committee chair Jon Strachan said he believed the proposal had not met the requirements to allow for discretionary additional heights and it would not create the best heritage outcomes.

Councillors Hannah Fitzhardinge and David Coggin expressed that a message needed to be sent to developers that we want high quality buildings in the inner city, especially at historic Kings Square, while professor Geoffrey Bolton said the CoF Design Advisory Committee were concerned about the impact on the public realm.

Councillor Jeff McDonald said we needed to respect what we already have at Kings Square and a five storey spike would impact on the Townhall.

It now has to be seen if the developer and architect will listen to the concerns of the community, elected members and Design Advisory Committee and make substantial changes. The developer murmured when he walked out that this was like Italy under Mussolini and that one could not even do what one wants with one’s own property.

Roel Loopers

 

BORING BUILDINGS FREMANTLE’S FUTURE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, design, development by freoview on January 8, 2017

 

 

18-22-adelaide-street-development-plans

 

Fremantle’s CBD is under serious threat of becoming the architectural mediocrity hub of Australia with most of the new development being well below acceptable standards for our historic city with its unique character.

On Wednesday we will again see the attempt by uncaring developers to get approval from the CoF Planning Commitee for a five storey bland concrete box at the Mills Records building at 18-22 Adelaide Street. The building is so awful that one has to wonder what standards some architects apply to their design and if they actually care about surrounding buildings, streetscapes and historic significance of place. This ugly and boring building proposal is for Kings Square, the heart of Fremantle, for heaven’s sake!

To the west of the proposed building is one of Kings Square’s most beautiful facades, but Fremantle planning and heritage officers have recommended that this rubbish should be approved.

Five storeys is too high for that location but it appears that when you set back the upper floors a metre or two you can get away with anything, although the excruciating architectural blandness should not be rewarded with discretionary additional height.

Fremantle is in a development boom, that I am very happy about, but we are well on the slippery downward slide of creating a very boring architectural CBD that does not compliment the visual delight of the historic west end. The “heritage of the future” buildings Council promised the community during the Planning Scheme Amendment 49 debate are nowhere to be seen.

Our elected members are so keen on development that they will approve just about everything no matter how ugly, boring, inappropriate and disrespectful to Freo’s history these buildings are, hence we get utter blandness in Pakenham Street, a rubbish building next to the Australia Hotel, a boring building on the former Spotlight site and a pretty mediocre Hilton Doubletree hotel development, to name just a few. (To be fair, Freo council did reject the building next to the Australia Hotel but it was approved by a State Government agency).

I strongly support development and change in the inner city but we need to insist on good quality development and creative design. The lame duck CoF Design Advisory Panel might as well be scrapped because they seem to have very little influence in reaching better design outcomes. Maybe it’s better to give building plans to a local Kindergarten and let the littlies decide what they like. We might get a much better aesthetic outcome than we get with the present useless DAP process.

The proposed Adelaide Street building is what I call Google design. You search for ‘five storey mediocrity’ and for a few dollars you can buy plans for it off the internet from someone somewhere in the world who has never been to Fremantle. The proposed building might look okay in a semi-industrial street in O’Connor but it has no place at historic Kings Square.

While W.A. has lost its Triple A rating Fremantle is well on the way of receiving Triple B status for Bloody Boring Buildings.

Stop the rot, stop the boring mediocre ugliness, and protect Freo’s unique beauty Fremantle Council!

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE LONGS SHOTS

Posted in fremantle, photography, tourism by freoview on December 28, 2016

 

I went for a walk around Fremantle this afternoon only armed with a 300mm lens, just to keep my eye in. One can often become a bit lazy with all those zoom lenses around, so to force oneself to have a good look just with the one focal length lens is a good idea.

Here some of the photos I took. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Roel Loopers

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