Freo's View

STOP NOTRE DAME UNI MONSTROSITY !

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, notre dame university by freoview on February 15, 2017

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The awfully mediocre development proposal for a five-storey building on the corner of High and Cliff streets by Notre Dame University will go to Fremantle Council on February 22, so please do turn up in big numbers and voice your opposition to this disrespectful rubbish that totally ignores the extremely historic significance of the heritage-listed West End!

Here the info from the City of Fremantle:

Address: 3 High Street, FREMANTLE WA 6160
Application: Five (5) storey Educational Establishment, Shop and Small Bar

Please be advised that an item relating to the above application will be considered at the Council meeting to be held on Wednesday 22 February 2017 commencing at 6.00 pm.

An opportunity to address the Council on the proposal is given during ‘Public Question Time’ only and is limited to a maximum of three minutes. You must register to speak at the venue, before 5.50pm on the day of the meeting.

The council chambers are located on the first floor of the council offices at 8 William Street, Fremantle. Access to the council chambers is via the stairs located next to the children’s playground on the eastern side of the building.

After the proposal is considered by Council, the application will be determined by the Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP). The date of the JDAP meeting is not known at this time however is usually 1-2 weeks after the Council meeting.

Please check the JDAP website for the date, time and venue (the venue may not be the in the City of Fremantle). Should you wish to speak at the JDAP meeting, please complete a “Presentation Request Form” which must be submitted no less than 72 hours before the meeting.

Copies of the agenda, including the report and any attachments for the abovementioned item, are available for viewing from the Friday afternoon prior to the meeting. The agenda may be downloaded from the website at http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au or can be viewed at the City Library located on the ground floor of the council offices during normal library hours. Library hours are available on the website. In the instance that you can’t access the information on the City’s website hard copies of the plans can be requested by emailing planning@fremantle.wa.gov.au with your request.

NATURE PLAYGROUND FOR KINGS SQUARE

Posted in children, city of fremantle, development by freoview on February 12, 2017

The City of Fremantle is planning a nationwide competition for the design of a nature playground at Kings Square as part of the Kings Square Project development.

The area allocated would be to the east of the St John’s church, on land owned by the church, and close to the new cafe that will be part of the new Civic Centre and Library at Kings Square.

It is estimated the design and construction of the playground will cost $ 500,000.00.

A jury which would have members of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, CoF  Design Advisory Committee and Fremantle City officers would decide on the winning submission for the project.

Roel Loopers

NO NORTH FREO MOVE TO MOSMAN PARK

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, western australia by freoview on February 12, 2017

It does not appear likely that residents of North Fremantle in the Minim Cove/McCabe Street area will succeed in getting that part of Fremantle to become part of the Town of Mosman Park.

The Minister for Local Government had expressed willingness to approve the changes initiated by residents in the area if both Councils could work out a mutual agreement, but the negotiations have now concluded without the councils agreeing on a land swap.

The City of Fremantle had suggested to get the industrial area near Minim Cove in exchange for the Town of Mosman Park taking the residential Mc Cabe Street part, but Mosman Park Council do not want to do that, so it looks like there is no deal as the Minister will only sign off on one if both councils agree.

Roel Loopers

 

FORGETTABLE ARCHITECTURE SUCKS ESSENCE OUT OF WEST END

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage by freoview on February 10, 2017

North Fremantle architect Murray Slavin has written an excellent Thinking Allowed in the Fremantle Herald today about the quality of architecture in Fremantle’s heritage West End.

Slavin Architects designed the stunning heritage of the future Mediterranean Shipping Company building in Cliff Street that connects to the old Wilhelmsen building on the corner of Phillimore Street.

Slavin writes that the proposed five-storey Notre Dame University building for the corner of High and Cliff streets needs a rethink, as I have suggested a few times on Freo’s View.

He says that “A clear and present danger is that the West End will become characterised by the lowest common denominator architecture” and that the historic area should not be “dumbed down to a forgettable architecture form that sucks the essence out of its neighbourhood.” Hear, hear!!

Murray Slavin states that it is time to live up to community expectations with a clear understanding of Fremantle’s social and physical context.

“Many buildings appearing in the West End could be from any Australian city” and show little respect for the historic buildings around them, the North Freo architect writes.

Make sure to get a copy of the Freo Chook and read the entire article and many other good ones in this week’s issue.

The deadline for submissions against the in my opinion totally inappropriate building proposal by Notre Dame is February 13, so email your opposition to it to the City of Fremantle NOW. Go to the CoF website for a submission form!

Roel Loopers

BETTER BID BETTER BUSINESS

Posted in bid, chamber of commerce, city of fremantle, retail, tourism, traders by freoview on February 9, 2017

The decision to continue with the Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District was deferred on Wednesday evening by the City of Fremantle’s Finance, Policy and Legislation Committee because members were not convinced that BID has found its niche yet, in what Chair Andrew Sullivan called the Holy Trinity of BID, the Chamber of Commerce and the CoF. It had five years to find that focus.

New BID CEO Tim Milsom told the Councillors about plans for new events, markets, getting external funding etc. but the elected members questioned if it should be BID’s role to organise events or rather to connect traders better with events the city and outside organisations already put up.

How do businesses, especially retailers, get to benefit from events and what are the programs, outcomes and benefits councillors asked.

Olwyn Williams, the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce spoke against extending the BID contract for another three years.

It was questioned how effective and successful BID could be when relying on a handful of volunteers and staff.

BID has been successful with running treasure hunts during school holidays which attract large numbers of children with parents who stay in Fremantle long, discover new businesses and often come back a second day to do the whole list.

For example the Sculpture@Bathers show could have a fringe events where artists who are not invited to the main show on Bathers Beach exhibit their sculptures in the windows of shops all over Fremantle and walking tours to view them could be organised by BID. Retailers could offer specials to people who come to events and tap into social media more and better.

For BID to want to organise new markets they should realise that there are already too many markets around Perth according to unhappy stall holders. The Friday night market at Princess May Market failed to attract new people and the Fremantle and E Shed markets, and the very successful South Beach food market and Growers Green farmers market cater for weekend visitors already.

The challenge for BID, the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Fremantle is to attract visitors to Fremantle at the start of the week. Freo is doing okay on Fridays and quite well on Saturdays and Sundays, but needs to get busier the first four days of the week. What can be organised to turn Freo from a weekend destination into an all week one?

I think the City will extend BID but it would require that the organisation deeply contemplates its role and find its focus because it has not been able to do that in BID’s first disappointing five years.

If my information is right I understand BID bought the artwork in front of Bathers Beach House and that is definitely not their role.

It should not be up to the CoF to come up with new ideas for BID because the concept is that this independent organisation would cut through red tape and connect with traders. If BID has a lack of concept, focus and ideas than the City’s marketing and economic development department might as well do it in house an use the $ 350,000.00 a year BID has been getting the last five years.

 

Roel Loopers

DOCKERS TO HAND BACK FREMANTLE OVAL TO CITY

Posted in city of fremantle, development, dockers by freoview on February 7, 2017

The City of Fremantle has issued a media release to announce that the CoF is close to signing an agreement with the Fremantle Football Club for the hand-back of Fremantle Oval to the City.

Details of the agreement will be made public once the contract is signed, so it is still not clear if the Dockers will insist on getting a 4 million dollar pay-out to relinquish the long-term lease they have for the oval.

With the Dockers AFL women’s team playing at the oval this weekend and the urgent need for reducing concerts and events on the Esplanade, it is very good news Freo City will now manage the venue and can get started on the Fremantle Oval precinct redevelopment.

Roel Loopers

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HIGH DENSITY NOT THE SOLUTION

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, planning by freoview on February 5, 2017

I have a lot of respect for the opinion of architect and urban planner Dr Linley Lutton, who used to be on the City of Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee until he resigned from it, so I was very interested to read Lutton’s article about infill and density in the POST community newspapers.

Dr Lutton argues that the WA government push for higher density and infill is not working and is outdated and that apartments are the least preferred living options in Perth. He also writes that apartments can’t be adapted and are not family friendly, but that the biggest housing demand by 2031 will be for families and not singles and couples.

The random erection of ugly and big buildings in town centres also worries the city planner and he writes that it is not true that Perth is more low density than other capital cities. In fact we are at similar levels of density as Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane and not far from that in Melbourne.

While high density is often pushed in older character suburbs it is hard to understand why the WA State Government does not insist on higher density in new suburbs where people are still mainly building one and two storey houses and no apartment blocks or town houses.

The urban myth that people are abandoning their cars is also not supported by facts with tens of thousands abandoning public transport even when they live near public transport, according to government figures.

Linley Lutton says that higher density apartment living can work well, but planners need to take into account that ‘culturally rich street life’ and work opportunities are essential for successful highrise living.

As I and others have often argued the success of city planning and new development is dependent on understanding what the community wants and needs. There is a need for better and more intense collaboration between planning experts and the community, starting as early as possible in the process, so that community opinion is not being dismissed as negative, reactive, NIMBY and anti-development.

I am personally very happy that so much new development is happening in Fremantle and much more planned, but we need to actively discourage ugly, boring, mediocre new buildings ‘designed’ by lazy architects who have no respect for Fremantle’s unique character.

While the urban sprawl is not sustainable the indiscriminate infill targets for older character suburbs also lack reality and need to be reconsidered.

Roel Loopers

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BETTER BID TO SUPPORT FREMANTLE TRADERS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, retail by freoview on February 3, 2017

The FPOL Committee of the City of Fremantle has an interesting and varied agenda for this coming Wednesday so I hope more members of the public will take and interest in local council governance and turn up to observe it all.

The Youth Council, and  Alcohol Policy are on the agenda and also the important question if the City should continue with the BID-Business Improvement District. It looks like the CoF will do that for another three years and once the Kings Square Project is completed it will reconsider if BID will be needed in a very changed CBD climate.

Changes will have to be made by BID and the announcement that former Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim Milsom will head BID from this year on will no doubt be applauded by the business community.

Come along on Wednesday from 6 pm and see how local government works!

Roel Loopers

 

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FREO NOT DONATING TO HOMELESS BOXES

Posted in charity, city of fremantle, homeless by freoview on February 3, 2017

The five colourful Donate Without A Doubt collection boxes for the homeless the City of Fremantle installed around the CBD are less than successful.

The CoF reports that $ 8747.00 was donated to St Patrick’s in 2016 and half of that is the dollar for dollar match by the City.

It means that less than $ 12.00 a day was collected from the public in the five boxes, or $ 2.40 per box.

There is also little evidence it has helped to reduce beggars in the CBD.

Roel Loopers

BIG CLOUDS OVER SUNSET EVENTS

Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, entertainment, sunset events by freoview on January 29, 2017

It is a worry to read in the Sunday Times this morning that Fremantle Sunset Events director David Chitty has admitted his company does have financial problems and paying suppliers after a less than successful Southbound event.

Several companies claim Sunset Events owes them tens of thousands of dollars with one of them making strong personal attacks on Facebook.

The worry for Fremantle is what this will mean for the Jerome Laneway Festival, but more importantly what it will mean for the 25-year-lease Sunset Events has signed for the No 1 studio in J Shed at Bathers Beach.

Rumours are that the company still wants to go ahead with a scaled-down version of the tavern and music venue, after planning approval for it was refused by Fremantle Council, the WA Planning Commission and the State Administrative Tribunal.

Will Sunset Events be able to commit hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a tavern, toilets, commercial kitchen, etc?

Maybe it is time for City of Fremantle officers to pro-actively engage with the events organisers and find out if it would be better to move on and for them to relinquish the lease and for the City to find a more appropriate use for the historically significant location.

Roel Loopers

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