Freo's View

HOW TO IMPROVE FREMANTLE DISCUSSION

Posted in city of fremantle, community, election, fremantle network, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2019

 

A reminder that this Tuesday September 24 the Fremantle Network will be debating How to make Fremantle a better place, with Chamber of Commerce CEO Danicia Quinlan.

It is on at The Local hotel on South Terrace in South Fremantle from 6.30pm and several Fremantle local government election candidates will be present, so it will be good to hear what ideas for improvement they might have, or not have.

This is a free event, but do support The Local as the kitchen and bar will be open.

Roel Loopers

THE FUTURE OF FREO’S FISHING BOAT HARBOUR

 

The Strategic Planning and Transport Committee of Fremantle Council will on Wednesday consider the City’s position on the Fishing Boat Harbour and probable future development in the precinct.

The Officer’s Recommendation for Councillors to consider is:

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION

Council:

1. Adopts the following as a statement of its current position in respect of the future of Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour:

  1. The Council recognises the Fishing Boat Harbour as a vital part of Fremantle City Centre, both in terms of its function as an employment and activity centre and visitor destination, and is supportive of investment and appropriate new development to sustain the harbour into the future. This can be most effectively achieved through the preparation of a comprehensive up-to-date plan for the whole of the Fishing Boat Harbour to guide investment, activities and development.
  2. The harbour should be recognised as a component of the Fremantle City Centre, and as a part of the state’s marine network. It should not be treated as an isolated precinct.
  3. The harbour should continue to operate as an authentic working harbour with fishing fleet-related and other marine industries.
  4. Landside infrastructure and services to support ongoing use of the harbour by a range of commercial and recreational vessels (including boat lifting facilities with no less lifting capacity than current facilities) should be maintained, or suitably replaced if existing facilities/services are affected by development proposals. Review and redefinition of necessary infrastructure in collaboration with the fishing fleet industry should occur.
  5. Management of land uses within the harbour to minimise conflict and contain non-marine uses (such as entertainment and tourism uses) should continue. The harbour ‘zones’ defined in policy DGF10 should be used as a starting point for guiding land use locations, but with some flexibility.
  6. Any proposal to introduce noise sensitive land uses (e.g. short or long stay accommodation) should acknowledge the primacy of the working harbour function, and demonstrate provisions to manage any potential conflict (for example built form noise mitigation measures, management arrangements, title/lease notifications).
  7. Employment-generating uses not directly related to maritime industries and/or needing a harbour location should complement, not draw away, investment in the Fremantle City Centre core. Specifically, retail and office uses should only be supported where they are directly related and/or incidental to the primary marine or tourism related use. Convenience retailing should not be supported.
  1. Built form in any new development should respond to existing context and sense of place, and harmonise with the traditional low profile coarse grain industrial character of the area (whilst still making adequate provision for pedestrians and passive surveillance). Views to and connection with the water from the public realm should be provided. Some additional height beyond the typical height of existing harbour buildings could be entertained on a single key site if a development could demonstrably deliver significant public benefits and amenity in the vicinity.
  2. Any substantial new development proposal (particularly anything large scale) should be subject to formal design review (potentially by the State Design Review Panel).
  3. Coordinated improvement of the public domain to establish a more coordinated and amenable pedestrian and cycling environment is supported. Any redevelopment of the public domain should avoid a net loss of parking (incorporating nodal parking provided at the entrance).
  4. Key connections and vistas should be retained and reinforced. Connection to the Esplanade, Bathers Beach and to the waterfront should be improved and made more legible. Extension of Norfolk Street should be pursued as the primary entrance to the harbour.
  5. Establishment of public infrastructure necessary to facilitate improvement of the harbour and funding and contribution mechanisms to achieve these should occur as a priority to ensure a coordinated and equitable approach. This should involve contribution to Norfolk St extension/relocated railway crossing, public realm enhancements and waterfront access.
  6. Car parking provision and management should recognise the different needs of different harbour user groups. Day tourists and visitors to the harbour should be provided with a consolidated parking venue/s at or near the entrance/s to the harbour (potentially supported by cash in lieu payments for new development) and encouraged to walk into it rather than seek parking within the precinct. Conversely the operational requirements of marine industries and maritime activities need to be accommodated within the harbour.
  7. Any significant expansion of tourism function or introduction of residential uses should incorporate or facilitate a high quality area of open space including green elements.

2. Notes continued officer participation in the process of Fishing Boat Harbour visioning and policy review and in doing so officers will advance Council’s position outlined in (1) above.

Roel Loopers

 

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THE OLD AND NEW OF FREMANTLE

 

Old and New

 

I got this interesting perspective from Fremantle Oval that shows part of the Kings Square redevelopment and the Townhall.

The crane is for the new Civic Centre building that is progressing well.

Roel Loopers

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GET ON YOUR BIKES FREO!

Posted in bicycles, city of fremantle, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 10, 2019

 

A new plan designed to encourage more people in Fremantle to ride a bike more often has been formally adopted by Fremantle Council.

The City of Fremantle’s Bike Plan 2019-2024 will set the City’s priorities for bike infrastructure projects, programs and promotional activities for the next five years.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the goal was to make Fremantle a more pedestrian and cycle friendly city.

The City’s Integrated Transport Strategy set a target that by 2030 Fremantle should have a connected, safe and seamless bicycle network that encourages cycling to be a convenient, every day choice for how to move around Fremantle.

At the heart of the Bike Plan is a low speed core in the city centre where cars, bikes and pedestrians all share the space. The city centre and other activity areas are then connected by a network of primary and secondary routes along which people of all ages and abilities can feel safe to ride a bike.

In recent years there has been a steady rise in the number of people cycling in Fremantle, with a 13 per cent increase in people riding in a recent city centre bike count.

The Bike Plan was informed by a community engagement process undertaken late last year in which residents were asked to share their experiences of cycling around Fremantle and identify areas where bike facilities were good or needed improvement.

The plan identifies four primary routes that connect major destinations such as the Fremantle and Perth city centres and four secondary routes connecting activity centres like shopping areas, schools and sporting facilities as priorities.

It also outlines planned infrastructure upgrades including more green bike lanes along on Parry Street and William Street, improvements to on-road bikes lanes on Marine Terrace and an upgrade to the intersection of Queen Victoria Street and Parry Street.

The City will also continue to participate in initiatives like the Department of Transport’s ‘Your Move’ program and Bike Week to encourage more cycling.

To read the Bike Plan click here.

 

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HIGH STREET UPGRADE DEMOLITION

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 9, 2019

 

 

It did not take long to demolish the service station, houses and Fern along Fremantle’s High Street to make way for the High Street Upgrade project that will see a new roundabout at Stirling Highway and a widening of the road. It will allow for a smoother journey for freight trucks to and from Fremantle Port.

Roel Loopers

ROAD AND RAIL NOISE PROTECTION FOR COMMUNITY

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, noise, state government, traffic, trains, transport, Uncategorized by freoview on September 6, 2019

 

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti today released the revised State Planning Policy 5.4 road and rail noise, which aims to balance the needs of transport corridors with protecting the community from unreasonable amounts of noise.

The new policy will help develop better land use and development outcomes around major transport corridors, including METRONET and the McGowan Government’s social and affordable housing package that will be built around station precincts.

  • Revised State Planning Policy 5.4 on road and rail noise released following public consultation
  • Updated policy aims to balance the needs of transport corridors while protecting the community from unreasonable noise
  • Will broadly apply to new residential developments within 300 metres of a transit corridor
  • New guidelines will support delivery of major McGowan Government election commitments including METRONET

The review was overseen by the Western Australian Planning Commission and involved an extensive public consultation period, with 62 stakeholder submissions received.

The new policy balances the community’s need for amenity and quiet while also recognising the need for important freight and transit corridors.

It aims to ensure noise impacts are addressed as early as possible in the planning process and encourages best practice around noise mitigation design and construction standards.

The updated policy will apply broadly to new residential developments proposed within 300 metres of a specified transport corridor and to new or major upgrades of roads and railways.

In addition to simplifying the assessment and implementation process, the policy and associated guidelines will:

  • Provide guidance on ‘quiet house’ design requirements such as building orientation, window glazing and insulation;
  • Introduce mapping and trigger distances that demonstrate areas to which the policy applies;
  • Prioritise strategic freight routes and ensure noise mitigation measures are suitable for the function of the route and the proposed or current land use; and
  • Provide better guidance on the content and form of noise management plans.

For more information, visit http://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/spp5-4

 

Roel Loopers

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HOW EFFECTIVE WILL NEW PLANNING PANELS BE?

 

Interesting to hear that WA Planning Minister Rita Saffioti wants to make changes to the  state’s Joint Development Assessment Panels-JDAP and reduce the panels from 9 to only 3.

Saffioti instead wants to establish a team of 10 full-time experts who would help assess major development proposals alongside local councillors. They would replace the current 48 member pool that is drawn from the planning industry.

I am not sure how effective it would be when the full-time experts would work with local councillors or if it would remain very much as it is at present at JDAP meetings where local councils are under-represented with two councillors versus three other panel members.

Roel Loopers

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FREO KINGS SQUARE UPDATE

 

KS 4

KS 3

 

I am one of many people in the Fremantle community who believe that the Kings Square Redevelopment Project is a positive one for our city, so I walk by every day to have a look at the progress made.

The fencing around the two Sirona Capital buildings have been removed so one is able to get a glimpse of the interior and things to come.

The work by MG Group on the public realm has also started and we will soon see new cobblestones, pavers and concrete pavers. MG will also create soft landscaping, lighting, seating, CCTV and more, so things are happening and changing fast at our city square.

I took the photos above mid morning today.

Roel Loopers

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CONNECTING FREO’S FUTURE TO THE PAST

 

I enjoy talking with architects, city planners and developers about Fremantle’s future and have found it educational and inspiring to have discussions with City of Fremantle heritage coordinator architect Alan Kelsall about how we should try to grow Fremantle.

Alan and I agree that in general the Fremantle community recognises that the need for regeneration of the city is necessary and that it is desirable if done well: if it is managed, planned and implemented in ways that reinforce and sustain the sense of Fremantle’s distinctiveness embodied in it, such as the rich mix of built heritage and unique urban character.

However, without broad, long-term public support and commitment to the planning vision for Fremantle it is unlikely to be successful. As a community we therefore need to have a clear understanding of what we mean when we try to articulate it. The ultimate outcome will set the standard for good design within Freo’s heritage areas and getting it right is essential to securing the future of our heritage buildings.

Let’s consider Fremantle’s history and what it means in the context of future growth of our city. Fremantle was developed as a port town and a centre of trade, and for most of its history it was prosperous and acknowledged as the second city in the metro area. That underscores the city’s distinct character and its rich heritage.

The prosperity of Fremantle encouraged the construction of its present heritage buildings. These developments were not simply utilitarian or profit based, but showed a desire to display a mix of business confidence and civic pride. That is probably why these buildings have a quality that people continue to find attractive, and why most people in our community believe it is worth conserving them, not only as memorial of the past but also as exemplars of successful, high quality architecture, urban design and city planning.

Fremantle had buildings with a strong association with the working port, but also buildings that provided a diverse mix of uses. These included schools, shops, places to work and socialise, etc. which people living in its densely populated catchment could reach on foot or by public transport. It is what we now consider to be an example of sustainable urban design.

Fremantle Port played a primary role in Freo’s success and its distinct character due to the facts that processing, storage and distribution of export and import commodities took place in buildings located near the harbour. It created the mutual interdependence between the port and the city that generated and sustained our port city character.

However this pattern of beneficial evolution changed in 1969 with the introduction of containerisation, which caused profound changes in Fremantle, not only because it changed the way in which ships were loaded and unloaded but also because storage and distribution of export and import commodities no longer took place near the harbour. These changes completely severed the earlier mutual supporting interdependencies between the harbour, city centre and surrounding residential suburbs. The changes impacted not only on shipping and its associated industries but also affected the commercial, retail, social and residential vitality of the city. In addition it caused deterioration of the quality of public areas and less appreciation of the worth of its heritage buildings.

It is obviously impossible, and probably not even desirable, to try to replicate the primary role played by the port in the past, but it is possible, through new higher density mixed-use development located between Victoria Quay and Kings Square, within reach of the railway station, to reproduce the type of mutually supporting interdependencies that used to exist between the port and the city centre. For this to be successful though it demands that development is guided by integrated strategic planning that is inspired, but not limited, by the past to create the conditions of genuine everyday activities, that should come as a result of more people living and working and enjoying social leisure time in all its diversity within the same area.

It is important to recognise that the role residential development on appropriate sites in the CBD can play is crucial to generating the vitality and resilience needed to cope with future problems and to adjust to changing circumstances. A fundamental benefit of regenerating and revitalising the area in this way is that it would promote positive change and would contribute to re-establishing Fremantle’s city centre as the heart of the community, which has already started with the Kings Square redevelopment project.

If Fremantle’s heritage is not managed carefully because it is considered to be too hard it will be at risk of being lost and with this its potential to enrich the city in ways that give a sense of distinctiveness, meaning and quality to the places in which people live and work, as well as the sense of destination that attracts people to Freo and makes them want to come and spend time in our city and thus contribute to secure its future.

It is a huge challenge to get it right, but with respectful dialogue between developers, city planners and the community we can all positively contribute to Fremantle’s progress and future.

Roel Loopers

A huge thank you to Alan Kelsall for his collaboration with constructing this article!

 

 

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CONTROVERSY ABOUT FISHING BOAT HARBOUR DEVELOPMENT

 

 

 

Fremantle is due for another huge debate about development if the first comments about the proposed residential, tourist and hotel precinct at the boat lifters in the Fishing Boat Harbour are anything to go by.

The West Australian today reports that the WA Fishing Industry Council has stated that a boat lifting facility is essential for a working harbour, while the owners of Cicerello’s and Bathers Beach House of course say the idea would be a one in a hundred year opportunity.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has said that he welcomes the idea by AMB Capital to explore development opportunities at the Fishing Boat Harbour, but former Freo Mayor Peter Tagliaferri told the West Australian that Freo’s identity would be lost without a working Fremantle Port and a commercial Fishing Boat Harbour, and I quite agree with Tagliaferri on this.

There is always a lot of talk in Fremantle about sustainability but no one talks about how much development is sustainable so that Freo’s charm and heritage character is not suffocated by modern development.

A working port and a working Fishing Boat Harbour are part of the unique character of Fremantle and without them we are in danger of becoming just another seaside town with the blandness of Scarborough or Cottesloe.

While Fremantle Council probably will have very little influence on the actual outcome the Fremantle community will need to let the State Government know loud and clear that we are not against good development as long as it respects Fremantle’s heritage and marine uniqueness.

I don’t believe that we need to panic yet as there was a proposal for a wrap around hotel at Little Creatures years ago, and that never happened, so we are a long way away from any development in the Fishing Boat Harbour. But let’s stay alert!

Roel Loopers

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