Freo's View

SNIPPETS FROM FREMANTLE ORDINARY COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 29, 2017

 

* Fremantle Council deferred the application for a five-storey tourist accommodation development for the Mills Records site at Adelaide Street on a motion by Mayor Brad Pettitt.

* The Mayor believed the lines of the new building should have a stronger vertical impression and be more complimentary to the old building in front, and that the pergolas should be removed.

* Council rejected an application for parking permits for the residents of the Warders Cottages in the Henderson Street Mall, with Councillor Sullivan saying the mall should be car and parking free.

* A two-storey addition and additional use of the site as a restaurant and health studio in South Fremantle was also rejecetd by Council because the area is zoned residential and it would create parking, noise and smell issues for local residents.

* Scheme Amendment 68 for a mixed use zone for Brockman Place and Hampton Road was also debated with Councillors expressing concerns about traffic and that there should be a clear integration with Hollis Park.

Councillor Andrew Sullivan said it needed to be genuinely beneficial for the community and residents, and that getting it wrong now could mean millions and millions of dollars of cost for the City in the future.

Councillor Sam Wainwright said that everyone will be a winner by preserving a road corridor that will be needed when the area is being developed.

* The packed full public gallery was not at all impressed with the self-indulgence of Councillor Jon Strachan, who presented a 20-minute slide show of his visit to the sister city of Molfetta at the start of the council meeting, when everyone wanted to get on with business at hand and far more important items to deal with than the Councillor’s last supper in Italy.

Roel Loopers

NEW FREO CIVIC CENTRE GOOD FOR HERITAGE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on June 28, 2017

 

kings square_lr_1498613599015

 

An independent report by heritage experts Griffiths Architects has concluded that the new City of Fremantle civic building at Kings Square has a ‘favourable effect on heritage’ by providing strong interactions between the historic Fremantle Town Hall and the civic and community functions of the new building.

The soon-to-be-built $50m administration and library building will enhance the important heritage aspects of Fremantle’s Kings Square according to the recently received heritage impact statement.

The report advises the new building will help return the town hall to prominence by reintegrating the town hall back into the centre of civic life:

The overall presentation of the town hall, civic functions and administration will be visually enhanced by a more integrated 21st century building that relates well to the town hall, Kings Square and William Street and Newman Court.

The changes will reintegrate the town hall back into day-to-day city life, provide proper connections to services and lift areas and ensure that contemporary requirements that can be so damaging to historic buildings are located in the new building.

Fremantle Council wanted a long-term approach in determining the design for the new building and that it must stand the test of time to last 100 years or more to become Fremantle’s future heritage.

Council weighed up all the information and decided a full redevelopment rather than a refurbishment of the existing building would be best to meet the long-term needs of the Fremantle community.

The Griffiths Architects report was critical of the current building, saying it had failed to make a positive contribution to the urban setting of Kings Square, was intrusive, dislocated the town hall from its administrative functions and was past its useful life.

The current building is inefficient from an environmental and operating cost perspective, suffers from concrete cancer, has significant asbestos contamination issues and does not meet legal disability access requirements.

I don’t believe Fremantle Council has decided yet if it will add a third floor to the new Civic Centre, but I think it would be remiss, and Council would fail in their duty, if they did not plan for the future of a larger Fremantle, when there is little doubt that Fremantle is growing and local government reform through amalgamations will happen in the not too distant future.

The Kings Square Project will be a huge game-changer for Fremantle and change our fortunes for the better. I can’t wait for it to start!!

Roel Loopers

WITNESS GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY AT FREO COUNCIL

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 27, 2017

 

It is just over four months until the Fremantle local government election so a good time for those who want to nominate to start doing their homework and attend council meetings, so that they do understand the process and complexities of local councils.

On Wednesday there are some interesting items on the agenda, so perfect to see democracy at work and hear our Elected Members deliberate and their thinking behind why they support or reject items.

There are plans for a five-storey backpackers at the Mills Record site at Adelaide Street, and that is significant in the context of the Kings Square Project development.

The planning compliance of the new Kings Square Civic Centre building is also on the agenda.

Sunset Events’ request to delay the start of their J Shed lease is another interesting item that no doubt will attract speakers from the public opposing it.

And there is an item to be debated about a scheme amendment for small infill development. It has a lot of merit but there are also people in the community opposing it.

The solar farm at the South Fremantle infill site is also an agenda item, but it is confidential, so the public won’t be able to sit in on that.

Local government is fascinating and grassroots democracy so inform yourselves and see how diligent our Councillors and officers are.

The Ordinary Council meeting starts at 6 pm, Wednesday June 28. Enter from the back stairs.

Roel Loopers

NOT A MATCH FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on June 27, 2017

Match

 

It appears that the MATCH Group have quietly postponed or abandoned their plans to develop the former Energy Museum site in Fremantle’s Parry Street.

All the signs to promote the mixed development of residential and commercial accommodation have been removed from the building’s facade.

Plans were for a four-storey residential new building behind the old one and the former museum transferred into a Bread in Common style restaurant and bar and other retail on street level.

While the delay is disappointing it is also understandable as there is a lot of apartment development happening in Fremantle and the Heirloom by Match building still has apartments for sale.

Real estate experts say their is a glut of apartments in the Perth metro area and an oversupply of them, so developers will probably have a bit of a wait and see attitude to see where the market is heading before realising plans that already have been approved.

Roel Loopers

LIV AND LET LIVE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, living, Uncategorized by freoview on June 23, 2017

 

The LIV apartment development by Defence Housing in Fremantle’s east end is fast taking shape as these photos taking from Quarry Street show.

The building is opposite the recently opened Heirloom apartments so it will substantially add to the activation and beautification of the area.

Roel Loopers

WE ARE LUCKY TO LIVE IN FREMANTLE!

 

SMILE!!!!!

 

Waking up this morning I thought how lucky I am to live in Fremantle. The sun is out and the sky is blue and it is a mild 23 degrees at the start of our winter.

We live in a very special and unique city but sadly there are those who only make negative comments and never see the beauty we have and the special close community we live in.

I don’t suggest for one moment that Freo is perfect and that there is not a lot of room for improvement, but I believe we are doing very well and that our city has a very positive future.

We are seeing massive unprecedented development in Fremantle, not seen in 40 long years, which means in the very near future we will have many more people living, working and staying overnight in the inner city.

That will create confidence for more developers and businesses and we’ll see new shops and bars, new hotels and more investment also from Fremantle council and state government.

But sadly there are those with a political agenda who don’t want to recognise the strategic and long-term planning our elected members have made.

The Kings Square, Fremantle Oval, Cantonment Hall, South Quay projects are huge for our city and so are the private developments of the Woolstores shopping centre, Heirloom, Liv apartments by Defence Housing and many more that are popping up around town or are planned.

Some people in Fremantle treat our democratically elected members as the enemy of the community and more often than not their criticism is based on ignorance.

Many people do not understand the separation between the councillors and administration and blame councillors when the streets are not clean or maintenance not done.

Fact is that council sets rules and regulations in place, makes policies and development approvals, but it’s up to staff to implement them. It is like a footy club where no one would consider the board of directors responsible for the players underperforming.

It is too simplistic, and unfair, to attack councillors and the mayor when it is out of their hands, and I often hear how frustrated too they are when things are not done.

There are the conspiracy people who frequently accuse council of being communists or socialists, but how ridiculous is that when the present council has done more to encourage and support capitalist development in Freo than the councils before them.

I am not a one-eyed supporter of Fremantle council and I don’t have the blinkers on. I also don’t care if councillors are left, right or centre of politics and I don’t socialise privately with any of them, but credit needs to be given where due and criticism handed out fairly. I have been doing that on this blog for nearly eight years and in letters to editors for over 25 years.

Whenever I talk to tourists they tell me how cute, clean, beautiful and special Fremantle is, but far too many locals I talk to only have negativity on their mind.

Many people do not engage with local government and fail to inform themselves adequately, hence there is a lot of misinformation out there and people are blaming Fremantle council for things outside their control and state responsibility.

We live in a community where people really care, where they are willing to stand up and make a difference and where many want to be part of the solution.

But the internet and social media has also created large numbers of people all over the world who are only interested in writing spiteful, nasty, insulting comments that are only meant to be personal attacks and hurt. That to me is not acceptable, hence I will speak out and defend our utterly decent and very likeable councillors, collaborate with them, put suggestions to them for improvement and show them the respect they deserve.

Fremantle is a magic and magnificent place to live. We have the stunning heritage West End, great beaches, markets, lifestyle, festivals, events and we actually care.

Be passionate about Freo, as I am, and stand up for what you believe in. I support anyone who wants to help make Freo a better place, no matter if you vote Liberal, Labor, Green or any other political colour, but please let us engage in respectful and informed dialogue and not ignorant hyperbole and hot air.

Have a brilliant week, Freo and acknowledge how green the grass is on this side of the fence!

Roel Loopers

KINGS SQUARE COMMUNITY INFO SESSIONS

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 17, 2017

 

The most important city centre redevelopment in a generation is about to begin which will see the heart of Fremantle transformed into a vibrant community, retail and commercial hub in coming years.

Over the coming weeks, the mayor and our local councillors will be heading to the suburbs to show what the $270m Kings Square Renewal project involves, its benefits, how long it will take and what it will mean for you. This is your opportunity to ask questions face-to-face with your local elected members.

The upcoming precinct presentations are:

Hilton: Tuesday 20 June, 6.45 pm at Fremantle PCYC (Arts Space) (34 Paget Street Hilton).
North Fremantle: Thursday 22 June, 6.00 pm at North Fremantle Community Hall (2 Thompson Road North Fremantle).
City: Saturday 24 June, 11.30 am at Fremantle Arts Centre (1 Finnerty Street Fremantle).
South Beach Community Group and South Fremantle: Sunday 25 June, 4.00 pm at The Meeting Place Community Centre (245 South Terrace South Fremantle)
Hilton: Tuesday 27 June, 6.30 pm at Samson Recreation Centre (44 Mc Combe Avenue Samson)
Fremantle Inner City Residents Association: Tuesday 4 July, 7.00 pm at a venue to be confirmed.
White Gum Valley, Gibson Park and Beaconsfield: Tuesday 4 July, 7.30 pm at White Gum Valley Primary School (29 Hope Street White Gum Valley).
Fremantle Society: Tuesday 18 July, 7.00 pm at The Meeting Place Community Centre (245 South Terrace South Fremantle.

NOTRE DAME WITHDRAWS NURSING SCHOOL PLANS

Posted in city of fremantle, education, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on June 16, 2017

I received this media statement from Fremantle Notre Dame University Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond and publish it in full.

I have highlighted some essential parts of it in bold.

 

Media Statement
For immediate release: Friday 16 June 2017
RE: Proposed School of Nursing & Midwifery building – 3-5 High Street ______________________________________________________________________________

In November 2016 The University of Notre Dame Australia announced plans for a new development at 3-5 High Street in Fremantle to house its successful and highly rated School of Nursing & Midwifery. Notre Dame’s architects and planners worked to a brief designed to provide the best possible facilities for students, to maximise street activation of the West End precinct and retain the existing heritage façade. Advice from the Heritage Council of Western Australia and the Fremantle Design Advisory Committee was sought and incorporated throughout the design process.

The University was enthusiastic about the resulting development and what it would bring for the future education of our students. The University was also mindful that the site is historically significant, and represents a key element in the continuing revitalisation of Fremantle’s West End.

Following consideration by the Fremantle Council, the University adjourned its subsequent application before the Joint Development Assessment Panel. The purpose of the adjournment was to consider matters raised by the Council (both in reports and discussions) and independently, by the community and community bodies. In addition, the University engaged the TPG Place
Match group to undertake further independent consultation regarding the proposed development.

As a result of this detailed consultation, and following thorough consideration of all feedback, the University has decided not to proceed with its current plan and to withdraw its current application for planning approval.

The University would like to thank all those who have contributed to this discussion. We have listened to, and taken account of, all feedback – both critical and complimentary. This has not only helped us reach our decision not to proceed with the current plan, but excited us about the potential for this building.

The University does therefore remain committed to this development and to ensuring that our nursing and midwifery students have access to state-of-the-art learning facilities. We also remain committed to our role as a key member of the Fremantle community, in developing a building that is architecturally and historically significant, sensitive to heritage, and an important contributor to the continuing revitalisation of the West End of Fremantle.

We will be releasing information about the next steps in relation to this development in the coming weeks.

 

SUNSET, SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT!

 

The City of Fremantle FPOL debate about the Sunset Events proposal for a tavern in J Shed at Bathers Beach was a bit of a lengthy, but futile exercise in democracy as three members declared a conflict of interest, so the committee had no quorum, but it has to be a full council decision anyway.

There were quite a few residents and artists who spoke against the J Shed proposal but Chairperson Andrew Sullivan explained in detail that this was not a case of ripping up the contract between the City and SE and that the process had to run its course.

Sunset Events is asking for a one-year delay in starting the lease, until July 2018, so that they don’t have to start paying rent from July this year on, but none of the Councillors believed that was acceptable.

It was questioned why it had taken the events organisers so long to apply for planning approval and a liquor license and that they had wasted eight months since their first proposal was rejected by the WA Planning Commission.

The sentiment in the chamber was that Sunset Events needs to get a move on, or as Councillor Sullivan put it eloquently “Shit or get off the pot!”

A spokesman for the proponents said that Sunset Events had no intention to walk away from the J Shed project and that the stable was strong and ready to invest and committed to it.

The Officer’s Recommendation of not supporting the proponent’s request for a delay was the voting outcome by the committee, but it will now all be debated again at full Ordinary Council meeting in a few weeks.

Roel Loopers

WEST END DEVELOPMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on June 12, 2017

 

living 2

living 1

 

Out of curiosity I wandered into the cavernous carpark opposite the former Fremantle Workers Club in Henry Street on the weekend, as I had been seeing tradesmen going in and out for a few months, to discover there is a development going on in there.

It is on the corner of High and Henry streets where years ago they wanted to build a large hotel, but the sign states it is going to be a residential/commercial development, and it looks like it’s only three storey high.

There are also good plans to develop the former Fremantle Workers Club into residential apartments, so two good developments will make that part of Henry Street a whole lot more attractive and will add to activation of the West End.

Roel Loopers

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