Now here is a innovative approach by the City of Fremantle to try to accommodate Circus WA.
The community group has been given notice by state agency Artsource to vacate its existing premises on Phillimore Street by 7 April 2017.
Circus WA is seeking approval from the City to licence a portion of Princess May Park to temporarily accommodate its operations. It plans to erect a large tent to the west of the Old Boys School that will allow it to operate for up to three years while it identifies appropriate long term premises in another part of Fremantle.
Nearby businesses DADAA, Clancy’s Fish Pub and The Fremantle Education Centre are supportive of the temporary move.
The proposed licence is for 1 year with two further terms of 1 year each at the City’s approval. This means that the City has the option not to extend for the second or third year should the license conflict with the development of 2 Point Street.
I am not sure how practical this is going to be with the imminent development of the Hilton Doubletree Hotel just west of the proposed location for the tent, and also the security of the tent with Princess May Park being infamous for being a favourite location for homeless people day and night.
Circus WA has been looking for new premises in Fremantle for many years and wanted to share the Naval Stores at Cantonment Hill with Enkel but that fell unfortunately through.
The item is on the agenda for Wednesday’s FPOL Committee.
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.
Fantastic to see so many families at the Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza skate park and the Winter Festival ice rink this morning, and the food stalls were also doing a roaring trade.
It also makes for happy trading in the Fishing Boat Harbour, so that is all good for the traders down that way and hopefully also for other cbd businesses.
The weather will be good for another few days so take advantage of it and head out to the Esplanade before the rain returns.
Nice to see so many young kids having fun at the Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza today, trying out their scooters and getting some advise from coaches.
Congratulations to the Fremantle BID group for coming up with the FREO FUNOPOLY concept for the school holidays. What a great way marketing our city by asking children, accompanied by adults, to discover and wander around Freo.
I talked with many of them at the Roundhouse, where we had been supplied with a stamp by BID to put on the map, and they not only loved it, but consumed quite a bit and discovered new elements of our city.
We quite often get people up at Arthur Head who do Amazing Place races with their companies, as part of their group and leadership building, so it is something BID and the City’s marketing department should offer more often.
It would be perfectly suited to a heritage festival for example.
Well done Business Improvement District for this innovative support for our traders!
Sometimes the City of Fremantle does actually listen to the community and implement what we are asking for. During three Sundays in April the Cappuccino Strip will be closed for traffic and will be a pedestrian mall only.
It will happen this coming Sunday April 3 and 10 and 17, so come and join the SUNDAYS ON THE STRIP very Freo fun!
The cafes and bars will extend out onto the strip, there will be lounge areas to just sit and watch the passing parade, and there will be a kids craft zone, fairies, face painting, live music and street performers. It will be a hoot!
An article on Twitter by Canadian Sightline Institute talks about one of my passions for diverse housing in inner city Fremantle and tells the story of how downtown Vancouver BC has 5 times more kids than Seattle and 9 times more than Portland.
Town planners in Vancouver BC made a conscious decision some 20 years ago to not leave the inner city to singles, couples, aged and low income earners, but to also encourage families.
Apartments and townhouses in big developments have to have dining rooms with easy to clean floors, accessible stroller storage, lockable bicycle storage, and outdoor play spaces, ideally where parents can look out on from windows to supervise the children.
At least 25 percent of the development needs to be suitable for families and 20 percent for low-income people.
High density development needs to incorporate parks, open space, daycares, libraries, community centres and elementary schools, and there needs to be soundproofing between the apartments and between the sleeping and living areas.
This is the kind of development that I would like to see in the Knutsford/Blinco/Montreal street area, and not just a small housing scheme only suitable for singles. I would also encourage developers to build more family apartments with a minimum of two bedrooms in the CBD, so that we get real diversity and not just childless couples and singles buying apartments in new Fremantle development.
There is outrage on social media by Fremantle motorists who received speeding fines for driving faster than 50 km per hour along Douro Road in South Fremantle. They claim there are no signs indicating that it is not a 60kph zone and that the speed cameras in that location are only for revenue raising.
I believe it is clear that the speed limit in built-up areas in only 50 kph and that does not require special signs to make motorists aware off, as they should know those basic road rules, but those who got caught, some twice!, are not at all happy and some even want to challenge the fine they got.
South Freo traffic has become a bit of a problem, especially during morning and afternoon rush hour, with traffic banking up and often at a standstill at the Douro Road, South Terrace roundabout.
The intersection of Lefroy Road and South Terrace has become dangerous as it is near impossible to see traffic coming from Fremantle when one wants to turn right from Lefroy Road onto South Tce toward the city. If 4WD or vans are parked next to the Little Lefroy Cafe one has to drive into the flow of traffic so that one can observe traffic coming from Freo.
The area is now packed with very popular cafes and eateries and traffic management needs to be improved soon before bad accidents happen. I am aware the City of Fremantle has plans for more pedestrian and bike-friendly traffic so I hope that will be implemented soon.
And as for those who got caught driving too fast. Don’t speed! This is a residential area where lots of families live, so just slow down and get wherever you want to go 30 seconds later.
This Wednesday’s Special Projects Committee meeting of the City of Fremantle is well worth attending with items such as the Cantonment Hill masterplan, the Green Plan and a Princess May Park masterplan on the agenda.
The Green Plan has in my opinion rightly identified the importance of incorporating Nature Play green spaces for children and families to enjoy, away from the standarised, and a bit boring and too safe, normal playgrounds.
The creation of Urban Forest is something many councils around Australia are implementing and Fremantle wants to be part of the trend of creating green lungs and combatting heat zones in the city.
The Green Plan also identifies that there needs to be a focus on the provision of green space within high-density areas to compensate for reduced private open space. Mayor Brad Pettitt reported recently on his blog that in some European cities 30% of new development has to be public open space.
All that is good but it is also essential to retain existing green spaces and tree canopy and not take away those and then replace them with new trees and spaces. A building at Pioneer Park for example would be contrary to what we should be doing in the Freo CBD, instead the space should be beautified with modern seating, shade structures and a children’s playground.
The Princess May Park Masterplan follows on quite well from the Green Plan with emphasis on providing good public amenity, playground, seating and light and the integration of the soon to be built Hilton Hotel bar and restaurant with terraces down to the park, and the possible use of the former Boys School and FTI building as a cafe. That would create a great community hub in the east end of the CBD where residential and commercial development is already thriving.
I recommend to attend Fremantle Council meetings as the community can have a real input and impact, and it is the closest we’ll ever get to democracy. In that context it was intriguing to get feed back from the Notre Dame University student council that “The consensus is that students are not interested in local government and never will be.” Politics and governance affects each and every one of us, so we should participate to make sure the community has a voice, even if we believe we often get ignored.
It is very good news for Fremantle that the Department of Defence has bought the former Toyota dealership site at Queen Victoria Street and that they will be building 180 residential apartments there and retain 30 percent of them to house defence force personelle.
The changes to Queen Victoria Street as a modern entry statement to our city will be substantial and no doubt it will activate the area enormously.
Great to have a good news story for Freo. I am smiling!!