Freo's View

FREO’S WEST END CONSERVATION AREA TO BE REDUCED

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, historic, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 18, 2018

 

Fremantle Council is reviewing its West End Conservation Area Policy, with the aim to put it in line with the area included in the WA Register of Heritage Places.

The agenda item on the agenda of the Strategic Planning and Transport Committee reads in part as follows:

The boundaries of the current policy extend well beyond the area commonly known as the West End, and accommodate diverse land use, built form and character. The area commonly known as the West End (Precinct 2 within the current policy) corresponds with one of the distinct areas established by John Septimus Roe in the first (published) town plan in 1833. This reflected both the topography of the area and its intended role within the hierarchy of the town, each area of which included distinctive block shapes and sizes as well as differing orientation, street widths and lot size.

The concentration of investment in the buildings within this area during the gold rush has created a strong built form character which has remained relatively intact, with buildings not only visually harmonious but also reflective of the function and evolution of the town’s early days. The significance of this area and its recent listing on the state heritage register prompt a tailored approach.

The current boundaries include areas of land exempt from approvals under the Local Planning Scheme (namely the Port area, Arthur Head Reserve and the Fishing Boat Harbour) which are controlled by the state, and areas within which the City’s primary control is as manager of the land, as opposed to through the scheme (such as The Agenda – Strategic Planning and Transport Committee 20 June 2018 Page 16 Esplanade and Arthur Head). Furthermore some of these areas, such as Arthur Head Reserve, are separate listings on the State Register of Heritage Places in their own right in recognition of their different (from the West End) character and qualities in terms of cultural heritage significance.

From an administrative perspective, it is recommended that these areas be excluded and covered in separate documents informing the City’s position on the planning and management of these areas, but recognising that the City’s approval under the scheme is generally not required. This has been occurring to a certain extent already, through the development of separate policies and masterplans for these areas, as outlined in Attachment 2. The boundaries of the current policy area overlap with those of Precinct 5 within Local Planning Policy 3.1.5 (LPP 3.1.5) (adopted in 2013) which causes inconsistency and confusion. LPP 3.1.5 recognises (as this policy does) that the Fremantle city centre is made up of a number of inter-related precincts which function as a whole. The boundaries of these precincts vary slightly, depending on whether they are being drawn more from a heritage versus zoning versus land use versus built form perspective, but as there is a relationship between all of these matters, so there are similarities in precinct boundaries. In relation to built form, it is preferable that each distinct area be subject to a single area-based policy. 

The item is on the agenda this coming Wednesday at 6pm at the SPT Committee of the City of Fremantle at the North Fremantle community hall.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on FREO’S WEST END CONSERVATION AREA TO BE REDUCED

SUNRISE IN FREO’S HISTORIC WEST END

 

High Street sunrise 1

High Street sunrise 2

MSC

 

It was pretty chilly this morning at sunrise and a few passers by must have thought the bearded old fellow in short sleeves was suffering from dementia, but it was all for the sake of photography.

I so much love Fremantle’s historic High Street and the entire West End. It always looks gorgeous, but even more so at sunset and sunrise.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on SUNRISE IN FREO’S HISTORIC WEST END

NO COMPROMISES FOR FREO’S WEST END

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on August 12, 2017

 

The FREMANTLE HERALD was kind enough to publish my Thinking Allowed about the necessary protection of Fremantle’s permanently heritage-listed West End this weekend. In case you don’t get the Chook home delivered or pick up a copy in town, I’ll post it here as well.

The attack by developers on Fremantle’s historic West End needs to be stopped and the City of Fremantle needs more support from State Government agencies to do that.

Applications for five-storey buildings keep coming although architects and developers are well aware that there is a three storey limit in the West End precinct.

There is an option for additional discretionary height of one floor, if it creates a better heritage outcome, or if the architecture of the building is considered to be of exceptional high quality.

What we see though are applications for boring and mediocre concrete boxes which would destroy the streetscape.

Architects show little to no respect for the spatial environment and the history of place, they just want to bang a totally inappropriate modern building in the middle of heritage buildings. This was shown in the recent application for three five-storey buildings behind Customs House in Henry Street going all the way to the former Centrelink site in Pakenham Street.

There was also a five storey application for the former Workers Club site in Henry Street, but fortunately that was rejected.

But even when Fremantle Council rejects development proposals the State’s Joint Development Assessment Panel or State Planning Commission can overrule council decisions, and they often do.

The State’s Heritage Office in my opinion sometimes also fails, as was the case with the now cancelled application by Notre Dame University for a mediocre five-storey building on the corner of High and Cliff streets. The Heritage Office recommended approval of the building, but Fremantle Council rejected it.

If UNDA had decided to go to JDAP with it they might well have approved the building the community and council did not want, on the recommendation of the Heritage Office.

It is only the sense of community and corporate responsibility of UNDA’s Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond that made the university decide to withdraw the plans for the new School of Nursing and Midwifery and start the process from scratch with a whole new design.

I am not against the development of some derelict sites and renovation of buildings in the West End, but there is nothing that can convince me that more than four storeys is appropriate for the heritage precinct. We only want outstanding development in the heritage area and nothing above four storeys!

Fremantle Council approved the five-storey nothingness of the Quest Hotel in Pakenham Street, because according to the planning and heritage officers of CoF it would preserve the interior heritage integrity of the building, but it hasn’t! Walk into the foyer of the serviced apartments buildings and you have no clue whatsoever that this is a heritage building. The blue artwork on the top corner of it is not suitable either.

Developers believe they can get away with murder in Fremantle because we are desperate for economic recovery in the port city. Yes we are, but not at any cost and the destruction of the unique character of our city.

If developers need extra height to please the bottom triple line they can develop in the east of Fremantle, and not even there indiscriminately.

Fremantle deserves more consideration when one wants to develop here and we need more support from State Government to protect the unique qualities of our city!

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on NO COMPROMISES FOR FREO’S WEST END

%d bloggers like this: