Freo's View

PROTECT FREO’S UNIQUE CHARACTER!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on February 24, 2018

 

The Fremantle Herald this week is full with opinions about how to protect Freo’s unique character when it comes to approving new development.

My old North Fremantle mate and former chair of the City’s planning committee Gerry MacGill says that Fremantle’s Councillors are struggling with the concept of exceptional architecture that grants developers discretionary additional height.

MacGill believes Council should not just rely on the opinion of the Design Advisory Panel but that the elected members are eminently qualified to make judgements on how the Woolstores development integrates with the surrounding streetscape and nearby buildings in regard to scale, massing and height.

I too found that at the special planning meeting Councillors and the Chair of the DAP were more concerned about small picture things and semantics like adding more bricks, than about the big picture; if the proposed building actually fits in well with the unique Fremantle character.

Also in the Chook is an opinion piece by architect Carl Payne, who often comments on Freo’s View.

Payne writes that the Manning Building approval shows that we only pay lip-service to heritage and that heritage protection is often not imposed if it affects the building’s owner.

The architect writes that the actions of Fremantle Councillors are not consistent with the Burra Charter heritage ideals and that compromises are made too easily to appease developers.

I am aware that a team from North Fremantle Slavin Architects also had a meeting with Mayor Brad Pettitt talking about their concerns about the often inappropriate architecture Council is approving in the CBD.

But there is more in the Herald with a full page advertisement by the Fremantle Society, which shows photos of buildings they believe ‘work’ and building which do not work. It comes as no surprise that there is not a single high building FS likes.

There is no doubt in my mind that Fremantle Council is bending over backward to accommodate development in Fremantle, and while I absolutely support the rejuvenation of the ugly east CBD Council needs to do a lot more to protect our city’s beauty. The architecture of the planned Woolstores development is not anywhere near good enough to consider it to be of exceptional quality, because it insufficiently addresses and respects Fremantle’s unique character. It’s not the height that worries me most, but the aesthetic incompetence.

Roel Loopers

COUNCIL BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE

Posted in children, city of fremantle, community, dogs, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on February 15, 2018

 

The FPOL-Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee of the City of Fremantle met in North Fremantle last evening.

The Dog Exercise and Prohibited Area Policy item on the agenda attracted many speakers who walk their dog in Frederick Samson Park and who were not at all happy with the proposed restrictions, with one of them saying that council was barking up the wrong tree.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton, who has a very cute little dog herself, said that maybe the policy was heavy handed. There are Bush Forever sites that allow dogs on a leash and we need more clarity on how we handle the bush and how we handle the walkers, with or without a dog, she said.

It was decided that a site visit by some Councilors and workshopping was needed before the Elected Members could make a proper decision, and the item was deferred.

The lease of the Evan Davies building upper level above the Dome cafe for bar and restaurant will have to be confirmed by full council. Mayor Brad Pettitt said he had expected a more cultural kind of outcome, but was assured by Director Tom Griffiths that live music events were planned.

The request for special parking permits for residents of the Warders Cottages is also still unresolved with Councillors being worried about setting a precedent for future residential development which does not supply parking, so officers will need to consider all the implications first.

The idea is that residents could be offered a yearly parking permit for CoF carparks at 50% discount.

It is probably prudent to check how much commercial carparks like Queensgate are charging annually for long-term parking, and also to consider if small business owners in Fremantle should also be offered the same courtesy, because quite a few of them park their car all day while they are attending their shop.

It is disturbing to hear from one Warders Cottage resident, who contacted me, that the State Heritage Office in a letter to prospective buyers of the cottages had suggested that the City of Fremantle might supply them with parking permits,

Just before the FPOL meeting was the Library Committee meeting, so interesting to hear that the Toy Library has now been made available to Cockburn and Melville residents as well.

Roel Loopers

TIME TO SAY GOODBYE TO HIGH STREET ART

Posted in art, city of fremantle, festivals, fremantle festival, Uncategorized by freoview on February 12, 2018

 

art 1

 

The Felice Varini art installation along Fremantle’s historic High Street has attracted thousands of people, and hundreds of thousands of photos have been taken of it since it was installed in October for the High Tide biennale as part of the Fremantle Festival.

But now it is time to start taking the foil down from the buildings as it is starting to look messy in some places.

The only criticism I have of the stunning art work is that there were no signs placed along High Street to let people know that the vantage point to see the entire work from was the steps to the Roundhouse, as many visitors questioned why these yellow bits were stuck on beautiful heritage buildings.

Roel Loopers

PARKING CONCESSION FOR WARDERS COTTAGES?

Posted in city of fremantle, parking, property, real estate, Uncategorized by freoview on February 10, 2018

 

Residents of the recently sold six Warders Cottages at 7-17 Henderson Street are requesting special reduced parking fees from the City of Fremantle at the under construction Stan Reilly car park.

The item is listed on the agenda of the FPOL Committee for this Wednesday.

The residents and State Heritage Office have previously requested free parking in the Henderson Street mall, which was rejected by Fremantle Council.

Long term parking at the new Stan Reilly car park will cost $ 3,248,50 per annum, but the Officer’s Recommendation is to grant the Henderson Street residents a fee of only $ 1091,50 per annum.

It is interesting that people buy property in the inner city which does not have off street parking, but then want Fremantle City to bail them out and give them free or substantially reduced parking fees near their property.

This of course sets a precedent for future apartment blocks in the CBD that might not offer off-street parking, and also for future residents of the still vacant cottages at Henderson Street.

One buys a property with one’s eyes wide open and is very aware that no parking is provided, so why then should the City walk away from parking fees and much needed income to accommodate those who knew very well that parking is going to be an issue for them.

Roel Loopers

WILL THERE BE J SHED MEDIATION OR NOT?

Posted in bathers beach, city of fremantle, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on January 29, 2018

 

When Fremantle Council at its meeting on December 13 decided it would engage a professional mediator to move forward with the Sunset Events proposal for a tavern at J Shed, it was expected that this meant mediation between J Shed artists, the proponents and the City of Fremantle, but that assumption appears to be wrong.

There has not been mediation between the artists and Sunset Events but some Councillors and Creating Communities have visited J Shed to consult with the artists.

There are of course the rumours that Freo City and Sunset Events will agree on a change to the contract and scale down the use of the A Class reserve to create a much smaller foot print for the controversial hospitality outlet.

Sunset Events director David Chitty mentioned at the council meeting in December that  permitting fewer patrons would mean a smaller foot print for the tavern and that SE might not need all the Bathers Beach A Class Reserve allocated to them.

There is still nothing official and the saga drags on further, but one has to wonder when mediation is actually mediation and why council decide to have it but than not implement the action.

Freo Council often works in mysterious ways hey. ; >)

—————

Of course there are other ways to activate J Shed as yoga instructor Ava Irani points out:

A few months ago I was really sick of the lack of activation of studio 1 at the J shed and decided to take some action to create a 1 day yoga festival for the community.

It has been birthed, and we will enjoy music, family, yoga, meditation, sound healing, dance, busking and healthy food on Sunday the 18th of February.

We want to create a community vibe outside the shed as well, where kids activities will carry on on the grass, and a space for people to gather in a relaxed way on the grass and at the beach. Of course this will all be free.

However, if participants want to take a class on the schedule IN the J shed its around $15-20 per class.

I’d really love eventually for the city to support something like this. I’m happy to put in the work with my team and put up the money to rent the space but I want the community and city to recognise that we can have alcohol-free, wellness based, community-building yet totally funky family friendly offerings in this space.

Here some more details :
http://spandaschool.com/class/classes/fremantle-yoga-festival/

 

So maybe it was just a typo and Fremantle council meant meditation, and not mediation. ; >)

 

Roel Loopers

MANNING DEVELOPMENT GETS JDAP APPROVAL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on January 23, 2018

 

ma 4

 

The application for the $ 10 million development of the Fremantle Manning Buildings was unanimously approved by all five members of the WA Joint Development Assessment Panel-JDAP this morning with some minor amendments. The most significant one was to allow the percentage for the art contribution to go to reinstating the former balcony and verandah along William Street.

The Manning property runs from William to Market Street and all along the southern side of the High Street Mall, and is owned by Fremantle-based developers Silverleaf.

The development includes a micro brewery with tavern and restaurant, as well as commercial and retail accommodation.

The future of the Wrightson’s barber shop was a concern and consideration during the deliberations with questions asked why we do not have planning policies that protect social heritage as well as buildings.

We were assured that the Wrightson’s shop front will be retained and that the barbers have been offered relocation to Market Street, but Chair Ian Birch expressed the sentiment of all panel members that he hoped the developers/owners would be able to accommodate the barbers in the same location.

Councillor Jon Strachan was concerned about the staged development aspects of the proposal but was assured by the architect that it was simply not practical to do it all in one stage.

Strachan also said that the initial drawings had raised concern at council, but that the developers had positively worked with City of Fremantle planning and heritage staff to improve the application and respect the heritage of the building.

He said that the quality of the heritage report gave him confidence that an outcome the city can be proud off will be achieved.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said it was nice to see heritage buildings getting a new lease of life. She also said we should keep in perspective that in the 1990s there were 21 licensed pubs in Fremantle and now only 11.

Chair Ian Birch said that the active use and refurbishment was the best way of protecting heritage buildings.

Two other amendments were part of the approval. One that heritage values override other development considerations and the other that an archeological dig will be conducted before the commencement of the development.

Roel Loopers

FOUNDATION OF OLD HALL FOUND AT KINGS SQUARE

Posted in city of fremantle, heritage, historic, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on January 19, 2018

 

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1963 – corner of High St and Newman Court. Newsagent on the corner, with the Hall behind and in the rear left the back of the Centennial Building

ARCHAE-AUS Cultural Heritage Management have opened two more trenches near the corner of High Street and Newman Court for their archeological dig at Fremantle’s Kings Square  to look for remnants of late 1800s shops and a hall.

They report to have found substantial foundation of the hall, so that is exciting historic news for Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

VISITORS LOVE FREO FOR ITS DIFFERENCE

Posted in city of fremantle, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on January 18, 2018

 

harbour views

 

Fremantle is such a special and lovely place according to the thousands of visitors who come to visit the Roundhouse.

It is such a joy when I volunteer at WA’s oldest public building to hear only positive comments about Fremantle from overseas and interstate visitors.

They all love it that Freo is so different from the norm and, that in contrast to Perth, we kept many of our beautiful heritage buildings, and they love the view corridors from the West End streets to the port.

People from Sydney on their second visit to Fremantle commented today on how friendly people here are and that we take the time to engage with our visitors, and all of them love the blue sky and Indian Ocean, the beaches and Rottnest Island, and the lack of people.

My love for this old port town gets reaffirmed every  day I volunteer at the old gaol.

We are blessed to live in Freo!

Roel Loopers

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HERITAGE ART AT PSAS

Posted in art, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on January 17, 2018

 

art 1

 

Scratching old paint off a big old wooden door at Fremantle’s PS ART SPACE in Pakenham Street created its own artwork.

 

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE FENCES FOR THE FUTURE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, kings square, Uncategorized by freoview on January 15, 2018

 

 

Things are getting a bit more serious at the Fremantle Kings Square Project development, with new permanent hoardings being erected around the former Myer and Queensgate buildings.

Project managers Sirona Capital have promised creative and attractive hoardings, so time will tell what kind of images about the FOMO retail project they will put up.

An inspector of the CFMEU was already on site today to make sure that everything is done by the book and told me power is off at the Queensgate carpark, so I assume that means free parking in the dark.

Also new temporary fences for the archeological dig that will start this week, looking for remnants of the old St John’s church.

Exciting times are ahead for Fremantle!

Roel Loopers

The Western Power failure in the carpark has now been repaired I hear. 3.4opm

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