Freo's View

FINALLY FREO DRILLHALL PROGRESS

Posted in city of fremantle, fly by night club, music, sunset events, Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2017

 

After three years of procrastination since the eviction of the Fly by Night musicians club from the Fremantle Drillhall, Sunset Events has announced that they secured a liquor license for the 800 patron  Freo Social Hall venue.

I noticed last Friday when I had a meeting at Fremantle Prison, that there were a lot of tradesmen around the hall, so hopefully it will open sometime next year.

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

 

BY GEORGE. IT’S NOT THAT HIGH!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, east fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on September 21, 2017

 

 

About two years ago I sat around a table in a George Street cafe, together with concerned East Fremantle residents,  five East Fremantle councillors and the Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, in response to the concerns about the neglect of the heritage-listed Royal George Hotel.

It was agreed that the Town of East Fremantle should try to do a masterplan or scheme amendment for the Plympton  Precint to better control future development.

It came as a surprise then two weeks ago that I was approached to sign a petition against Scheme Amendment 15, because the petitioner said it would allow 18 storeys on the carpark behind the old building.

I was aware that Saracen Properties  has bought the building and that they wanted to build apartments behind the Royal George, to offset the cost of the very expensive heritage conservation.

To find out what the facts are I contacted East Freo Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail, who assured me that Amendment 15 would not allow 18 storeys on the site, but only seven, with a discretionary additional height clause, which is normally a maximum of two storeys, for excellent architecture.

Council has also done an Urban Design Study for the area, McPhail told me.

P.S. McPhail’s nominated again for the Preston Point Ward seat at the October local government election, and I highly recommend him. He is a very intelligent and likeable young man.

 

Roel Loopers

BEING PART OF THE SOLUTIONS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 14, 2017

 

I am not good at showing off and promoting myself, but have been told I’ll just have to do it during the election campaign. So it’s time to give myself some credit for the positive difference I make to Fremantle. I don’t claim that I change the world, but I try to be part of the solutions and get the small things fixed.

So here a few examples of the many times I have made a positive difference:

Most recently I was made aware of the property on the corner of Suffolk Street and South Terrace being used as an illegal dump. I took some photos, published them on this blog on Tuesday lunchtime, was contacted by the City of Fremantle, and on Thursday morning three skip bins were at the site that was being cleaned up.

When National Broad Band contractors left the High Street Mall in a mess, I blogged about it. The City put warning signs around it the next day and got the contractors back within a week to level the pavement.

When I name&shame the lack of maintenance, etc. in Fremantle the City administration does take notice and repairs happen pretty fast, especially when I point out there is a public liability issue.

I was part of a working group to beautify Arthur Head and we recommended that Council should approve a new path from Kidogo Arthouse to J Shed, with solar lighting, and to light up the cliff face. That was implemented and is there for all to enjoy now.

When I lived in one of the old Pilot’s Cottages next to the Roundhouse I observed that people were having trouble negotiating the dirt path along Captain’s Lane. Disabled people found it hard to get from the disabled parking bays to the tourist attraction, and women in high heels attending weddings had major problem not spraining ankles. I took photos and published two blog posts about it and within six months the city put down a nice path.

A friend who has MS told me that if he wanted to go to the cafe at B Shed he had to ride his gopher on the road against traffic to the other end of B Shed, so I alerted Fremantle Ports to that problem, and within a few weeks a temporary ramp was put down, that has now been made permanent. Whenever I walk past it I call it Roel’s ramp. ; >)

Getting rubbish bins cleaned west of the railway line at Arthur Head was a real problem for a long time, to the annoyance of J Shed artists and Roundhouse volunteers. So I kept plugging away at it and reporting about it for a long time. Now regular cleaning is the routine.

I regularly engage with Fremantle Councillors and officers on how things can be improved, because I strongly believe that we can all be part of problem solving and finding solutions. While others say that they should be doing something about it, I just do something about it and take ownership and responsibility. Whinging is only good when it creates positive outcomes, so I rather offer suggestions for solutions.

It helps that I walk the streets daily, and I wished more CoF officers would do the same, because one observes so much more walking than driving a vehicle.

Parking inspectors should be made de-facto rangers and report back maintenance issues they observe, as should all City staff.

If we all make Fremantle issues our problem, we’ll get faster results and fewer unhappy people!

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

STATE HERITAGE GRANTS AVAILABLE

Posted in architecture, buildings, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2017

 

Private owners of State Registered heritage places are invited to apply for a share of $1.2 million to assist with urgent conservation works to their properties.

The Heritage Council of Western Australia‘s Heritage Grants Program offers dollar-for-dollar funding for grants of up to $100,000, including for conservation plans to help guide works.

Last year, 13 metropolitan and 15 regional places shared in grant funding which, when combined with owner contributions, generated almost $3 million in conservation works.

The Heritage Grants Program is one of the few grants programs in Australia that assists private owners with the costs associated with maintaining heritage places.

Since the Heritage Grants Program’s inception in 1997, 745 heritage projects have received grants totalling more than $18 million.

Applications for the 2017-18 Heritage Grants Program are open until 12pm Tuesday October 31, 2017 and successful applicants will be announced in early 2018.

 

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

NO SUNSET EVENTS TAVERN AT J SHED?

Posted in bathers beach art precinct, city of fremantle, j shed, Uncategorized by freoview on September 6, 2017

 

Has Sunset Events given up on trying to establish a tavern at the number one unit of J SHED at Bathers Beach?

Yesterday three people from a not for profit organisation came to look at the location, to see if it would be suitable for a small business incubator.

I am not sure that a small business incubator is suitable for the Bathers Beach Art Precinct, but a pub isn’t either.

I tried to find out yesterday from the City of Fremantle if the 19-year-lease they have with Sunset Events allows the company to sub-lease to anyone, even if the business does not suit the art precinct concept, but I have not received a reply from the director yet.

It has been telling that although Sunset Events had to start paying rent from July 1, after their application for a one-year delay of the start of their lease was rejected by Fremantle Council, they still have not started to apply for a liquor license for the venue in September. They are required to advertise a liquor license application on the building, and it is not there.

The company has also cancelled this year’s Southbound concert at Busselton.

 

Roel Loopers

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LIFESTYLE PROTECTION FOR FREO’S EAST END

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on September 5, 2017

 

 

Freo’s View reader David, who lives in the East End of the Fremantle CBD, commented that my letter in the West Australian last week indicated I had an anything goes attitude to that part of the city, as far as development is concerned, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I strongly believe the entire inner city demands excellent buildings that respect the unique heritage character of Fremantle, and I have expressed this many times here on the blog and in verbal and written submissions to Council.

While there is huge development potential, considerations needs to be given to the heritage buildings and streetscapes in the East End of town, where we have the beautiful Victoria Hall, Basilica, Boy’s School, Railway Station, etc.

And I believe that we need to protect the lifestyle of inner city residents, and Council needs to manage it better.

I objected to the architectural blandness of the Hilton Doubletree hotel, the proposed boring development between the Australia Hotel and St Patrick’s, and the mediocrity of the eight-story Spotlight site development.

When Defence Housing showed their initial plans at Kings Square for the six-storey LIV development at Queen Victoria Street, I suggested to one of the architects that the facade was far too long and needed to be broken up, which was met with a what would you know stare from the tall expert.

It was interesting then to read comments by the City’s Design Advisory Committee a few months later, who recommended exactly what I had done, that the facade needed to be split up. This has now been done with a large gap that creates a community piazza all the way to Quarry Street, but it should have been more with more attention to detail.

I would still have liked to see stronger vertical features on the LIV building, that would juxtaposed more with the majestic verticality of the Heirloom building opposite it.

The Fremantle Society fought under my presidency very hard against Planning Scheme Amendment 49 and the inappropriate height in some of the 13 locations. We had a scale model in the Adelaide Piazza and Woolstores to show the public what would happen, but it was to no avail and now the Woolstores shopping centre site could go up as high as eleven storeys.

The major problem I see with bureaucrats having a broad-brush approach to an area is that it stifles architectural excellence. In the right location and with great design, a cupola feature or something alike on a higher building might well look much better, even when it is a few metres higher than the planning scheme allows.

I don’t have a general objection to height in the east of the Fremantle CBD and believe it should all depend on how creative a building is and how it enhances the spatial amenity and streetscape.

For example the six-storey building on the corner of Cantonment and Parry Street, opposite the Australia Hotel, is good Freo human scale for me, because it has very attractive features, round corners and some tower like structures, instead of a boring flat roof. It does not appear to be too high because of that, but a square boring concrete box of the same height might well have been inappropriate and look too big for that corner site.

The issues with flexibility of course is that it would be very hard for planning departments to work with, developers would try to take advantage, and JDAP and SAT could allow inappropriate buildings because there is no planning scheme that disallows them. That is a big dilemma.

As it stands, the rules and regulations more often than not restrict creative design, because the attitude is that you can’t have a 2-4 metre feature sticking out above the allowed height. Somehow we need to get around that, so that we’ll get more excellent architecture in Fremantle.

Let’s have a symposium about what desirable design for Freo would be, and not just focus on height.

Roel Loopers

BATHERS BEACH TOURISM POTENTIAL

Posted in bathers beach, city of fremantle, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on August 30, 2017

 

Bathers

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Good to see some dune restoration at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach.

The BB precinct is developing well with the new Piazza at the Fishing Boat Harbour, the extension to Char Char Bull restaurant and the recent opening of the new Han’s Cafe.

The dustbowl in front of Kidogo Arthouse will also be replaced with grass, so it is all good.

My wishes for the area are to extend the boardwalk all the way to J Shed and provide public toilets at Bathers Beach.

The Arthur Head area is such a gorgeous part of the inner city, but I believe it is under-valued and not treated as a tourism development potential.

What it needs is real appreciation of it’s historic significance, the lovely under-used beach, and what the Fishing Boat Harbour traders and artists provide.

What it does not need is a soul-destroying tavern and brewery.

 

Roel Loopers

HAMILTON HILL ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE ART

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on August 22, 2017

 

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I noticed this on Facebook, so check out the page for Hamilton Hill Community Group.

It’s a great project that deserves to be supported!

Hi Hamilton Hill!
We are working on some public art, which will incorporate images of our suburb’s architectural heritage!
🏚️🏛️🏚️🏠🏡🏫🏭⛩️🏤🏟️

And we need your help:
Send us an image of a house in Hamilton Hill that best captures the heritage or aspirations of houses in our suburb. It could be old, new, traditional, modern, big or small.
It could be your own house or any other house in Hamilton Hill you admire.

We need your suggestions by next Monday, 28th August! Contact: hello@hhcg.com.au
Happy snapping!

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STUNNG FREO SUN-DAY

Posted in bathers beach, cappuccino strip, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on August 20, 2017

 

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What a stunningly beautiful Sunday in Fremantle today!

No need to take my word for it though, but the thousands of people came to Freo for a stroll, meal or coffee, show that I am right.

It is such a delight to see more people in town, and to know that this is going to assist our traders.

It is good to know that in the near future all the development that is happening in the inner city will see more people living and working in the CBD. A couple of hotels are also in the pipeline, so the hundreds of thousands of visitors will be able to stay in our port city overnight.

It’s all good and I am very optimistic about Freo’s future!

 

Roel Loopers

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ROUNDHOUSE POWER MYSTERY

Posted in city of fremantle, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on August 17, 2017

 

 

Maybe the euphoria about power supply to the historic Roundhouse was a bit premature. Electricians were there on Monday and Tuesday, and the volunteer guides were expecting power point blocks, or at least distribution points, to all four cells and two rooms, but all that was done is that two ceiling lights were put in. One in the entry and one in the room to the right.

None of us could detect power supply to the cells, where the new interpretative signs are planned to be installed, so what is going on?

The idea that power supply to the cells can be done when the new signs are installed is dubious, as Fremantle Council would have to budget for it, and that might not happen for a year.

I do not understand why two lights were put in that are not a priority, because the Roundhouse is only open during daytime hours, and very rarely for the odd event at night.

The City of Fremantle administration sometimes thinks in mysterious ways.

 

Roel Loopers

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