I was surprised that the application for a small bar in the old Weighbridge at the intersection of Phillimore and Cliff streets passed through the Fremantle Planning Services Committee without much debate. This is one of the most dangerous intersections in Fremantle where motorists often don’t know what to do and drive the wrong way into one way streets on their way to find the B Shed ferry and passenger terminals.
The Weighbridge is smack bang in the centre of an intersection that will be redesigned and redeveloped in the very near future as part of the Victoria Quay and Phillimore Street development, but none of this was mentioned, or that it is not safe for intoxicated people to try to navigate the traffic going in all directions there.
The new bar will be for 75 patrons and the operators will have to build toilets outside as well, which will probably make it the only bar and toilet in the world in a roundabout. All it needs is good marketing and describe a roundabout as an island of tranquility in the daily grind of life to become an attraction.
While the Carriage Cafe on the Esplanade was refused an extended lease because of future plans and a masterplan for the area, a whole new bar gets approved in an area that will see drastic changes and development. That is the kind of inconsistent decision-making of Fremantle Council the community gets irate about.
Strangely two Councillors objected to spending $ 275,000 on a much-needed facelift for the High Street Mall, but common sense prevailed and it passed anyway.
Footnote: Freo Council has found a new way of getting the balance right it appears. The Scales of Justice on display in the Council Chambers are now resting on the floor, so they are perfectly ‘balanced’ and don’t sway at all.
It has been a very pleasant summer in Fremantle so far with the early sea breeze keeping the temperatures down on most days and making the nights balmy. I took these photos of the Maritime Museum and Indian Ocean at sunset yesterday. They make for a good start of the mid week.
Good to see that heritage conservation works have started on the former Fremantle BOYS SCHOOL at Princess May Park. The City is spending a lot of money on it so let’s hope they will find a new tenant to replace the Film and Television Institute-FTI- which occupied the building for many years. An art film and international films cinema would be nice there.
The historic FREMANTLE MARKETS will undergo conservation works in early 2015 on the upper section of the roof of the southern wing. This will include replacing of sheeting and ridge vent with corrugated galvanise iron to match the original roof, and replacing the 1960s windows with aluminium louvre windows to match the layout of the original windows.
The new windows will enhance the environmental performance and will be mechanically operated to improve ventilation. They will have high-performance glass to reduce solar gain and glare.
All brick work will use traditional lime materials and construction techniques to allow the walls to breathe and conserve their heritage significance.
The Fremantle Markets opened in 1897 and were designed by architects Oldham and Eals in the Federation Romanesque style. They closed in the 1960s and were almost demolished but in 1975 the City of Fremantle decided to refurbish and re-open the markets.
I received these comments from the State Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk MLA on the renovation announcement of the Fremantle Warders Cottages:
It’s taken the Liberal National Government almost three years to do anything with the iconic Fremantle Warders’ Cottages. In that time the Warders’ Cottages have become derelict and an eyesore to locals and visitors alike.
This is an announcement about maintenance, not an actual plan of how Government intends to restore the Warders Cottages. The maintenance should have happened a long time ago.
The Minister must provide a clear plan of what the Government plans to do to actually restore the Warders’ Cottages and determine their future use. This must include a breakdown of how much money the Government will invest for the work.
The Fremantle community and visitors has made it clear that they want to see the Government act to restore the Warders’ Cottages. To date more than 1,000 people have signed a petition I launched with the Fremantle Society calling on the Premier to save the Warders’ Cottages.
I quite agree with Simone that the work on drainage and exterior walls really is basic and very overdue maintenance that won’t see the cottages reopen for use any time soon, as that will require substantially more effort and money. This is a very poor effort at trying to safe the historic buildings from disrepair.
To rephrase a Chinese proverb, Government is slow, but the community patient, and that has certainly been the case with the neglected heritage Warders Cottages in the Henderson Street mall.
The Fremantle community has been in uproar about the neglect of the historic buildings since the Housing Department vacated all tenants from them, and the Fremantle Society organised a SHAME campaign to raise awareness of the disgraceful condition of the important buildings.
In May Premier Colin Barnett announced State Government would be spending some $ 4 million on heritage and today Heritage Minister Albert Jacobs announced in a media release that the State has lodged a development application with the City of Fremantle.
$ 2 million will be spend to conserve, modernise and return the cottages to active use again, with drainage and the limestone walls the priority of the initial work that will start in the first quarter of 2015. Mid next year the Government will decide on the most appropriate use for the renovated cottages.
The City of Fremantle’s Planning Services Committee will on Wednesday consider if to support the ‘officer’s recommendation’ of conditional support for the Victoria Quay development plans by Fremantle Ports.
It is generally considered that the draft plans satisfy the City’s key imperatives, and a survey held during two public open days where the plans were on display showed significant community support for the proposed plans.
The Officer recommends only conditional support and that COF is not seeking WAPC endorsement of the Pioneer Park Precinct Plan as that needs more deliberation and community consultation. “COF does not support the building proposal for Pioneer Park at this stage.” the agenda states. It does however support facilities that attract greater use of the park, reduction of negative impact of the blank walls of Spare Parts theatre, and the promotion of the park’s archeology.
Consideration would also be given to making Pakenham street into two-way traffic, the creation of a Station Square, and the support of a Queens street busport entry.
I am a little bit confused here. COF in its economic strategy and PSA 49 plans to make Queen street the major pedestrian access from the train station to Kings Square, but it now supports a Station Square that would encourage major pedestrian flow along Market street, with calls from Councillor Sullivan to make the area along Pioneer Park more weather proof.
Nothing will happen over night at Victoria Quay but there is light at the end of the tunnel for Fremantle.
Summer and Christmas are fast approaching so it is time to spoil yourself, your loved ones and your friends and join one of ROEL’S FREMANTLE PHOTO TOURS!
The fact I am no longer working at the market on Saturdays means I now also have time to take you around gorgeous Freo on that day and show you how to get better photos of the historic city, the port and the beach.
Tours start at 3.30 pm at the Fremantle Vistor Centre on Kings Square and finish at sunset at Bathers Beach where we might have a coldie at the Bathers Beach House to finish the day. Your shout! ; >)
It only costs $ 50.00 per person for the four-hour tour and kids are welcome and free. Gift vouchers available!
Book by email: email@example.com or text 0419 850981.
I do’t think anyone can question my support for the soon to open Bathers Beach House in Fremantle, but I have had many questions from the Freo community why the City of Fremantle has allowed the operators to intrude so far into public open space and the historic Old Port Project the City has been so protective off. Around 200 square metres of the black tar area have been handed over for the largest alfresco area on public land in the city. It is my understanding this was in lieu of the developers paying for the sewer upgrade.
People rightly asked if the operators of the BBH will have to pay alfresco fees for all the tables, as all other hospitality operators in Fremantle do, or if the in lieu also includes no alfresco fees for the duration of the lease, which is about 20 years.
The second complaints are over the intruding sunroof that covers half of the narrow boardwalk and makes the experience claustrophobic some claim.
The Bathers Beach House will open on Monday December 8 and will no doubt become a great attraction for locals and tourists. It’s a great spot to sit and watch the sun set over the majestic Indian Ocean, so go and support the new local business.