Freo's View


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on August 9, 2017




In a 2.15 hour meeting today the W.A. Joined Development Assessment Panel unanimously refused the application for three five-storey buildings in Fremantle’s heritage-listed West End.

The buildings were proposed for the Customs House on the corner of Henry and Phillimore street, going all the way back to the former Centrelink site in Pakenham Street.

Representatives from FICRA, Lance Holt School and the Fremantle Society spoke against the proposal.

FICRA spokeswoman Mary Rose Baker said it was frustrating that the Fremantle community had to keep defending the West End agains in-defensable buildings.

A Lance Holt spokeswoman said there were a whole raft of issues with the proposal that were not compliant with several planning schemes and policies.

Agnieshka Kiera for FS said the height is excessive in comparison to adjacent buildings, and would change forever the roofscape and urban aspect of the West End. Over-development would negatively impact on the heritage identity of the area.

Speakers for the applicants spoke about the unique opportunity to revitalise and activate the West End by having significantly more residents living there, and that the buildings would complement the West End heritage character through best design outcomes.

They said that they were on the right track, through modifications made after the plans had been submitted, to get support from the State Heritage Office.

Height is the major concern that can be modified, but height is not detrimental to the area. The buildings would have a positive impact on the streetscape.

JDAP panel member Fremantle Councillor Andrew Sullivan asked why the architects had decided on such a robust approach and with solid, even heavy, materials.

The building heights across the site were a major concern and the applicants had not reviewed that aspect significantly enough to warrant a deferral. The fundamental issue remains height, Sullivan said, and that the justification for extra, discretionary, height was rejected by the City of Fremantle.

Sullivan also said the proposal was not a complete dud and had the potential to significantly contribute to the city and save the West End, but it needed major amendments. It failed the fundamental test of built form and does not pay respect to the heritage facades and locality in general. “The failure in architecture in un-approvable.”

Councillor Jon Strachan said that deferring the application was not an option for him because the plans needed significant changes, but that he was quietly confident a good outcome could be reached after major changes had been made.

Strachan said it was not an honest application as the developers just tried to test what they would be able to get away with, and then made little changes here and little changes there. “Come back with an excellent design!” he suggested.

JDAP Chair put a motion for a 90-day deferral forward that was not passed 2-3 votes, and then the entire panel voted to refuse the application, which may now end up at the State Administrative Tribunal, if the applicants are stubborn and unwilling to compromise and submit new plans to the City of Fremantle that are more sympathetic to the West End heritage precinct.

Last but not least I have to compliment the City of Fremantle planning officer Julia Kingsbury for her very good, detailed, and to the point representation, that concluded that the plans were not approvable.

It was very interesting to see JDAP at work, but some of the comments made by panel members have not given me the confidence that Fremantle’s West End will be well protected from inappropriate development in the future.

One last word from me to the architects and developers: You have a great opportunity here to excel and put up outstanding four-storey buildings. While I appreciate you want a good return for your investment and maximise sellable and lettable floorspace, you would be well advised to take the example of Notre Dame University and reflect, sit back, forget egos, and redesign your proposal substantially. All the community is asking for is respectful architecture that enhances the heritage precinct. Come on, You can do it!


Roel Loopers


Posted in children, community, education, fremantle, learning, schools, western australia by freoview on September 13, 2016

Herald Ad 2016 Open Day


My friends at the Fremantle LANCE HOLT School are holding an OPEN DAY this Saturday September 17 from 10-12 am.

The independent community school offers an integrated program  for children from 3-year-old Kindi to Year Six and is highly regarded by Freo parents who love the relaxed atmosphere at the school.

The school is at 10 Henry Street in the historic West End of town and was established in 1970 by Lance Holt.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle, park(ing) day by freoview on September 18, 2015

Fremantle joined the annual global PARK(ing) Day this Friday where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to transform metered parking spaces for one day into temporary public spaces.

The Lance Holt School participated as did Wray Avenue, Victoria Hall was all dressed up, didgeridoos and bongos were on display, etc. It was a colourful display of how one can create a more visually attractive streetscape by just changing small things.

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers. 5 Maxwell Street. Fremantle 6160.


Posted in fremantle, notre dame university by freoview on March 2, 2015

Circumstance is a very strange thing, as this morning proved yet again. I was asked to do an interview about migration to Australia by ten-year-old Remedy for a Lance Holt school assignment. Mum Natalie and Remy wanted to meet me at Lenny the Ox cafe but there was a queue outside so I suggested the Moore&Moore, but that too was packed. So what about that cosy little area in front of the Notre Dame University bookshop on the corner of Croke Lane and Henry Street that’s got nice big wooden benches under a tree. Fine.

The interview went well and dad Michael joined us and sat next to his wife when suddenly the back of the bench gave way and they both landed backward on the ground, with Natalie heavily banging her head against a tree trunk. She’s got a HUGE bump and hopefully no concussion and is lucky not to have broken her neck. She was going to open her LUCE DEL SOL swimwear boutique on Wray Avenue today but I am not sure now if she can do that.

Basic maintenance in public open areas, especially with wooden furniture, should be something UNDA staff has to improve on, if today’s experience was anything to go by.

Roel Loopers



Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 17, 2013

The VISIONING FREO 2029 event at historic Victoria Hall was a great success as far as attendance goes. The hall was packed full with 260 people so that people had to be refused entry because of fire regulations. I am all for these kind of community events and I am aware this was number one of a series of them,  so I will not be too critical, but why did the City of Fremantle promote the event as listening to the people but then there was hardly time at the end for the community to voice opinions because of the too many official speakers.

But I loved the speeches and visions of Sunny and Fred, the kids from Lance Holt School, and of Griff Longley, while former  Governor Dr Ken Michael spoke for far too long. Great also to hear the CUSP student perspective by Vanessa Rauland.

My vision for Fremantle, and I hope it won’t take till 2029, is that this city gets over its us and them mentality, where some elected members believe the community has a vendetta against them and many community members have a real hatred for their councillors. That is plain silly stuff in my opinion. With respect and tolerance we can move forward together much faster. Fremantle is already a great place and will be even better in 2029 if we work together, stop being selfish, learn to communicate and stop the top down patronising that is unhelpful.

The development and progress of Fremantle has to encompass the whole city not just the CDB and it is important not to lose sight of that. We also need to be inclusive, as Shani Graham so eloquently said, and not to leave out those who don’t come to community consultation events.

I was delighted to see so many younger people in the crowd and surprised to see so many faces I did not recognise, so I guess there were a good number of Curtin University of Sustainable Policy students there. It is good to see that level of interest for Fremantle’s future. With hard work and an open mind we can get it right. Freo won’t remain the same, and neither should it. As a community it is our duty to allow our city to grow and make it even better for future generations. That is a huge challenge and a great opportunity!

Roel Loopers


Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 27, 2013

Fremantle Kidogo Arthouse Director, Joanna Robertson and exhibiting artist Melanie Maclou (both Lance Holt parents!) will be giving a behind the scenes artists’ talk about the Sculpture@Bathers Exhibition as a fundraiser for Lance Holt School.

Meet at Kidogo Arthouse at 5:15 for a 5:30 start on Thursday March 28..

Tickets $20 (includes a glass of wine or a bottle of beer).

RSVP’s preferred 9335 9636.


Town of East Fremantle buys up big at Sculpture@Bathers choosing two magnificent works (Russell Sheridan’s  ‘Our Common Condition’ and Melanie Maclou’s ‘Wild Woman’s Scent’) and commission four more from artists whose exhibited pieces have already been sold!


Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 10, 2011

The lovely kids at the gorgeous Lance Holt school in inner city Fremantle need somewhere to store their bikes safely while they are at school. A shed or big backyard in walking distance from the school would be great. They had an arrangement with the University of Notre Dame, but the location was not secure and two bikes got stolen and another damaged, so they need a better solution.

Any ideas, or even better, an offer of using a space you’ve got?

Roel Loopers

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