Freo's View



Bulk and height in a suburban environment created unhappy neighbours for a proposal in Beaconsfield at the Fremantle Planning Committee last evening.

The proponents want to build two storey grouped dwellings in Cadd Street, Beaconsfield with vehicle parking access through the Milky Way laneway, but neighbours and Councillors were not impressed.

It was suggested that the height could be reduced with deeper excavation of the soil as the block is on a significant slope.

One neighbour said since he has lived in the street the tree canopy had been reduced significantly because of clear felling required for the Mc Mansions built in the suburban street.

Councillor Dave Hume questioned if the building was too big for the block and said he would want the building height to be lowered to make it acceptable, and Councillor Jeff McDonald agreed and said although the height had been adjusted it was still too high.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said he was still struggling with the proposal as it was a very large-scale development, and Councillor Adin Lang said he was not satisfied with the height and impact on the neighbours. Councillor Ingrid Waltham said she could not support the application as there were a whole ranges of issues with which she was not satisfied.

The Planning Committee voted 5-2 against the proposal, which will have to go to Ordinary Council, but a motion was then put after the vote to recommend the proponents make changes, especially to the height, of the building, so that they might have a better chance of getting it approved.

Roel Loopers




Posted in city of fremantle, development, heritage, hospitality, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 4, 2019


The Old Synagogue


The application for a tavern in the former Synagogue site on the corner of South Terrace and Parry Street will come before the Planning Committee of Fremantle Council this Wednesday.

The application includes a rooftop deck, a mezzanine level, a basement bar under the Synagogue, a multi-level beer garden, an alfresco area out on Parry Street, and a front bar in the shop at South Terrace.

The officer’s recommendation is for conditional approval.

The Synagogue site is in desperate need of activation as it has been vacant for years with a derelict building site at the back facing Fremantle Oval. It would fit in well with the future development of the oval and activation of the precinct.

The only concern is that no tenants have been found yet by the developers to run the hospitality operations, so let’s hope they’ll announce someone soon.

Roel Loopers


Posted in cafe, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 7, 2019




The unauthorised alfresco area on the Calogero’s property on South Terrace in South Fremantle will have to be dismantled as the Planning Committee of the City of Fremantle last night refused the retrospective approval for it.

The removal of four parking bays from the site was the main concern for the elected members who were against it, but Councillor Dave Hume said that ratepayers paid for the CAT bus so people did not have to use their own vehicle to get to the cafe.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said the proposal needed good planning, and not the ad-hoc way it had been dealt with by the applicants. “Does the area really need another cafe?” she questioned.

Planning Committee chair Jon Strachan said he supported the refusal because the applicant needed a wake-up call, as work needed to be done on the ad-hoc application.

Roel Loopers


Posted in cars, city of fremantle, local government, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on February 7, 2019


The unauthorised short-term car park in Pakenham Street will close in six months from now to make way for a long-term car park that will see less vehicle movement, no doubt to the delight of the unhappy neighbours who have had to put up with the illegal car park for over a year.

The City of Fremantle Planning Committee last evening approved the change to a car park for long-term use and the removal of all parking signs on the exterior of the building.

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, crime, democracy, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 6, 2018


The only thing missing last night at Councillor Jeff McDonald’s slide show about fences in Hilton was the Don’t Fence Me In soundtrack by Bing Crosby.

McDonald had done a photographic survey of compliant and non-compliant fences in the garden suburb because there were three items about fences on the Fremantle Planning Committee agenda. It was all about height and permeability of the fences that needed retrospective approval, or refusal, from our elected members.

Like McDonald, a member of the public had also surveyed the Hilton fences and stated that at least half of them were non-compliant, but Councillor Ingrid Waltham rightly pointed out that the fact that there are many non-compliant fences did not mean council should approve another one. Too true! Just because most motorists ignore road rules does not mean we should all ignore them.

Mayor Brad Pettitt is a big picture thinker and was probably influenced by the French riots and fearing a Fence Revolution in Fremantle when he said that it would undermine good process to approve non-compliant fences. Where would it leave us if we don’t have any rules?

It was all about some of the fences being too high or not permeable, and public speakers rambled on far too long to show they had done their home work until the early hours and googled everything about planning rules, legislations and loopholes, of which Councillors and staff are obviously aware, so making a few succinct points only would have been much better, much faster, and less boring.

A permeable fence is basically the negligee, or see-through, of fences, and legislators believe they allow passive surveillance by home owners of what happens on the street. It appears the planning gurus believe that these fences are like one-way mirrors and that burglars can’t look into the properties through these fences, especially at night when the house lights are on and the streets dark.

The tedium of council process was evident last night and while at a previous committee meeting I had at least the stunning new zebra shoes of Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge to look at to relieve the boredom, but I had nothing last night. So note to self. Bring a tablet for the next meeting so you can play chess on the computer.

And after all that I even forgot to note if all three fences were retrospectively approved or not, but I think one of them was deferred for improvement.

By the way, the Ordinary Council meeting next Wednesday night will be held at the Fremantle Townhall, so don’t go to North Freo!

Roel Loopers


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Calo 1

Calo 2


The future of CALOGERO’S  as a restaurant is in doubt with the officers’ recommendation to the City of Fremantle Planning Committee to refuse the late approval sought for the unauthorised partial use to restaurant and additions to the existing building.

The South Fremantle groceries shop, which is next to the Port City Roasters, received an interior facelift some years ago, and they also added a small cafe, but have now converted the entire four-bay carpark into an alfresco restaurant without the necessary planning approval.

CoF officers argue that the removal of the parking bays affects parking in the area, which is at a premium most of the day because of all the cafes and restaurants between Leffroy Road and Jenkin Street.

The delayed seeking of approval is for a 30 seat outdoor and 16 seat indoor restaurant with the shop remaining the primary use of the two-storey premises.

The item is on Wednesday’s Planning Committee agenda, which starts at 6pm at the North Fremantle community hall.

Roel Loopers



Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 6, 2018


Fremantle Council’s Planning Committee last night conditionally approved the application by the Western Australian Planning Commission for a new White Gum Valley 3 lot freehold subdivision at Montreal Street, with the boundaries at Blinco, Knutsford and Wood streets.

There will also be a 36 lot survey strata title subdivision, and an application for the 36, two storey grouped dwellings has been lodged on August 10 and will be assessed by the WA South-West Joint Development Assessment Panel soon.

The former industrial area in White Gum Valley is well suited for residential development and the area could also handle medium to high density in my opinion, and offer affordable, student and social housing within a larger planning scheme.

Also approved last night were two alcohol related applications, one for a tavern and gin distillery, the Fremantle Republic, in Pakenham Street and another one for a small liquor store and deli at Freeman Loop in North Fremantle.

Roel Loopers



The WA Statutory Planning Committee announced in the Minutes today of their meeting on August 28 that they REFUSE the development of a tavern by Sunset Events of the No 1 studio at J Shed at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach.

The committee members agreed that the area could be activated but there was a need to find an appropriate and compatible use.

“1. The proposed application does not comply with there requirements of the Clause 30 (1) of the Metropolitan Region Scheme as it is inconsistent with the purpose for which the land is reserved under the scheme, inconsistent with the orderly and proper planning of the locality and does not allow the preservation of amenities in the locality.
2. The proposed application does not comply with there requirements of Development Control Policy 5.3 – Use of Land Reserved for Parks and Recreation and Regional Open Space as it is not of a nature and scale compatible with the use and zoning of the surrounding land, the nature and purpose of the reserved land and the environmental character of the location.”

This is a huge win for Fremantle heritage groups, local residents and the J Shed artists who have been fighting Fremantle Council from the very start of the proposal.

Council signed a 21-year lease with Sunset Events for an 850 patron tavern and a 1,500 patron outdoor live music area against the strong opposition of all the community groups and Fremantle Ports. Even a packed Townhall for a special electors meeting did not sway the elected members to change their mind.

Sunset Events watered down their proposal to a tavern for only 350 patrons and no live outdoor concerts but the WASPC still believed that this would be an inappropriate use of the A Class Reserve.

The lease contract between the City of Fremantle and Sunset Events will now be declared null and void.

Roel Loopers





Fremantle Council Planning Committee recommended to JDAP to reject the plans by Silverleaf Investments for the Woolstores shopping centre site, with an amendment to state that council very much would like to see this proposal go ahead as long as the proponent makes the changes recommended by Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee-DAC.

There was clear frustration in the air from both sides with Councillor Ingrid Waltham expressing that everyone on council and in the community wanted good development happening in that area. She said Councillors were lay people and not architect and hence they had to take the advise of the DAC. “This has the potential of becoming an iconic landmark.”

The clearly frustrated architect for the developers flicked page by page stating the DAC recommended this and we did it, they recommended that and we changed it,….. He was quite irate, and rightly so, that the DAC at their last meeting with them had been complimentary about the changes but now had come out of the blue with a new recommendation of a substantial set back for the massive hotel component.

Public speakers said that many architects around Perth did not believe the design warranted exceptional quality design status. One of them was certain that the plans would not be approved by any other council, but that is hypothetical bollocks.

From my personal experience with architects, and I worked for very many as a commercial photographer, is that they rarely like another architect’s work. Many creatives unfortunately are like that.

I also wonder if it would have been better to conditionally approve the development plans with the condition that the recommendations from the DAC need to be implemented. It would send a message to the developers that Fremantle Council is serious about wanting approval for the hotel development but insists on getting outstanding architecture on the site.

The main problem is that Exceptional Design has not been defined in the planning rules, so it comes back to personal taste and preference by the public and architects. Councillor Jon Strachan said that the concept of exceptional design is nebulous.

A fact that should not be overlooked is that if Silverleaf Investments, in frustration about the constant delays, moves its money to another development Fremantle could end up with the ugly shopping centre building for many more years and that definitely is not the desired outcome.

The WA Joint Development Assessment Panel-JDAP will rule on the planning proposal in due course, so stay tuned.

Roel Loopers




More from the Fremantle Council Planning Committee:

  • A small bar and deli for 29 Leighton Beach Boulevard in North Fremantle was approved by the City of Fremantle Planning Committee last night after many people spoke for and against it.

One of the main concerns was noise from the alfresco area rising up to the balconies of residents because of the hard surface below.

It is a fair concern that could be addressed if council insisted on noise control, such as carpeting the alfresco area and putting a soft noise reducing top over it and plants around it, but a small amendment only addressed the area of alfresco activity and that it could not expand.

  • The development proposal for a cafe/restaurant next to Frank’s the butcher in Wray Avenue came back to the Planning Committee, after the proponent had taken the plans to the State Administrative Tribunal after they were rejected by council. The committee last night was adamant. that not enough changes had been made and that parking in the very popular hub was already and issue that could not cope with another cafe, so the proposal was rejected again.
  • The Solar Farm on the former tip site in South Fremantle was approved. Concerns about contaminated dust were deemed unnecessary as the site will be monitored while it is largely without control now.

It is a bit of a surprise that people now are concerned about contaminated dust when a solar farm will be built over the surface and no doubt acts as dust reduction and the site will be professionally managed. A very good outcome I believe.

  • Bad acoustics in the North Fremantle Hall is still an issue and the large public gallery which included twenty Curtin University students had to move chairs to the sides to get closer to be able to hear the Councillors and staff. Unacceptable.
  • A rather farcical situation at the start of the meeting when chair Jon Strachan ruled that all public submissions would be heard before the committee deliberated, but he was overruled by his colleagues who wanted the procedure to remain as it is and that the public speaks before each item which is then debated by committee. It means that people who are not interested in other items on the agenda don’t have to sit through the entire meeting, so it is a basic courtesy to the community.

Roel Loopers



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