It has taken years and bloody hard and dedicated work by Fremantle Councillors and officers and members of the North Fremantle community, but Freo Council finally signed off tonight on the Mc Cabe Street/Stirling Highway Local Planning Policy 3.11 and agreed to cap height at 33 metres.
Can I just say from my own observation that COF officer Paul Garbut deserves a medal for being such a down to earth and outstanding community liaison person. His matter of fact approach took a whole lot of negativity and aggression out of the process, so well done, Paul! (When the pay rise comes you can buy me a beer. ; >)
A few community speakers were still critical of the process, and that irked Councillor Andrew Sullivan who had put a lot of thought and work into it, and he lamented that in Fremantle “It is always about height!” This will not be the perfect and the best solution, Sullivan said, and he was disappointed that Councillors and the public did not get to view better 3D modelling. (It is something I have been critical about for years!)
Councillor Sam Wainwright rightly asked why Council wanted to relax the 15% affordable housing policy and said Council needed to be consistent with it, but Councillor Bill Massie said it was an impediment to developers.
Councillor Rachel Pemberton said Council could learn from the intense community consulation process and that it should be implemented more often, and I totally agree with that!
At the end I believe this is a good compromise that will please some and irate others. Everyone involved tried their best and the North Freo community can be proud that they kept fighting.
ROEL FOR FREO! Truly independent
It excites me to see so much development happening in Fremantle but it also very much disappoints me that so many of the new buildings are boring and not at all the heritage of the future we were promised by Fremantle Council.
The one thing we should blame Council for is that they did not tell us the truth and that they should not have promised us anything, because approval for large development is given by the State’s Development Assessment Panel(DAP) and the State Administrative Tribunal(SAT) and Fremantle Council can only recommend against or for an applications in a submission to the State agencies.
What happens at State level reminds me a bit of the time when there was public discussion about rapists who claimed that women did not really mean it when they said no to having sex, being raped. The DAP and SAT also tell us they know what is best for the community and they don’t care that we scream and yell no to bad and inappropriate development.
The State Government says that high-density infill is good for us, so we are supposed to relax, spread our legs and let them have their way with us, so they can brutally destroy the unique character of our older suburbs with ugly out of scale monstrosities. They rape our communities with bad infill!
Two local councillors sit on DAP and often are highly frustrated because there opinion, and that of the community they represent, is overruled by the State bureaucrats who have the majority on the panels and who pretend to know better what is good for our communities. They are pro-developers, not for good appropriate development. The 17-storey building approved on the former Subiaco markets site is a good example of DAP madness and ignoring local government.
The whole planning process has become a joke that erodes local government democracy, and it does not help either to have a Council that is hell-bend on development and willing to compromise on quality too fast. That is disaster in the making.
State Government needs to lessen their influence on local planning and allow the community to decide what they want their suburbs to look like. It is madness to enforce out of scale infill in character suburbs and destroy their unique ambience when there is plenty of space for higher density buildings on the periphery.
Godlin Barnett and his disciples need to stop ramming their development religion down our throat and listen instead to what we want, and that is great modern and exceptional development in the right areas.
ROEL FOR FREO! The truly independent
Stop press! This just from WA Today:
Applecross residents vow to continue fighting two-storey, 24-hour McDonald’s after mediation hearing at the State Administrative Tribunal failed.
Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/#ixzz3jmiugC4D
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Walking and driving through Fremantle there is a sense of renaissance, as if the city has woken up out of years of hibernation. It is a good feeling to see so many new buildings going up in the CBD and other buildings getting long-overdue maintenance and paint work done. But there is also a sense of apprehension in me that the desire to see Fremantle developed and progress might make us lose sight of the importance of retaining the unique character of our city.
There is not much more important than protecting the historic West End from bad and inappropriate development, and whilst I personally don’t fear highrise in appropriate areas of Fremantle, I will fight tooth and nail to stop developers from encroaching with badly designed and too high buildings in the heritage part of town. It is not on and Freo Council need to put its foot down and not compromise one iota here!
There is ample space close to the city centre to the east of it that can be developed and where higher buildings will have far less impact on the historic parts of town. Queen Victoria and Beach street are well-suited to make a modern entry statement to our city, but we want class and should demand the best design and building quality and exceptional architecture that blows people away and that will become the heritage of the future.
There are also good development opportunities at the Knutsford/Blinco street area and along South Terrace in South Fremantle. Especially the former would be well suited for higher rise and student accommodation and could become a great modern suburb near Booyeembara Park and the golf course.
Good to see the COF also will finally start upgrading neglected South Fremantle and connect it better with the CBD. South Freo has great potential. I love the many new cafes and the cute streets with lovely homes and I always enjoy a stroll through there, so the protection of character there is also a must.
It is great to see so much progress in Fremantle, and it is not before time the city woke up and shook itself out of the lethargy and procrastination it has suffered from for so long, but restraint and common sense need to apply when developing and modernising our city. If we get it wrong it could well be detrimental for the long-term future of Freo, so let’s be aware!
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The Quest serviced apartments development in Pakenham Street in the West End is progressing well, and I am happy to see new tourist accommmodation being built in Fremantle, but I am worried about the way it is done.
When I addressed Council and opposed the additional height of the building on behalf of the Fremantle Society I was assured by the heritage architect and the then director of planning that the discretionary height was only allowed to best preserve the interior heritage of the building. What I photographed yesterday though looks like the entire interior of the building has been demolished with only the walls and columns left standing. Is it supposed to be like that City of Fremantle Planning Department?
Just down the road at Henry Street the developers want to go up to five storeys at the former Workers Club site. They claim they deserve the extra height to preserve the heritage facade of the building, but the facade is so mediocre and ugly, and in my opinion has no heritage value, and could be demolished.
Will Fremantle Council break its promise that the West End would be safe from inappropriate buildings in height and bulk, and allow the unacceptable height that comes with the feeble excuse of preserving heritage?
Let’s not play games with Freo’s historic West End, that is the biggest drawcard for tourists, and let’s stop here and now and not allow any discretionary additional and inappropriate height in that part of the city. Developers keep pushing the envelope and it only takes a tiny push for Freo Council to fall over backward to accommodate new development that is unacceptable to the community.
This extremely boring facade of the former Fremantle Workers Club supposedly has heritage value, and is the feeble excuse of the developers who want additional discretionary height to a five story residential building in Henry Street in the centre of the heritage West End, where the height limit is 14 metres.
When the Fremantle Society and many others in the community fought Planning Scheme Amendment 49 that allows buildings of up to 13 storeys in the CBD we were told over and over again by Mayor Brad Pettitt and Council that the West End would be safe from high development and that they would not allow inappropriate heights there, but developers keep pushing the envelope and once one gets through the system others will follow suite and the west end will turn into a disaster. Allowing this development would set a precedent for the area that is not acceptable to the community.
The West End and heritage buildings is why thousands of tourists flock to our city. Almost every one of the 110,000 visitors who come yearly to the Roundhouse marvel at the stunning view down beautiful High Street, so why would anyone want to destroy that and build inappropriately high buildings that will stick out from the heritage buildings and destroy streetscapes and the unique character of the old city?
The facade of the former club is ugly and does nothing for the streetscape of Henry Street, so demolish it and stick to the height limits for the West End. The overall mediocre design of the building is one that shows greed and pushes the number of apartments to the limit and one has to wonder if that is really the kind of infill development Fremantle wants and needs.
The east of the CBD along Queen Victoria and Beach streets is far better suited to erect higher residential and commercial buildings and make a modern entry statement to Fremantle, but the west end of town should be sacred and demands to be protected from greedy developers and average architecture.