Freo's View

IRONIC DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL FOR WEST END

 

I have to admit that I had a smile on my face when I read the agenda for Wednesday’s City of Fremantle Planning Committee and noticed that architect Shane Braddock is applying for planning approval for a two-storey addition at 33-37 High Street in Freo’s West End.

Braddock is a very loud voice constantly complaining on social media how unsafe Fremantle’s CBD is and the anti social behaviour that is allegedly happening next door to his property at the backpackers and on the street below.

It is a bit ironic then that he now wants to extend the property for his family with a living and dining area, a kitchen and bedroom, and adding a bridge between the front and rear buildings and also add a water tower.

But good luck to Shane. I welcome anyone who wants to commit to Fremantle’s progress, so good to see the officer’s recommendation is for Council to approve the proposed development.

Can the property owner please also remove the yellow foil from the facade of the building while he is doing the additions.

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE PLANNING PROCRASTINATION NOT A GOOD LOOK

 

The City of Fremantle has some explaining to do about the procrastination it is engaging in on two planning items.

The City of Fremantle closed the PAW-Pedestrian Access Way-between Kellow Place and Swanbourne Street over a year ago and did not re-open the PAW when the closure was rejected by the WA Planning Committee, so the PAW has now been illegally closed for nearly a year and that is unacceptable behaviour by the City.

Planning officers were directed by Council to engage with the Chair of the WAPC to see if they would change their mind, but absolutely nothing has happened to the chagrin of residents who believe there is nepotism in play because one of the property owners next to the PAW is befriended with Elected Members and City officers. It’s not a good look!

The other flabbergasting planning subject is the four-storey Atwell Arcade building where the exterior paneling has not been completed to planning approval specifications.

On a motion by Councillor Rachel Pemberton officers were directed last year by Council to engage in negotiations with Silverleaf Investments to see if a compromise could be reached that would satisfy both parties but nothing has been forthcoming here either.

When it comes to a small residential fence being too high or a new residential building being 15 centimetres higher than the approved plans the City takes action, but for some very obscure reasons when it affects mates and big property developers they sit on their hands and hope it will just go away and we stop mentioning and complaining about it.

Negotiations should not take longer than a few weeks to sort out these things.

Roel Loopers

Disclosure: One of the resident of Kellow Place who is against the closure of the PAW is a long-term friend of mine.

 

CALOGERO’S ALFRESCO GETS APPROVAL

Posted in alfresco, cafe, city of fremantle, development, hospitality, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 28, 2019

 

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South Fremantle’s Calogero’s cafe are allowed to keep their unauthorised alfresco area after Fremantle Council reluctantly agreed to approve it with some modest modifications such as providing substantial bike racks.

The main issue with the unauthorised development was the removal of four car parking bays from the site to make way for tables and benches, but Councillor Dave Hume argued that there were other means, such as the CAT bus to get to the area and it did not rely on cars only as transport.

Councillor Andrew Sullivan said that when he looked at the alfresco from a community perspective it worked and he would not swap the ambience it created for a few car bays.

But Councillor Rachel Pemberton was not at all happy with the cavalier-attitude of the cafe owners who seem to think they can just do anything they like and ignore council laws and processes.

Now the cafe owners will have to put bike racks in the cross-over so that they cannot park their delivery van there either, so they’d better get on with that fast.

My one comment about this is that I in general don’t like retrospective approval, but I also don’t get it that it is o.k. for cafes to take street parking bays away to create alfresco parklets but that one cannot do that on one’s own property. That makes little sense to me.

Roel Loopers

 

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IMPRESSIVE FREMANTLE SNAPSHOTS

Posted in art, city of fremantle, community, cruiseliners, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 26, 2019

 

While we often complain about our local government, well, all governments really, we also should acknowledge the huge and varied work they are doing and what a challenge this must be for the elected members and officers.

Here some snap shots provided by the City of Fremantle at the Annual General Electors Meeting last evening:

  • 200 applications for alfresco dining, food stalls, short stay accommodation and liquor licenses
  • 493 residential parking permits issued
  • 490,709 visitors to the Fremantle Leisure Centre
  • 301 entries to the Fremantle Arts Centre Print award
  • 18,015 cruise ship passengers visited
  • 9,682 children’s toys loaned through the Fremantle Toy Library
  • 59,647 phone calls received by customer service
  • 43,327 contributed to local groups through community development grants
  • 1.000+ new trees and shrubs planted in the suburbs
  • 70,744 visitors to Fremantle Arts Centre-a record!
  • 142.5 tones of material recycled at Fremantle Recycling Centre
  • 155 new parking bays at Cappuccino Strip carpark
  • 5,765 callouts for Community Safety Officers
  • 1276 people assisted at Fremantle Community Legal Centre
  • 4,597 parking bays in carparks managed by City of Fremantle
  • 30,000 people engaged with Kids’ Corner at FAC
  • $ 70,000 upgrade to changerooms at Gilert Fraser reserve, North Fremantle
  • 109 new Australian citizens at Fremantle citizenship ceremonies

 

I am out of breath just typing all this.

Roel Loopers

FINALLY! FREO WOOLSTORES APPROVAL

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

 

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The Planning Committee of Fremantle Council made a pragmatic decision last night to recommend for conditional approval to JDAP the $ 15 million development by Silverleaf Investments for a six storey mixed-use development of the Woolstores Shopping Centre site. I have no doubt that the Joint Development Assessment Panel, which is the deciding authority, will also approve the development which is well within the local planning scheme and does not require discretionary height concessions.

The development will consist of 141  hotel rooms on levels 2 to 5, retail tenancies and offices, and a basement carpark.

While the proposed new building is not spectacular and not the desired iconic landmark Fremantle Council was hoping for, it is an adequate and acceptable building for the location, Councillors, planning staff and the Design Advisory Committee believe, and so do I.

The proposed building is not excessive in height or excessive in bulk and will modernise the run down inner eastern CBD and help activate the area. It will replace the current eyesore and will hopefully encourage Marilyn New to also soon develop the even worse derelict historic woolstores to the east of it opposite Princess May Park.

The development, together with the already approved Hilton Double Tree hotel at Point Street and the Little Lane residential development in Adelaide Street will revitalise the area 24/7 and make it a safer place for all.

Just down the road the Match Group also intends to develop a four-storey  residential building behind the former Energy Museum building, where 30 per cent of apartments have already pre-sold.

All these developments will be a game changer for the east of the CBD, with Heirloom which opened last year at Queen Victoria Street, and the LIV apartments opening this month, also revitalising that part of Fremantle.

It has been a very very long road for Fremantle based Silverleaf Investments, and councillors last night thanked them for persevering after many refusals and set backs. It is in my opinion a realistic and pragmatic decision by council, as we could have waited for perfection forever and halt progress in that run down part of the city. It is a compromise but a much better outcome than keeping the status quo.

Roel Loopers

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BUSY FREMANTLE PLANNING COMMITTEE

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

FOR SALE AFTER RECENT PLANNING APPROVAL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on August 10, 2018

 

Interesting to see that the property on the corner of Wray Avenue and Hampton Road, that received planning approval only a few weeks ago, is now on the market. I believe it is a flaw in the planning laws that this is allowed to happen.

Roel Loopers

P.S. Bad news for regular Freo’s View readers. My mobility will be severely hampered over the next two weeks as I have to wear a leg/knee brace, so I won’t be able to be as prolific with publishing blog posts as you are used to.

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WHEN WILL ATWELL BUILDING BE FINISHED?

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on August 8, 2018

 

 

Toward the end of last year an item came before  Fremantle Council to deal with the fact that Silverleaf Investments had not completed the Attwell development. Large sections of the glass paneling had not been installed because Silverleaf had spent too much money on tuck pointing.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton put a motion forward, which passed, that the item be deferred for 30 days so that CoF officers and Silverleaf could find a compromise

That was in October or November last year and we have not heard anything since about this, and Silverleaf have not started on the completion of the building nearly a year later, so what is going on?

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When developers get approval from council they do so after council has seen detailed plans of what the buildings will look like, so not completing a development to the specifications in the approval is basically a breach of contract between the developers and the City of Fremantle, and that should not be allowed to happen.

Silverleaf Investments has received approval for a significant development of the former police and justice complex in Henderson Street, as well as for the development of the Mannings building, and another application by them is on the table for a six storey addition to the Woolstores shopping centre site, so they are major players in Fremantle.

What Fremantle Council cannot permit to happen is that developers keep getting away with not completing buildings to the specifications in the planning approval, as this is becoming a common occurrence.

One way of getting buildings completed is by putting a stop on the commencement of any other future development by the same developers until they have completed the previous one to the satisfaction of planning staff. Get on with it!

Roel Loopers

FREO COUNCIL CHANGING THE GROUND RULES, COUNCILLOR WARNS

Posted in city of fremantle, enkel, j shed, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on July 26, 2018

 

I’ll publish more about last night’s Fremantle Council meeting, after I return from tour guide duty at the Roundhouse this afternoon, but I do want to address this issue as it now came up twice at council meetings.

When debating the Naval Stores lease at Cantonment Hill to ENKEL Councillor Jon Strachan said “This Council is good at Expressions of Interest, but than keep changing, changing and changing them. We change the ground rules!”

Councillor Rachel Pemberton agreed with him, as had Councillor Andrew Sullivan who had a bit of a rant about Council abandoning projects at a previous Council committee meeting.

Reason is that ENKEL was supposed to get the lease over the fully renovated Naval Stores but Council decided to do only half of the job and not do their part of the deal, so now new negotiations have started on the rent, use, activation, etc.

The same happened to the preferred tender of a hospitality outlet at the planned new Esplanade Hub, that has now been pushed back by three years.

And we all are aware of the enormous debacle of Council granting a 20 year lease to Sunset Events for the number 1 unit at J Shed for a 850 patron tavern and 1,500 patron outdoor music venue, until they basically shat their pants and started back pedalling so far that there is nothing left of the original proposal, and Sunset Events now has got Council approval for a 300 patron tavern only, and that is still subject to approval by the WA Planning Commission and a liquor license.

Fremantle Council on occasions are worse than children. Give them a new toy and the old ones are abandoned immediately. That is not a great sign of maturity or professionalism and as Councillor Pemberton said it will warn off people from wanting to sign a contract with the City of Fremantle.

 

Roel Loopers

 

WA PLANNING GREEN PAPER BUT NO ARCHITECTS

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, Uncategorized by freoview on July 6, 2018

 

The WA state government has released a green paper of changes to the planning process. It is 81 pages long, so too long to blog it all, but below the most important aspects of it.

Fremantle architect Tobias Bush already remarked on social media that the word architect has not once been used on all the 81 pages, and that is a rather remarkable oversight, and a slap in the face of those professionals who create the future of our cities.

 

  • Local governments to have up-to-date local planning strategies, including one for housing, through which the community has a say in how their neighbourhood will be developed.
  • Make strategic planning for sustainable development the purpose of planning in Western Australia.

Make the planning system easy to access and understand

  • A single concise State Planning Policy framework with common elements for State, regional and local plans and policies.
  • A comprehensive local planning scheme will be available online for each local government including a local planning strategy, the statutory scheme and local planning policies.
  • Reduce red tape by standardising commonly used zones.

Open up the planning system and increase community engagement in planning

  • A Community Engagement Charter with a focus on up-front community involvement in strategic planning.
  • Re-balance Development Assessment Panel processes including recording meetings, providing reasons for decisions, and undertaking more comprehensive investigation and consideration of complex proposals.
  • Local governments to report annually on their planning responsibilities.

Make the planning system well-organised and more efficient

Refocus the planning system to deliver quality urban infill

  • Revise the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) to include 5-7 specialist members and increase their focus on strategic planning and policy development.
  • WAPC to delegate more statutory matters to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and accredited local governments.
  • Rethink administrative processes that add unnecessary time and cost to approvals processes.
  • The State Government, WAPC and local government to collaborate on the planning and delivery of key centres and infill locations and forward planning of infrastructure.
  • Develop a state planning policy focused on delivering consolidated and connected smart growth.
  • Provide for coordinated land use and transport planning of key urban corridors.

 

Roel Loopers

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