Freo's View

FREMANTLE TAKES BROADER VIEWS ON DEVELOPMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 22, 2018

 

The new City of Fremantle Strategic Planning and Transport Committee met for the first time last evening at the Townhall with only two items on the agenda; the Kings Square public realm concept plan and Local Planning Policy 2.21-R60.

I reported on the Kings Square plans earlier this week so just some details of the new development plans draft that was considered and adopted last night. The entire draft can be viewed on-line on the CoF website. Click on agendas and minutes and view the agenda there.

Here some considerations that stood out for me:

Under clause 4.2.5 of the City’s Local Planning Scheme No. 4 (LPS4), the residential density of sites in the Local Centre, Neighbourhood Centre and Mixed Use zones may be increased up to R60 where the development application:

  1. Proposes ‘mixed use development’ as defined in the City’s Scheme.
  2. Would not be detrimental to the amenity of an area.

A policy has been prepared to provide guidance on the criteria against which impact on amenity will be assessed under Clause 4.2.5 of LPS4 in order to provide greater certainty and consistency of decision-making, and promote better built form and community outcomes. The draft policy has the following key elements:

Recognise that mixed use zones and local/neighbourhood centres have potential to accommodate higher density and intensity, but within which new development should acknowledge and be respectful of existing / traditional development as part of a responsible evolution.

Stipulate that the deemed-to-comply standards (excluding site area) of the base density are acceptable as a starting point for R60 development.

Where the base code deemed-to-comply standards are not met, consider variations up to the R60 coding only where assessed to not be detrimental to the surrounding area based on a series of considerations as set out in the policy relating to the impact on amenity; including impact on streetscape, heritage character, neighbour amenity, traffic and safety, impact on trees and quality of the built environment.

Stipulate some specific requirements / expectations in regards to commonly contested aspects including that plot ratio in excess of the deemed-to-comply standard for R60 will not be supported.

Require a site context assessment to accompany any proposal seeking an increase in density beyond the base coding.

It should be noted that the clause seeks to avoid detrimental amenity to the area rather than to specific individual lots, which requires Council to take a broader view of impact than solely that of the neighbour/s. Similarly, the definition of amenity in the Planning Regulations defines this in relation to the character of an area. This does not, of course, preclude neighbour impacts from forming a key consideration in assessing amenity impacts. The reference to ‘future amenity’ allows for application of the definition in new development areas or areas subject to revitalisation schemes and the like.

Site analysis and design response: requiring the preparation of these to inform any proposal

Orientation: requiring proposals to “respond to the streetscape and site while optimising solar access within the development” and building form and orientation which “minimises overshadowing on neighbouring properties”

Existing tree retention: requiring mature trees on site (or are clearly identifiable on site through aerial images from the last 5 years) for retention or replacement or offset Deep soil areas (12% of site where no trees retained): to support healthy plant and tree growth, and provision of trees proportionate to the size of the site

Communal and public open space: where more than 10 dwellings are proposed

Visual privacy: including a ‘cone of vision’ similar to that specified under the R-Codes (albeit lesser) and a minimum of 25% of the perimeter of balconies unscreened, and a requirement to site and design development to “increase privacy without compromising access to light and air and balance outlook and views from habitable rooms and private open space”

Public domain interface: considering CEPTED principles and promoting a functional and pleasing interface with the street which makes provision for services, landscaping of terraces and excludes parking

Pedestrian access and entries: which requires safe and ‘legible’ entries to buildings

Vehicle access points: requiring these to be designed and located to minimise streetscape impacts whilst avoiding conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles

Car and bicycle parking: to be provided at specified rates and designed to be functional but minimise visual impact

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

LIV APARTMENTS REVEALED

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, living, property, Uncategorized by freoview on February 12, 2018

 

LIV 1

 

Scaffolding is coming down on the LIV apartment building in Queen Victoria and Quarry streets, allowing glimpses of what is to come.

Some of the windows in Quarry Street appear to be very large, so let’s wait and see till August when the building is supposed to open.

Roel Loopers

NORTH FREMANTLE GOOD PROPERTY INVESTMENT

Posted in city of fremantle, housing, property, real estate, Uncategorized by freoview on January 31, 2018

 

North Fremantle was the leading suburb in real estate price growth in 2017 according to REIWA.

Median house prices in North Freo jumped by 26.3%, with Applecross coming second with 24% and Dalkeith third with 20.9%.

Bicton also did well with a 17% increase in median house prices.

 

Roel Loopers

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DISAPPOINTING DESIGN FOR FREMANTLE WOOLSTORES PROPOSAL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, planning, Uncategorized by freoview on January 26, 2018

 

Woolstores

A City if Fremantle Special Planning Committee will be held on January 31 to consider the design and planning principles for the proposed development of the Woolstores shopping centre site.

Silverleaf Investments is proposing a 4-10 storey mixed use development that will be a public carpark, shops, hotel, offices, student accommodation and aged and dependant persons accommodation.

The agenda states that the planning officers and Design Advisory Committee believe the plans have merit to develop into a scheme capable of satisfying the scheme provisions to exceptional design quality, which I find hard to believe

While I quite like the modern and light five-storey container shape with porthole windows idea for the hotel there is a severe disconnect to the red brick four-storey podium it is resting on.

The rest of the very large building is boring, plain, sombre, unimaginative standard red brick nothingness that does not qualify at all to get design excellence standards, and surprisingly the officers recommend to increase the use of red bricks, which will just enhance the darkness of the building and increase its blandness.

Woolstores 2

Here some snippets from the agenda:

The design and planning principles this report will consider are as follows:

  •   The proposed brick podium component of the development and its empathetic response to the scale and architectural character of the adjacent Elders Woolstores
  •   The Hotel building located at the Queen Street end of the site and the Aged Care (Retirement Living) building located at the Goldsbrough Street end of the site particularly the external appearance of the upper floors of these buildings.
  •   The location, design and activation of the proposed mid-block pedestrian link.
  •   The presentation of the proposed development to the corner of Queen Street and

    Elder Street, specifically the interaction of the Hotel lobby with Queen Street.

Brick Podium

The proposal includes the construction of a brick podium base to the development of approximately 4-5 storeys in height, extending across the whole site. The DAC has been consistent in its encouragement to the applicant to respond more emphatically to the scale and ‘weight’ of the remaining former Woolstores building on Elder Place.

The applicant has been encouraged to use brick as a utilitarian and structural element of the proposal to produce a meaningful representation of the scale and ‘weight’ (in an architectural sense) of the adjacent Elders Woolstores. The current concept uses brick as the primary material for the podium, however its use has evolved more into a decorative screen rather than an essential structural element of the podium. The proposed use of brick as a primary material is still supported, however the applicant is encouraged to develop the design of the podium as discussed below.

In my opinion the overall visual appeal of the building is very disappointing, with only the hotel component as a stand out of modern architecture, while the rest is 1970s design that is unbecoming to modernising the boring east of the Fremantle CBD.

Roel Loopers

NEW FREMANTLE CARPARK ALMOST READY

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, parking, Uncategorized by freoview on November 13, 2017

 

 

What a difference a bit of landscaping makes!

The vacant site on the corner of Adelaide and Point streets in Fremantle, destined to become a Hilton Doubletree hotel and ANCORA apartment development, has received some TLC from the City of Fremantle.

The site will become a temporary public carpark next to the multi-storey Point Street carpark, until the SKS Group starts the development in 2019.

There is also a new sales office for the residential apartments, which is open on weekends, so go and have a look.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE KULCHA SPACE FOR LEASE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on November 3, 2017

 

kulcha

 

The former KULCHA art and music venue on the Fremantle Cappuccino Strip is up for lease.

The venue upstairs from the Dome cafe has received an all new universal access at the back with lift, so it is finally accessible to disabled people and seniors in gophers, etc.

 

EMBRACING GOOD URBAN INFILL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 20, 2017

 

The Perth’s Infill Housing Future report by the Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre has warned that the urban sprawl will create extreme infrastructure costs and traffic congestion.

It concluded that Perth is missing the vital medium-density housing options, and that forces people to live on the fringes, where property is more affordable.

There are many people who want to live closer to the centres but the housing options are not available to them, because the urban infill target of 47 per cent set by the WA government has not been met and is only at 35 per cent.

The report says that local councils play a key role in facilitating medium-density development and to help identify the right areas in the inner suburbs.

While Fremantle is getting substantial medium-density infill east of the CBD, there is not much happening further out, but there are very good opportunities at the Heart of Beaconsfield, Hilton centre, the Knutsford Sreet precinct, and North Fremantle’s McGabe Street.

One issue the report identifies is the NIMBY approach to higher density where locals just don’t want anything above four storeys. I believe it is not only that, but the boring and mediocre quality of architecture that we are getting in Fremantle.

More people would embrace medium to high density I believe, if we got more creative and visually appealing buildings, rather than square boxes with a bit of cladding around them.

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

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FREO ENERGY MUSEUM DEVELOPMENT

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on October 9, 2017

 

 

The Match Group has started on the development of the former Fremantle Energy Museum at Parry Street.

The old building will be transformed into a restaurant and other commercial accommodation, while behind it Match will build a multi-storey apartment building which will overlook Fremantle Park.

The plans for the development of the Woolstores shopping centre site by Silverleaf are at the planning department of the City, so the construction of the Adani Hotel, residential apartments and office and retail accommodation should start early next year if all goes to plan.

The Little Lane development on the former Spotlight, now Many 2.0 site in Adelaide Street is advertising its apartments, starting as low as $ 349,000, which seems good value smack bang in the centre of the city.

Freo is going places, so don’t get sucked in by the nay-sayers who constantly talk our great city down. There is an unprecedented development boom in Fremantle that will be a huge boost for our local economy, and that will revitalise our city that has been stagnant for far too long.

There is no doubt that the next four years will be a challenging period for Fremantle, but if we all work together in a positive manner and promote our fantastic Freo lifestyle, we’ll come out of it with an even better and more vibrant city.

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

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WA GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR FREO MAYOR

Posted in city of fremantle, housing, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 1, 2017

 

 

WA Housing Minister Peter Tinley strongly endorsed Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and his council at the Housing and the Future event at the Moores building last night.

Tinley urged people to “Vote for Brad!” saying the success of Fremantle’s urban infill was a fundamental guide for the government to use as an example in W.A.

The Minister said that Fremantle Council has lead the change in the metropolitan area with their strategic planning for revitalisation.

The Housing Minister said it was essential for the government to partner with the private industry to offer a diverse range of housing options, and that Housing was a $ 14.5 billion agency that delivered social outcomes.

Tinley said there was a “structural disconnect with affordability” and that 44 per cent of four-bedroom homes have just a single occupant. He said it was important for future planning to consider what the built form contributed to the community.

REIWA President Hayden Groves surprisingly expressed that the urban sprawl was no longer sustainable and said real estate transactions had dropped from 71,000 in 2006 to only 31,000 last year.

He said REIWA was trying to create greater revenue resources for the government through property, and that the bottom of the cycle was here and the real estate market was more stable.

Affordability was a problem, Groves said, with low income earners priced out of the market. The private property sector also needed  to take responsibility for that, not just governments.

The REIWA President said that changes to negative gearing were a problem because it removed the incentives for investors.

Government support for first home buyers needed to be adapted as it supported the urban sprawl, Groves claimed, and that Labor’s Metronet was a fabulous policy.

It is important to offer affordable rent, as well as affordable housing and the Fremantle WGV and Nightingale developments were great.

Mayor Brad Pettitt, introduced as Dad by the MC, said Fremantle Council was passionate about housing, but it was hard for young people to live in the city. It was important to match up people through diversity and affordability and getting the mix right.

He said inner city residents were estimated to increase by 40 per cent by 2070. At present only 721 people live in the CBD. “Fremantle’s problem is that there are not enough people here.” But we are on the cusp of being a more vibrant city with more people living here, Pettitt told the crowd of developers, architects, politicians and real estate agents.

During the Q&A Minister Peter Tinley said that properties were only affordable once-the first time-after that they returned to the market and often become unaffordable.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said that stamp duty was a disincentive to downgrade for older people, and that the State Government should reward those councils who are doing infill, through investment in their infrastructure.

Pettitt said it could be frustrating for local governments to deal with the State, and it had taken 18 months to get a Planning Scheme Amendment approved.

Peter Tinley said that Metronet was the centrepiece of WA’s infrastructure and housing and transport were working together in steering committees. We need to know who the people are who are going to live near near train stations and public transport hubs, because it is all about the communities we create, not just about living in concrete boxes.

In reply to a question from the floor it was disappointing to feel that housing for people with a disability appears to have been put in the hard basket. Accessibility and adaptability were real challenges, the Minister said.

I was surprised to hear that one in five people in WA have a disability. That is not a minority group, so governments need to do a whole lot better to cater for them!

REIWA President Hayden Groves said he is trying to change REIWA’s thinking, as they felt threatened by urban infill up to now, but that was changing as the urban infill was not sustainable and cost too much in infrastructure. It was important for the governments to give incentives for people who wanted to down-size, or right-size as it is now called.

Housing and the Future was a good begin of a very important dialogue we need to have. I believe a more substantial forum on housing should be initiated after all the election hype is over.

 

Roel Loopers

 

 

 

THE FUTURE OF HOUSING FREO FORUM

Posted in city of fremantle, housing, Uncategorized by freoview on August 29, 2017

There is an interesting forum Housing and the Future
 on at the Fremantle Moore&Moore cafe in Henry Street this Thursday August 31 at 5.30 pm.

The diversity and affordability of housing is something that needs to be revisited by state and local governments, and the way the government supplies social housing as well, so this will be a good forum to participate in.

The forum features WA Minister Peter Tinley, the Member for Willagee,  Hayden Groves, President of the Real Estate Institute of WA, and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

Tickets are $ 50.00. Finger food, beer, wine and soft drink included.

Click on the link below for more info.

https://bradforfreo.tidyhq.com/public/schedule/events/15525-housing-and-the-future

 

Roel Loopers

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