Freo's View


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 8, 2018


South Street


Councillors believed there was a lot to like about this quite intriguing design for the development of the eyesore site on the corner of South Street and Hampton Road in South Fremantle, but it was just a little bit too much for the Planning Committee of Fremantle Council, so they deferred their decision in the hope that Hillam Architects will be able to reduce the height and plot ratio of the building.

Councillors agreed that there was a lot to like about the application but it was above the R80 code for the area and that was not acceptable to them.

I must admit I sometimes don’t understand how planning and R Codes work and why Fremantle Council supports second dwellings and tiny houses on relatively small blocks, but why an excellent modern design like this along Hampton Road is not allowed to push the envelope just a little bit, when just before Councillors approved a fifth storey on a four-storey site at Henderson Street.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, local government, parking, real estate, Uncategorized by freoview on March 1, 2018


Residents of the Warders Cottages in the Henderson Street mall got their application for special parking permits approved by Fremantle Council last night, but I am not sure they will be totally happy with it.

Council decided to approve one permit per residency at 50% of the prescribed parking rate in any of the City of Fremantle owned carparks, so about $ 1,600 per annum.

It does however not supply a reserved bay in a specific carpark and that means that especially on busy weekends the Henderson Street residents will have to take pot luck and hope to find a  car bay near their home, or they might have to park as far away from their home as the Italian Club or Roundhouse carparks.

Councillors and officers were very aware not to set a precedent for future high density buildings and the present Local Law states that residential parking permits do not apply for buildings with more than nine residential units.

Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, lifestyle, living, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on February 26, 2018


The issues Fremantle faces with urban infill, demanded by the State Government, are not unique to our city as an editorial by POST community newspapers editor Brett Christian shows.

Claremont residents are up in arms against proposed high density near the Loch Street train station. Christian writes “Distress in voices heard in the council chamber revealed the anxiety felt by home owners selected for high density infill.”

“These are real people with real fears who cannot be dismissed as being NIMBYs.”

Brett Christian says that the WA Government is keen to forcibly cram more housing units around transport hubs, which leads to permanent changes in the lifestyle.

The editor writes that Government planners naively believe that new residents will abandon their cars and use public transport when evidence proves the opposite.

Let me note here that public transport use in Perth has dramatically decreased over the last years and that only a very small percentage of those living within a ten minute walk from a railway station do use the train to work, according to government figures.

Christian rightly laments that local councils are being caught in the middle of the infill mess created by the state.

In Fremantle we are getting more and more inappropriate and unacceptable high rise development that will change the unique character of our city forever.

Yes, we need more people living, working and staying here to boost our local economy, but any development needs to show sincere consideration for the heritage, streetscapes and amenity, and that is not happening.

Fremantle Council has done well to encourage substantial development but it now needs to scale back and stop approving mediocre architecture in our inner city.

Tell developers and architects that if building proposals are not exceptional and great they are not good enough for Freo!

Roel Loopers




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




Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, property, real estate, Uncategorized by freoview on February 18, 2018



Preparations are now under way for the three storey residential and commercial M/28 development on the corner of South Terrace and Charles Street.

The new building developed by the MATCH group will be opposite the The Local hotel in South Fremantle and will add to the vibrancy of South Freo.


Roel Loopers


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




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


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



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


Posted in city of fremantle, development, local government, nature, Uncategorized by freoview on January 9, 2018


The substantial residential development that is happening, and is planned for, the east of the Fremantle CBD requires that developers and the City of Fremantle create new green public spaces and amenity for those who are coming to live in the high-density buildings.

Heirloom and LIV residents have very little green space to enjoy with Fremantle Park basically being a sports ground for the Christian Brothers students and sporting clubs. It offers very little in form of seating, shade structures or BBQs. The same applies to the nearby Princess May Park that is a large lawns to kick the footy or play cricket, but lacks seats and shade.

Fremantle Council does have a masterplan for Princess May, but that seems to be on the back burner until/if the Hilton Hotel development next to it is completed.

Then there is the uninspiring Pioneer Park opposite the railway station that also lacks amenity, shade, a playground and good seating, and there are a couple of small pockets of green on the corner of Parry and High Street.

The most inviting green ambience for apartment dwellers at LIV and Heirloom is the courtyard at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

While there is a Green Plan for Fremantle and the policy to increase the tree canopy, there are no plans I am aware off for new green spaces in or near the CBD.

The large carpark, or a part off it, at the East Street Jetty offers the opportunity for a new green space with river connections and harbour views.  It is the only opportunity in Fremantle south of the river to connect with the mighty Swan, as Fremantle Port has stopped the connection from the city with the water front.

There are plans for the massive development of the Woolstores shopping centre site and an eight-storey residential building on the former Spotlight site next to Target, and a four-storey residential building at the former Energy Museum site. All those people will want to connect with nature and Fremantle is not offering them very much at all.

Developers should be urged to create green internal courtyard spaces for residents, and even the Westgate Mall could be turned into a green space when the Little Laneway development is happening.

Freo’s Green council needs to do a lot more to green our city!


Roel Loopers



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



The Fremantle LIV apartments built by Defence Housing along Queen Victoria and Quarry streets have reached the highest point of the building.

The development should be completed in just over 12 months and will provide a lot of new residential apartments in the inner city.

It is an utter shame that the architecture could and should have been so much better, and that the massive building could have been a inspiring entry statement to our port city.

Boring buildings are not very Freo at all!

It is time the City of Fremantle organised a forum with architects, city planners, the community, etc. to see how we can put better planning rules in place that will ensure better architecture in our city.


Roel Loopers


Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on October 12, 2017


a 4


New signs of things to come in central Fremantle with the SKS Group finally putting a sales office on the corner of Adelaide and Point streets for the ANCORA, the Freo Way of Life planned residential and Hilton Hotel development.

I was surprised and a bit worried to note that there is no reference on the signs to the Hilton Doubletree hotel that is supposed to be part of the development.

It is just up the road from the Little Lane planned development on the former Spotlight, now MANY 2.0 site, and will be opposite the planned new Woolstores shopping centre mixed-use development of commercial, residential and hotel.

ANCORA offers one-bedroom apartments from $ 349,00, two-bedroom from $ 520,000 and three-bedroom from $ 725,000. The sales office will be open on weekends and development is planned to start in early 2020.

The run-down area between Cantonment and Adelaide streets from Queen Street to Princess May Park is in urgent need of modernisation, but unfortunately the boring architecture of the planned buildings is very disappointing and a worry.


Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!


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