I had a look at why the WA Planning Commission rejected the Sunset Events proposal for a tavern and live music venue at J Shed at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach and found it quite puzzling why neither the City of Fremantle nor the State Heritage Office did see these issues and approved the tavern at Arthur Head.
Here part of the ruling by the Statutory Planning Committee from their meeting of August 23, 2016.
1. The proposed application does not comply with the requirements of the Clause 30 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 proposal does not provide sufficient on- site car parking;
3. The proposed application does not comply with the 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 of the proposal is 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;
4. The proposed application does not comply with the requirements of Development Control Policy 5.3 – Use of Land Reserved for Parks and Recreation and Regional Open Space as it is not identified there being a community need for the proposed facility in the proposed location and the proposal is not consistent with existing or proposed land use and management plans;
5. The proposal is inconsistent with clause 4.1.2 (b) of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF14 – Fremantle West End Conservation Area Policy as the proposal does not demonstrate a low key use and is not compatible with the ethos of the area;
6. The proposal is inconsistent with clause 3.4 of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF26 – Planning Policy for the West End of Victoria Quay as the proposed land uses are not compatible with the primary or ancillary land uses desired for the locality;
7. The proposal is inconsistent with objectives 3.1 and 3.2 of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF5 – Arthur Head Reserve Strategy Plan as the proposal is not a low profile commercial uses of J-Shed reflective of and is not compatible with the history and maritime themes of Arthur Head and the foreshore;
8. The proposal is inconsistent with Clause 2 of the City of Fremantle’s Local Planning Policy DGF6 – Arthur Head – (West End of High Street, Fremantle) as the proposal is overloading the vicinity with proposed developments;..
Subiaco Councillor Julie Matheson, who has announced she will be standing as an independent for the seat of Fremantle at the March 2017 State election, wants Fremantle Council to introduce a cash for height scheme similar to that at North Sydney Council.
Additional discretionary heights would only be approved if the developers make a contribution to a community asset, such as the restoration of old buildings or improving the tree canopy, etc.
Matheson complained in an email to me that the extra height granted by the DAP for the proposed building on the former Spotlight site at 52 Adelaide street does not benefit the community.
I believe this is a good idea as long as the contribution is so significant that I might help deter developers from applying for additional height.
The eight storey building proposed for the location is mediocre and will not greatly enhance the area and that is what concerns me personally more than the height of the building. We are getting too many ugly big new buildings in Fremantle instead of the heritage of the future we would be more willing to accept.
Colin Barnett remains the leader of the WA Liberal Party and Premier of the state after a spill motion was defeated and Barnett received 31 votes and challenger Dean Nalder only got 15 votes.
I hope Nalder will now try to reduce his ego and drastically improve his skills at being a politician.
Interesting to hear that Tony Simpson, Minister for Local Government, resigned from WA Parliament today, citing lack of leadership and policy.
This is the minister who properly messed up the local government reform and left local councils with tens of thousands of dollars in costs.
Councils wasted a year and a half on getting legal and other advise on amalgamations and boundary reform, and attended dozens of meetings, but at the end it came to nothing because the minister and his Premier were too gutless to see it through.
It is disappointing to read in the Fremantle Herald today that the Fremantle Society continues to oppose higher density and multi-storey buildings in the east of the CBD.
FS President John Dowson’s letter in the Chook is talking about human scale and against super high density housing, when he opposes the building proposed for the former Spotlight site at the Westgate Mall.
Dowson teaches us a bit of history of the area and it is nice to know that the paving leading into the Westgate Mall was taken in 1968 from the Point Street car park.
I have written about the eight-storey building before and believe it is ugly and should be rejected because of that, not because of its height.
Fact is the Point Street car park will be demolished and the Hilton Doubletree hotel built there. From memory that building will be six-storey high at Princess May Park and seven storey at Point Street, so it will step up just one storey to the proposed development a hundred metres away.
The east of the CBD has been a terrible eyesore for far too many years and has created an unsafe environment where people don’t even dare to wait for the bus, so improvement of the area is badly-needed and very welcome.
An eight-storey building is not highrise and the development of the Woolstores shopping centre site near it can go up to 11 storey under Planning Scheme Amendment 39. I was against the heights of PSA 49 as I believe the Woolstores and Gas&Coke sites should only go up to seven storey and only if exceptional architecture is offered should those sites be developed to up to nine storeys, but never higher than that! Sadly we lost that battle years ago and that can’t be reversed now.
We need to fight development battles in Fremantle on design quality and the insistence of heritage protection without compromise, not just on hight.
The Barnett Government demands higher density and infill from all metropolitan councils and it will take over if they don’t comply, so we are better off having our own Elected Members make those decisions. But those can still be overruled by the state’s Development Assessment Panels, as they did with the proposal for the ugly building next to St Patrick’s and the Fremantle Hotel. Freo Council refused the development application but the DAP approved it.
No matter how often the Fremantle Society baulks at change in Fremantle it will happen, because change is inevitable. What we need to do is insist on good change, not the mediocrity we are getting at the moment.
I believe planning changes need to be made at state level to insist on better quality and more creative buildings that suit the streetscape. If new buildings are truly outstanding medium height won’t be an issue.
W.A. Planning Minister Donna Faragher’s statement that higher density is needed near train stations is not up to the high standards we expect of a Minister. Making broad sweeping statements is plain wrong and surely the state government in collaboration with local councils needs to find the best suitable areas near public transport to increase density and infill, instead of demanding higher density near all train stations.
Older unique character suburbs like Fremantle, Claremont and Subiaco, etc. would be destroyed if we just planted highrise buildings close to the train stations, while in other newer suburbs high density might actually improve the amenity.
Governments have this strange attitude that change needs to happen everywhere instead of targeting suitable suburbs for higher density living. It would also help if the state actually supported local councils which want to increase infill by improving public transport corridors and not just along the railway line where most older suburbs are.
I received the information below from the Committee for Perth today and since infill and higher density is very relevant to Fremantle I copy it below:
Lunch Learnings: Densifying the Suburbs
At the latest Committee for Perth’s Perth in Focus luncheon, Densifying the Suburbs, Planning Minister the Hon. Donna Faragher opened the event by talking about the soon-to-be released Design WA report.
The Minister said the report would ensure that good design was also cost effective, functional, liveable, vibrant and sustainable and that design review panels would be standardised and prioritised to support DAPs.
Emma Booth, Team Leader Design at North Sydney Council, explained how the council had an on-again, off-again love affair with density since the 1950’s. The council is now focused on creating 12,000-14,000 new residences and 10,000 new jobs by 2031. To achieve this, they spent three years preparing and implementing a design strategy.
The key findings from the strategy are:
Start by mapping urban renewal opportunities.
Do density once and do it well.
Measure the financial uplift of density and capture part of the value to deliver amenity that benefits the community.
Good design is achieved through a design process not a static plan.
Densifying the suburbs also means densifying the land use mix.
There is no point increasing density around train stations without decreasing car use.
Density must be supported by commensurate public benefits.
Value capture is possible with an endorsed strategy.
Keynote speaker, Associate Professor Julian Bolleter, from the Australian Urban Design Research Centre at The University of Western Australia spoke about the findings in his book ‘Scavenging the Suburbs: Auditing Perth for 1 Million Infill Dwellings’.
The book examined how many infill homes could be created by better utilising land around Perth.
Associate Professor Bolleter’s provocative views are that Perth could infill more and contain sprawl if:
Each person in Perth only had 75m2 of garden space instead of the current 132m2 it would create 115,000 infill dwellings.
50% of publicly owned carparks had homes built above them and carparks below it would create 203,000 dwellings.
Freeway reserves were reduced, 50,000 new homes could be created.
10% of light industrial areas were developed for housing it would create 95,434 affordable homes.
The amount of public park space was reduced from 40m2 to 28m2 per person 144,000 homes.
Golf courses were reduced to 9 holes it would yield 86,000 homes.
10% of the foreshore was used for development it would create 62,000 dwellings.
While admitting it was controversial, Assistant Professor Bolleter said that if all of the recommendations were followed it would create 913,879 dwellings, obviate the need for 97 masterplanned communities the size of Ellenbrook and no greenfield homes would need to be built in Perth until 2036.