Freo's View

THE IMPACT OF FREMANTLE PLACEMAKING

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 13, 2017

 

There were so many posts on Twitter yesterday about placemaking, that I contemplated overnight what the modern buzzword actually means in the context of local government and a small city like Fremantle.

Placemaking should not be about beautifying small pockets of the city, but should be about awareness of the whole and the reality that everything we do impacts on others, either positively or negatively. That really is the big challenge for local government to deal with.

An event will please many thousands of people, but can negatively impact on local residents or traders, as there will be noise, parking and traffic problems, so while it pleases some it upsets others.

At planning meetings we constantly hear people opposing development next to where they live, with claims of loss of privacy, overshadowing, etc. so whichever way council decide it will upset one of the parties.

Traffic-calming in South Fremantle might please most locals, but it could alter the flow of traffic to the CBD and have a negative impact on traders there. What is the right placemaking decision?

Placemaking is about wholeness, and making good choices for the common good, even if that upsets those with a NIMBY attitude. It requires courage of councillors to make the ‘right’ decisions, because the decisions they’ll make will never be right for everyone in the community. That’s the nature of us human beings that we never all agree on everything.

When I hear election candidates naively state that they will do what the community want, my immediate question is which part of the community do they mean, because there will be opposing views in the community. Councillors will have to vote one way or the other, displeasing those who are opposed to it.

It comes down to how much, and how negatively or how positively decisions we make in life impact on others. Loud parties, noise, dog barking, anti-social behaviour, where we park our car in the street we live, etc. it all impacts on others. So to make the right decisions we need to be considerate and constantly aware that our great personal lifestyle might not be considered so great by our neighbours.

What might be a good event that benefits local traders, could well have a negative impact on those who live nearby, and events can also be detrimental for local traders, so how do we find the right balance of placemaking in local government?

The Australian Hotel Association claimed in a survey they sent to local government election candidates that pop-ups negatively impact on their members, but surely that statement is not true for all pop-up events and for all pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars around Fremantle, because many of them benefit from events, even from markets, as they attract many more people to the area than would normally visit.

Should we embrace multi-storey development in the inner city to boost the local economy, or should we preserve the human-scale character of place, even in the run down east of the CBD that looks desolate and uninviting? What is the right placemaking and balance? You will hear very opposing views about that in the community.

Placemaking for me is about being extremely sensitive and understanding that there is no way in the world we can please everyone, and it is about not being selfish, and learning to acknowledge that the common good has priority over individual needs.

I know that it very difficult to accept when it impacts on one’s own life or business, but it is the only way good placemaking can become good governance, and hopefully council can take the majority of the community with them on the very challenging and delicate journey of progress, revitalisation and modernisation.

It is easy to understand that being a local councillor can be a very thankless task, so one has to admire all who nominated for this election.

VOTE to show you care about your community!

 

Roel Loopers

Vote Roel for City Ward!

KIDOGO DECK REJECTED BY WA PLANNING COMMISSION

Posted in art, bathers beach, culture, fremantle, heritage, western australia by freoview on July 19, 2016

kidogo deck

 

The Statutory Planning Committee of the Western Australian Planning Commission on June 28 rejected the application by Fremantle’s Kidogo Arthouse at Bathers Beach for retrospective approval for an Addition of Deck to Existing Heritage Building.

This from the minutes of the meeting:

File 05-50134-5

That the Statutory Planning Committee resolves to:

1. Refuse the application for retrospective approval for development in accordance with the plans submitted thereto for the following reasons:

a. The size and scale of the timber deck visually dominates a heritage building and place and thus detracts from its heritage and cultural significance and is contrary to

State Planning Policy 3.5 – Historic Heritage Conservation.

b. The design and detail of the timber deck is inappropriate to the early colonial setting of the heritage place and is inconsistent with the Conservation Plan for this heritage place.

c. Development is contrary to the orderly and proper planning and detrimental to the amenity of the locality.

2. Give written direction to the applicant, pursuant to section 214(3) of the Planning and Development Act, 2005, to:

 

a. Remove the development of the timber deck extension to existing heritage building – Kidogo Arthouse; and

b. Reinstate the land as nearly as racticable to its condition immediately before the development started; or

c. Alter the development in accordance with the approval to commence development issued 30 July 2015 (Ref: 05-50134-4).

This direction is to be complied with by 31 October 2016, being not less than 60 days of the date shown on the notice of refusal.

3. Advise the applicant that, pursuant to section 214(7) of the Planning and Development Act, 2005, failure to comply with this direction within the time specified, is to commit an offence.

The motion was put and carried.

I hear that Kidogo owner Joanna Robinson now wants to take the matter to the State Administrative Tribunal.

This has been an interesting saga, as the Kidogo owner tried for years to get approval from Fremantle Council to build toilets at the southern side of the heritage building and finally received approval to build a small toilet block on the norther side. Instead of going ahead with the toilets she changed her mind and built the huge deck without the necessary approval.

If Kidogo does not get approval from SAT it will have been a very costly exercise as the deck cost $ 30,000 to build I believe and removing it won’t be cheap either.

Roel Loopers

PARKLETS MAKE FREO CBD PARKLESS.

Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, parking by freoview on March 18, 2016

parklet

 

The Fremantle CBD has another parklet in Pakenham Street, that makes it the third parklet in that street and the removal of six parking bays. The well-built parklet by Scapes Unlimited is at the Fremantle Backpackers.

Just down the road a new one was installed at the Natural Light cafe and Bread in Common has had one since opening. Together with the parklet in High Street at Lapa, that is rarely used by diners, alfresco dining parklets have removed eight bays from the West End and retailers are not at all happy about it.

Roel Loopers

HOW THE FREO WEST WILL BE WON

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on October 9, 2015

Interesting to hear today that there are plans to make the upstairs of the Fremantle Orient Hotel on the corner of High and Henry streets into a backpackers for up to 300 people. I am sure the struggling pub downstairs would be pretty delighted about the idea as it would automatically become the home base for all those international visitors.

I find the debate on how to revitalise the West End quite fascinating but also disappointing. Some people come up with the same boring ageist rubbish that it is just nay-saying oldies against young ideas and everything and anything to stop the progress of Fremantle, but that is certainly not true for me personally.

Wanting better quality of entertainment and better quality and creative design of new buildings is not a negative but is a positive contribution to trying to make Fremantle a more vibrant and modern place that compliments the heritage character of our city.

I am not against progress and change. I enjoy change that’s why I migrated twice and why I lived in three different countries for long periods. I have also moved around Fremantle quite a bit and lived in different parts of the city.

But change needs to be good and should not be about accepting everything just because it is new. Change needs to be considered carefully and it needs to address the impact it has on everyone from residents and businesses to visitors to Freo. Good change is great while bad change is often just putting a plaster on something to hide its deficiencies.

Change is not a fight between oldies and youngies, but is a battle for the very best outcome for our city. Disrespectfully dismissing the opinion of older people in our fast ageing society is narrow-minded and pretty stupid really.

I have a lot of contact with younger people. I like it that we are different but also very similar no matter what the age difference is. I treat younger people with the same respect as older ones. I don’t patronse them and I don’t give them the impression that I know everything better. But I do know that because of my life experience I can make a valid, positive and creative contribution to Fremantle because I deeply, genuinely and passionately care about this city and its community!

Roel Loopers

ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.

Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Place, Beaconsfield 6162

FREO TRADERS POSITIVE ABOUT WINTER GARDEN FESTIVAL

Posted in city of fremantle, festival, hospitality, reatil by freoview on August 8, 2015

w 1

A survey by the City of Fremantle of Fremantle traders on the impact of the Winter Garden Festival on the Esplanade during the month of July has been very positive:

74% of respondents believed there were positive flow on effects for the wider business community of Fremantle (48% Agree, 26% Strongly Agree)
80% of respondents said they would want it to return next year, 0% said no, 20% were indifferent.
55% of respondent reported an increase of foot traffic in their store (18.5% no change)
44% said they had an increase on trading from last year same school holidays (25% no change)

There is no doubt thousands of people flocked to the festival and it would be nice to see the figures on how many people bought tickets for the icerink and for the big slide. It would also be good to see a survey of the food stalls to find out if it was a financial success for them as well.

I liked the Winter Garden festival but would love to see some real snow there and the lay-out should be changed to make it more cohesive. The food stalls were too far away and the events at the teepee should have been to the south of the icerink closer to the slide.

I hear the City is considering putting the Winter Garden in the carpark near the Youth Plaza next year because of problems with flooding of the area where the festival was held this year.

Roel Loopers

MORE BICYCLE HIRE FOR FREMANTLE VISITORS

Posted in bicycles, fremantle by freoview on June 10, 2015

bike hire

The bicycle hire company that already opened up at the Fremantle Esplanade Hotel this morning installed another outlet at SWEETLIPS in the Fishing Boat Harbour and a third one will be put next to Cicerello’s soon.

There is also the City of Fremantle bike hire at the Kings Square Visitor Centre and E-Shed Markets, so bike hire is on the up in Freo.

Roel Loopers

DELIGHTFUL CAPTAIN’S LANE SUMMER FEST

Posted in bathers beach art precinct, fremantle by freoview on February 28, 2015

Well done to the Captain’s Lane artists at the Bathers Beach Art Precinct on Fremantle’s historic Arthur Head for creating such a great atmosphere at the first CAPTAIN’S LANE SUMMER FEST on Saturday evening.

The lane had been transformed into an art market and the studios and galleries were open, while the Junkadelic, The BIZ, Miss Mary and Co and Latin dancers entertained the appreciative crowd.

There is another Captain’s Lane Summer Fest in a fortnight, so book it in!

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on DELIGHTFUL CAPTAIN’S LANE SUMMER FEST

HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle, photography by freoview on December 31, 2014

The best way for me to express my love for Fremantle is in photos, so I went through my files to create this Happy New Year photo essay for you all.

May we have learned a few important lessons from 2014 and try not to make the same mistakes. May selfishness be replaced with empathy, judgment with tolerance, and may love replace violence.

HAVE A GREAT 2015!

Roel Loopers

PROMISING VICTORIA QUAY DEVELOPMENT PLANS

Posted in aboriginal, fremantle, fremantle ports, victoria quay by freoview on October 9, 2014

The City of Fremantle Special Projects Committee had a first discussion about the just released plans for Victoria Quay by Fremantle Ports. My first impression is that the Ports have listened and taken all the community workshops input into account and the plans are so much better than the two ugly ING boxes proposed years ago that were abandoned due to public pressure.

What we now see is a series of low 4-5 storey buildings with just one higher 10-12 storey building east of Queens Street.

This is an integrated plan and a lot about connectivity between the CBD and the waterfront, with a shift of the busport to the east and a new entry from Queens Street.

There would also be a new railway crossing at Pakenham Street, and Peter Huges Drive in the Port, north of the railway line, would be extended all the way to Cliff Street, which would be an alternative east-west connection to Phillimore Street.

I think these are sensible and acceptable plans that  still require detailed fine-tuning and consideration, but as an overall concept they are positive for Fremantle and to activate Victoria Quay, so well done to Fremantle Ports and consultants CODA for listening so well to the community and all the stakeholders.

On behalf of the Fremantle Society I spoke yesterday against the proposal for a substantial building on Pioneer Park along Short and Pakenham streets and warned that we can not afford to lose more green open space in the inner city, even more so because new development will see many more people using the CBD and they will need green lingering nodes and places for people to relax and children to play.

I pointed out that the City’s desire to activate the reserve was partly to blame on them because they have done little to make the park attractive. For example why is there not a playground near the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre that attracts a lot of kids?

But thinking about it this morning I thought I could envisage a row of 2-3 storey residential townhouses along Short Street being quite attractive and taking up only a small percentage of the green space.

I believe that the City of Fremantle in general needs to better plan public and green spaces, as they do at Subi Centro in Subiaco where the Carter Lane precinct is being promoted as “Green Spaces Galore” and being a “distinctive feature of the precinct.”

There is a bit of ambiguity in the statement that Victoria Quay would have retail that does not undermine retail in the CBD. How is that going to work? The area is designed as a commercial/retail/tourism precinct so that would have cafes, bars and restaurants which would no doubt compete with those along the Cappuccino Strip and elsewhere in the inner city. It’s a silly notion really to believe a new waterfront destination will not attract people away from the CBD. Of course it will, but that is just the way the world works and CBD traders will have to counter act that.

Concerns were raised that there is the opportunity for building heights to go up if they have excellence in design, but that no limit has been set on the additional discretionary height. That is not acceptable and needs to be addressed, and there needs to be a Design Advisory Committee appointed for that and not been left to the discretion of Fremantle Ports.

The idea raised by some Councillors that there could be a “development authority’ for implementing the VQ development is not a bad one as it would bring cohesion to it and deal easier with stakeholders like the Public Transport Authority. This would also take care about a possibility that only the commercially most viable buildings would be built but the public realm neglected.

I am not sure why there would be the need for weather proof access to the train station from the Post Office in Market Street, as Councillor Sullivan keeps talking about. It sounds a bit too much to me as those ugly passage ways they build between school buildings and I can’t see any need for that in a city environment. All over the world one crosses station forecourt squares without being protected from the rain or sun, so why Fremantle needs to have something like it, that will be a visual barrier at Market Street, and needs to be high enough to accommodate buses and trucks, is not something I support. It is a walk that takes two minutes so why we would need protection from the rain and sun I do not understand.

The timeframe and implementation of the plans are crucial I believe. Ideally we would not want VQ commercial office space to compete with that being built at Kings Square, so hopefully Sirona Capital will get a head start and pre-lease the Myer and Queensgate buildings soon and can get started on the development there that is most essential for the re-activation of the inner city.

I am worried about Freo’s short-term future but excited about the long-term one. The modernisation and revitalisation of our city is essential to retain the State’s second city status and it is crucial for our local economy and traders. The entire development of Fremantle though needs to be handled sensitively and the authorities need to insist on high quality and well designed new buildings. Boring bland concret boxes will not do and have to be rejected vehemently.

Roel Loopers

NEW PORT SIGN NOT MUCH BETTER

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports by freoview on October 7, 2014

VQ sign

It is good to see that Fremantle Ports is doing what the City of Fremantle is not too good at; putting way-finding signs up, but unfortunately the typeface on the new sign at the Cliff Street roundabout is too small and not bold enough and that makes it very hard to read for people who come driving around the corner.

Cars often stop because they don’t know the way to Victoria Quay and the Rottnest ferry terminal and that is rather dangerous.

Didn’t they test the sign before going ahead with it? Unlikely.

Roel Loopers

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