Freo's View

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.

 

ILLEGAL FREMANTLE PEDESTRIAN ACCESS CLOSURE

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, community, local government, pedestrians, Uncategorized by freoview on December 29, 2018

 

 

The City of Fremantle has not received permission from the WA Planning Commission to close the Pedestrian Access Way-PAW between Kellow Place and Swanbourne Street, but the PAW has remained closed, disregarding the WAPC’s direction.

Fremantle Council decided on July 26 last year to grant a temporary trial closure of one year after an application had been made for the closure on December 1, 2014.

The My Say Freo residents’ survey resulted in two submissions by local residents presented to Council, one to re-open the PAW with 22 signatures and one to keep the PAW closed with 13 signatures, but in October this year Fremantle Council decided to keep the PAW closed anyway, despite the directive from the WAPC, and asked officers to start negotiating with the state agency to see if they would change their opinion.

Local residents who are for keeping the PAW open received a letter from David Caddy, the Chair of the WAPC, dated November 21, 2018, which states that “……insufficient evidence exists at this point in time to warrant the closure. The proposed closure is not supported.”

David Caddy also wrote “Should the City of Fremantle decide to proceed with the closure and seek revised recommendation from the WAPC, then further justification will need to be provided to support the City’s position.”

Residents who want the PAW open rightly ask why the City of Fremantle keeps the PAW closed although it has not received permission to do so, which means the PAW has now been illegally closed for pedestrian access since the trial period finished six months ago.

One of the property owners who applied for the PAW closure has extended his brush fence across the entries to the PAW.

Roel Loopers

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WE DEMAND OUR SAY IN CITY PLANNING!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, Uncategorized by freoview on November 17, 2018

 

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This letter to the editors of the West Australian by Ian Kerr of Mt Lawley makes so many valid points about the failures of our planning process that it deserves to be spread around, so that more people can read it and comment on it.

The rights of local communities to have a proper say on city planning have been eroded over the years by giving more power to the Joint Development Assessment Panels(JDAP), SAT and the WA Planning Commission, which often overrule local council decisions and approve inappropriate high and bulky buildings in character suburbs.

Main Roads is all about moving vehicles, with often scant regard for pedestrians and other road users, and JDAP is all about building bigger buildings and higher density, and not about amenity and aesthetics. That needs to change.

Great letter, Ian Kerr! Keep up the good fight!

Roel Loopers

 

URBAN INFILL DEMANDS NOISE PROTECTION MEASURES

 

One of only two agenda items for the Strategic Planning and Transport Committee on Wednesday will be the community consultation paper put out by the WA Planning Commission-WAPC about noise in entertainment areas such as Northbridge, and the question if Fremantle Council should consider asking the WAPC to include the Fremantle CBD in the trial.

Medium and high density urban infill has seen a rise in complaints in recent years from residents who are not happy with the noise from entertainment venues and transport, but the entertainment industry believes it is not fair that the onus should only be on them and that it should be shared with developers of new residential buildings, which should be required to put better noise insulation measures, such as double glazing and thicker glass in their developments.

I remember many years ago that when the new apartments opposite Clancy’s were built that it only took one week before the first complaint was made about live music there, although the tavern had been having regular live concerts for many many years.

In Fremantle where we are going to see a glut of new residential apartments and hotel rooms, combined with new taverns and bars, it is essential to also protect the livelihood of the hospitality industry and demand new buildings that have better noise protection for their users.

Roel Loopers

KELLOW PLACE LANEWAY TO BE RE-OPENED

Posted in city of fremantle, community, living, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 9, 2018

 

Good news for those residents of Kellow Place and Bolton Place who did not want the closure of the laneway that runs from Swanbourne Street to Kellow Place.

The WA Planning Commission has rejected the closure and ordered that the City of Fremantle re-open the little lane that was often used as a short cut to Stevens Reserve.

Roel Loopers

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HERITAGE GUIDES MISREPRESENTED AT PLANNING COMMITTEE

Posted in arthur head, bathers beach, city of fremantle, heritage, j shed, roundhouse, Uncategorized by freoview on September 5, 2018

 

A disturbing fact turned up in the minutes of the most recent WA Statutory Planning Committee, that dealt with the application for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach.

It is recorded in the minutes and clear that former Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides president Cheryl Greaves misrepresented herself to the state government committee as a spokesperson for the Roundhouse volunteer guides organisation, when she was not authorised to do so.

7.3 Proposed Change of Use to Tavern and Additions to Existing Building at Lot 2051 Fleet Street, Fremantle (J-Shed) (Item 8.5) Presenter: Ms Cheryl Greaves – Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides Association Ms Greaves made a presentation to members on behalf of the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides Association in support of the recommendation by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. Ms Greaves discussed the historic importance of the Arthur Heads Reserve and that it is a dedicated A Class reserve because of its heritage significance and that the nature and scale is not fit for the reserve and the application should be refused.

While the on-line minutes of the WASPC still have to be authorised at the next committee meeting I assume that they are correct.

Current Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides president Frank Duffy confirmed yesterday to me that Ms Greaves had asked for permission to speak on behalf of the volunteer organisation but that request had been refused.

Cheryl Greaves was a very controlling president of the Roundhouse volunteers group and a stickler for rules and regulations when she was in charge. Everything had to be done by the book, so it is astonishing that against the express directions of the present committee she decided to address the WASPC without the authority to do so.

No matter how passionate we all are about protecting Fremantle’s heritage and character, we can not walk around and claim to speak on behalf of an organisation and its members, when all we do is express a personal opinion. It is very bad form, unprofessional and not acceptable.

 

Roel Loopers

 

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D DAY FOR BATHERS BEACH J SHED TAVERN

 

It is D Day for the proposed tavern at J Shed with the development application coming before the WA Statutory Planning Committee today.

The application by Sunset Events is recommended by officers for refusal, so now we have to wait and see if the committee members agree with that.

It has been a very long saga that will hopefully end today, so Fremantle can move on.

Roel Loopers

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J SHED TAVERN RECOMMENDED FOR REFUSAL BY SPC

 

The WA Statutory Planning Committee will next week on August 28 debate the application by Sunset Events for a tavern at J Shed at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach.

Contrary to Fremantle Council the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage ‘Considers the current application has not fully addressed the SPC’s reasons for refusing the previous application and it is therefore recommended that the application be refused’

I believed from the start that the SPC would not change their mind that a tavern is inappropriate use of the A Class Reserve at historic Arthur’s Head, and that in this case size would not matter, so reducing the number of patrons would have no impact on the decision.

If the committee agrees with the refusal recommendation Fremantle Council urgently needs to go back and revisit the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct, as it is not working in its present form.

Roel Loopers

 

 

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TIME TO HAVE A SUNSET ON TAVERN PROPOSAL

 

 

The Sunset Events proposal for a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach will go to Ordinary Council-hopefully for the very last time!-this Wednesday and it could be a close call.

Deputy Mayor Ingrid Waltham, who is against the tavern, is on holiday and Councillors Rachel Pemberton and Sam Wainwright will declare a conflict of interest, so these three won’t be voting.

If there are no other apologies there will be ten elected members who will vote on the item.

It is likely that Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillors Dave Hume, Adin Lang, Andrew Sullivan and Hannah Fitzhardinge will vote for the tavern, while Councillors Jeff McDonald, Bryn Jones and Jenny Archibald will probably vote against it. How Jon Strachan and Doug Thompson will vote would be a guess, but if they vote against the proposal the casting vote of the Mayor would get it over the line for recommending it for approval by the WAPC.

But the deciding authority is the WA Planning Committee, which rejected the previous proposal because a tavern was inappropriate use of the A Class reserve at historic Arthur’s Head. Will they change their opinion just because the number of patrons and the outdoor footprint has been reduced?

Whatever the outcome it is time to move on and have a long term Masterplan for the area.

Roel Loopers

UPDATE! I have been advised that Councillor Jon Strachan is also an apology so that will make the voting by only 9 elected members very interesting.

IT’S D DAY FOR KIDOGO DECK

Posted in bathers beach, fremantle, heritage, kidogo arthouse by freoview on November 6, 2016

 

This coming Wednesday is deck decision day for Kidogo Arthouse when the State Administrative Tribunal will decide if the unauthorised large timber deck at the heritage-listed building on Fremantle’s Bathers Beach will have to be dismantled or if it overrules the Western Australian Planning Commission’s decision and allow it to remain.

It is a real shame Kidogo owner Joanna Robinson did not follow proper planning procedure and decided to build the deck without planning approval as she had received approval to build a small toilet block in that location.

Joanna has a great positive can-do attitude and creativity and her occasional Kelp Bar has been a big success with locals and tourists, but it appears that this time she broke the rules.

I hope some sort of compromise can be reached as it cost over $ 30,000 to build the deck, and it will cost a lot of money to dismantle it, but one cannot ignore planning rules, especially at such a significant historic location, and Joanna Robinson should have known better than just go ahead without approval from the State Heritage Office and City of Fremantle. Maybe a smaller deck is acceptable to the heritage people?

Roel Loopers

 

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