Woolstores Site Demands Better Solution

Council Supports More Mediocrity in World Famous Town

The negativity towards our heritage and inherited architecture by the mayor and council has got to stop. The latest iteration of the woolstores development is an example. The mayor claims it is the ‘best yet’,  before it even reaches the planning committee.

The mediocrity repeatedly inflicted on the world famous town of Fremantle is a disgrace. And council is actually proud of the long list of dismal architecture it has supported.

Local architect Carl Payne was correct in the Herald recently when he lambasted the ‘mis-match of scale, texture, colour, materials’ and the ‘awful’ streetscape resolution.

The Plans

Members can attend a viewing of the plans Wednesday 27 November at 5.30pm at Council at Fremantle Oval.

Submissions are due 5 December. Even though the proposal has to go to JDAP, what council says in its determination is highly important.

The Fremantle Society, subsequent to reporting to members following its deliberations and talks with architects such as Sasha Ivanovich and Carl Payne, has viewed the plans with several officers, and is even more alarmed than before.

The Details

What should be a major planning exercise on a massive block of land at a key juncture, with desperately needed improvements to Queen Street, is instead a cobbled together pastiche of cheap speculation.

The planned hotel with its underwhelming entrance does not even have a drop off zone for its clients.

Documents show the revamped Coles is planned to have 55 metre high ceilings, an unnecessary world record for a commercial supermarket.

The anti car council will no doubt support the fact that the development is hundreds of car bays short in its provisions.

The 6 single storey shops shown in the third image above are from the 1990s and should be demolished to allow the widening of Queen Street. That will only happen if council resumes them.

The lack of details provided with the application are alarming and could lead to a repeat of the damaging Atwell Arcade project where what Gerard Obrien built was not what was approved.

The whole site once housed the greatest woolstore in Fremantle and that history forms part of the context of the site that is imperative to get right. It is a challenge to respect the context of such a large site with an understandably piecemeal project, as the large police building on the north east part of the site is purely speculative, and even if agreed to, may not proceed for some years.

Some people are so desperate to see redevelopment of the site, that they are prepared to countenance the futuristic and alien upper level wedding cake being proposed.

More voices, and informed ones, are needed to help guide this important gateway to the new King’s Triangle, by closing date for submissions on December 5th.

Fremantle is too important to allow more mediocrity.


Reminder: Tuesday 10 December at Kidogo 7pm. One of the great venues in town.

Membership Fees

Reminder: Membership fees are due by the AGM on 10 December. Please email Treasurer Adele Carles : adelecarles2@gmail.com

Cheques can be posted to Secretary Chris Williams at 201 High Street Fremantle WA 6160 or PO Box 8160 Fremantle WA 6160

$30 single membership $40 family $100 business

Committee Positions:

If you are interested in nominating for a position on the executive or committee of the Fremantle Society, please get the form from Secretary Chris Williams today or tomorrow at 201 High Street Fremantle or chriswilliams@chriswilliams.com.au

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *