Fremantle’s Strategic Sites.

The Fremantle Society Committee is very concerned regarding the Strategic Sites Working Group (SSWG) report that was adopted at Council in July, with only Cr Dowson speaking and voting against it.

Chair of the Society’s Heritage & Planning Committee, Don Whittington represented the Society on the SSWG and then Society President Ian Alexander was a community rep. Both Don and Ian did not support the SSWG report, so along with Cr Dowson put in a dissenting Report that was tabled at a SSWG meeting. The Society Committee supports that dissenting report.

Of Particular concern to the Committee is the proposal to amend the Town Planning Scheme to remove any statutory height limits on the Woolstores shopping centre site on Cantonment Street, the Gas and Coke Site on Queen Street and Westgate Site on Adelaide Street. We know of no other Council in WA that has taken such a step to effectively remove control of building bulk, scale and height on specific sites. This has the potential to make the size of the proposed ING development seem small by comparison with what could end up on those sites. While Council may believe they can control bulk and scale through the Design Review Committee, we can not share that confidence. Mandating maximum heights in the Planning Scheme is the only way to ensure Bulk, Scale & Height are able to be controlled. This is especially relevant as Development Assessment Panels (DAP) are set to take planning decisions out of Council’s control for developments over $7 million. DAP will use the Council’s Planning Scheme to determine an application; if no height limit is nominated in the Scheme they are at liberty to approve any sized development they wish.

Full-page advertisements in the Western Australian, Fremantle Herald and Fremantle Gazette do not mention the lack of height controls, or the two extra storeys available to the other sites under consideration, if certain design guidelines are met. The map and text only refer to “As of Right” heights.

While there is a process to go through in adopting a Scheme Amendment which includes full Community Consultation, this first step was crucially important in setting the scope of the Scheme Amendment and bodes badly for the final outcome.

The Fremantle Society Committee is working to retain height limits the Fremantle Scheme and lobby for human scale development, but will need the support of members and the community in this.

Appalling Behaviour at Victoria Hall!

“Appalling Behaviour” comes to  Fremantle’s  Victoria Hall! As a part of Homeless Persons’ Week, St Patrick’s Community Support Centre and the Fremantle Business Community, proudly present the award-winning Play ‘Appalling Behaviour’  at Deckchair Theatre, Tuesday 2nd August at 7:30pm.

Direct from sell-out performances across the country and an international touring schedule, the play is a powerful and poetic one-man production by multi-award winning Adelaide playwright and actor Stephen House According to House, the play was set in multi-lingual Paris after a homeless man in Sydney said to him: ‘No-one hears my voice. It’s like I speak another language when I’m here on the streets, people just step around me.”   “ I think the play forces us to think and re-think the way we see and interact with the world and those around us,” said House.
When:  Tuesday 2nd August, 7.30pm
Where:  Victoria Hall, 179 High St, Fremantle  Tickets
– $35 (all proceeds to St Patrick’s Community Support Centre)

Call St Patrick’s on 9430 4159 or email
Hurry – Limited Tickets Only.
Silent Auction Items Still Welcome

Joint precinct community info, City of Fremantle, 7pm Tues 9 August 2011

As seen on the Mayors blog today ( my empasis):

“High Street Update July 20th 2011.

As many precinct members would be aware, the City of Fremantle and Dept of Transport have recently engaged an independent consultant to do a multi-criteria analysis of number options for High St which will minimize impacts on the Fremantle Public Golf Course and houses while improving freight efficiency and safety and reducing noise. This will include:

  • An underpass for vehicles leaving Fremantle on High St – leaving the surface road for trucks heading to the port with less interruptions,
  • An overpass over High Street
  • Realigning two lanes of High St to the other side of the row of mature trees– reducing the need to take such a large slice of the golf course.
  • Slowing the speed limit in the curve to narrow the curve and have less impact on houses

This assessment is initially considering the number of houses impacted, traffic safety, freight efficiency and noise impacts. The options that pass that test will then be evaluated against the Federal Government’s investment criteria. This study will compare the above options against Option 4 and is expected to be completed by July 31st.

Continue reading “Joint precinct community info, City of Fremantle, 7pm Tues 9 August 2011”

Fremantle Prison application returns

The application from YHA for a hostel in the Women’s Division has come back to Council with little or no change.  It is on the Planning Services Agenda this Wednesday (20 July).  The Society made a comprehensive submission in January, which we sent to all stakeholders, Fremantle Prison’s Bevan Beaver contacted me and said it reflected their views on the application.  When the application was withdrawn we felt confident a new submission would address our fears.  Unfortunately this is not the case, but took some comfort in the Officer’s recommendation for refusal.  Alas Cr Fittock has sent out an alternative motion recommending approval.  The Society believes holiday accommodation is an appropriate adaptive reuse for the Women’s Division, however Fremantle Prison is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and needs a high quality adaption to ensure we make the best of out heritage asset and tourist trade.  I do hope the Planning Services Committee decide to endorse the Officer’s Report and demand a better development for our Prison.

Fremantle and The Chamber of Commerce

Recent comments by Peter Nolin of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, effectively blaming Councillor John Dowson and other heritage advocates for the city’s retail woes are totally unwarranted, as Roel Loopers clearly shows.

The Chamber is currently advocating a high-rise bonanza for the East End of the CBD, a matter that will soon be our for public comment via a Town Planning scheme amendment.

These proposals emanste from the City Centre Strategic Sites working Group (CCSSWG) Along with Don Whittington and John Dowson, I am a member of this group. But so is the Chamber and many architects, all of whom support the high-rise concept. We have argued against the proposals and for a more modest scheme that would allow six storey development on a few sites near the Railway Station, but elsewhere encourage redevelopment at three to five stories. Such a scale would respect the historic character of the city and the ambience the Soicety and community have fought so hard to protect.

Ian Alexander, Past President, Fremantle Society

NT coming up Roses

Samson House Tour & Snip.

The National Trust invites you to an exclusive tour and garded experience at Samson House on Sunday 17th July.  Bring your gloves & secateurs so you can practice the art of rose pruning following a demonstration by the Rose Society.

  • Tour & Talk                                                  1:30 to 2:30
  • Pruning                                                         2:30 to 3:30
  • Afternoon Tea with the National trust   3:30 to 4:30

Booking ESSENTIAL via or 9321 6088