Houses built by convicts go up for sale

The sale of 15 restored Fremantle cottages could soon provide a financial lifeline to other deteriorating government-owned heritage buildings. The WA Government spent $3.3 million to restore the 160-year-old convict-built warders’ cottages and will now sell them. While no price tags have been placed on the cottages, the City of Fremantle, which is looking to buy at least one, has budgeted $800,000.

Doreen Taylor, son Ken Taylor and daughter Sue Radford lived in this cottage. Pictures: Ian Munro/The West Australian

If this is an accurate reflection of the value of each cottage, the total sale price could exceed $10 million. In accordance with the original funding arrangements, the proceeds will go towards the restoration of other WA buildings. “There are a couple of projects we are looking at that will be the next to be funded,” Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said.

The cottages, in Henderson Street, were built from 1851 to house the families of Fremantle Prison warders.

Doreen Taylor, 91, raised a family of seven in one of the two-storey cottages in the 1960s. In those days, her four daughters slept in one room and the toilet was at the bottom of the garden.

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A main bedroom

“It’s changed a lot,” she said yesterday. “The walls are in the same place but I hardly recognised the rooms. We had nine people living here … it didn’t seem as small as it does today. And we always had lots of friends pop by. Bon Scott (the AC/DC legend) was a regular visitor because he had an eye for one of my daughter’s friends.”

As part of the restoration work, paint was removed from the cottages’ external limestone walls. The structural integrity of the cottages was restored through the overhaul of drainage and replacement of important joinery and door and window frames.

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A downstairs living room

Mr Jacob said the cottages could be used for a variety of purposes, as long as heritage values were respected. “Clearly, they are suitable to be returned to residential use,” he said. “But they can also be sensitively adapted into offices or small commercial premises.”

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said the council was keen to buy at least one cottage to give the public access to an important piece of the city’s heritage.

(An example of heritage restoration paying off !)

Small bar proposal at heritage-listed weighbridge station progresses

From Fremantle Council Minutes

Ordinary meeting of council, September 2016

Council has given conditional planning approval to progress the transformation of the heritage-listed weighbridge station into a small bar.

weigbridge-council-minutes

Following council approval of a 15 year lease of the Phillimore Street property in January 2015, works are now required to provide essential facilities such as toilets and seating in line with the heritage nature of the building.

Council has approved the application subject to final approval from other regulatory bodies, submission of waste and noise management plans and resolution of pedestrian safety concerns.

Background

The Weighbridge Station was historically used as an entrance to the Fremantle Ports where goods and containers were weighed prior to entry. The property is registered on the State Heritage Register and controlled by a management order giving the City power to lease or licence to a term no more than twenty one (21) years.

The premises were offered in an “as is” condition through the expression of interest advertisement. The scope was for groups, organisations, businesses or individuals to activate the building and take financial responsibility for all costs associated with restoration of the infrastructure, additional service requirements, planning approval and statutory requirements.

Cafe option

Subject to further approvals, the weighbridge will be transformed into a New York style small bar and café for no more than 75 patrons. Should the liquor licence not be successful the applicant will activate the premises as a café.

The Fremantle Society is closely interested in the restoration work intended for this unique building.

Kings Square Project planning moves into new phase

From: City of Fremantle media release 13 October 2016

Kings Square Project planning moves into new phase  

City developing masterplan to connect Kings Square with key areas of the city centre ~ to be released for public comment in early 2017.

The City of Fremantle is progressing with detailed planning work for the   $220m Kings Square project to transform the heart of Fremantle into a vibrant civic, retail, commercial and community hub.

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The current focus for the City is the development of a coordinated masterplan to link public spaces in Kings Square with other key parts of the city centre.

The masterplan will include upgrades to the Kings Square public spaces as well as enhancements to connecting areas including Queen, Adelaide and Point streets and the development of a new public square at the Fremantle Train Station.

“Catalyst”

“The Kings Square project is a catalyst project with a far greater flow-on benefit for Fremantle than just the development of buildings in the Kings Square precinct itself,” said acting Mayor Dave Coggin.

“The project has always been seen by council as a way to reconnect public spaces in central Fremantle which have become disconnected from the city centre over several decades.

“The current work is focused on how best to upgrade surrounding areas which flow towards Kings Square to ensure the entire city centre is well-connected and a more attractive place for visitors, workers and businesses.

“Sirona Capital has entered commercial negotiations with the Department of Finance, which is the next stage in the state government’s Fremantle office accommodation process and this is very positive and encouraging for the project’s future delivery.

“The current master planning work being undertaken will enable us to deliver what will be a game changing project for Fremantle as soon as possible after these commercial discussions are finalised,” Mr Coggin said.

Kings Square and City Centre Masterplan

As part of ongoing work, the City will develop an over-arching masterplan for the public realm in key city centre precincts. This masterplan will guide the detailed design and sequencing of the individual projects which will see parts of the city upgraded with better roads and footpaths, new street furniture, bike lanes, hard and soft landscaping, public art, lighting and CCTV.

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The focus areas in the Kings Square and City Centre Masterplan are:

  • Kings Square public realm upgrade
  • a new city square at Fremantle Station Precinct
  • Queen, Adelaide and Point street upgrades
  • City Centre Northern Gateway: Proclamation Tree, Queen Victoria and Parry Street intersection upgrades.

It will also deliver new civic buildings including City of Fremantle administration offices and library, enhanced public spaces, commercial and retail offerings and a new visitor centre.

The masterplan also recognises two important public open spaces: Pioneer Park and Princess May Park. It is anticipated the draft will be developed over coming months and presented to council prior to being released for public comment in early 2017.

The project will create a civic, retail, commercial and community hub that is a vibrant, active and safe place which reflects Kings Square’s unique position in the heart of Fremantle.

Fremantle’s World Famous West End Again Under Threat

5 Storeys Proposed in West End (which has a 4 storey limit)

Notes from the President

THE University of Notre Dame has refurbished many buildings in the historic West End of Fremantle and have mostly done a good job.

In the past when they  sought to build something new they have largely respected the scale of the West End, and their two new buildings in Cliff and Henry Streets are three storeys in height.

Now they propose 5 storeys on the corner of High and Cliff Streets, and excuse that unwarranted height by saying the flats on top of the old Tramways Building at 1 High Street next door are also high. But the flats were an aberration built during the rush of the America’s Cup, a mistake that should not be copied; not a precedent.

a42bd1f6-f05c-44c3-8bac-60fbe86ec427Site of proposed building on right, adjacent the tall apartments

West End’s Ground Zero

The vacant site on the corner of Cliff and High Streets needs to be built on. We have waited decades for a decent building there after the former mayor’s two storey house was demolished.

But the site is so important, it is Fremantle’s Ground Zero. Whatever goes there should be high quality and fit in with the one, two, and three storey buildings on the other three corners of the  intersection.

If Notre Dame really needs a big building, they should consider building out of the West End, to distribute their student numbers throughout Fremantle instead of adding to the monoculture they have already created in the West End.

Maximum height

Notre Dame knows that 5 storeys in the West End is NOT allowed under the town planning scheme. The MAXIMUM allowed is three storeys plus possibly a 4th storey if well set back.

The rules are there for everyone to obey and Notre Dame should obey the rules. The fact that Fremantle Council has allowed other inappropriate and overscaled developments does not mean Notre Dame should join in with the developers whose only interest is money. Fremantle Council have been discussing these plans for a year with the university and they have been several times in front of the $1,000 an hour DAC (Design Advisory Committee) committee, so the fact that a year later we see a 5 storey proposal coming to the community is greatly disturbing, and simply not good enough.

“Safe”?

The proposed design is another matter altogether and a detailed discussion can be held when the plans are published online.  An initial impression is, that like the other two new Notre Dame buildings by the same architect, the design is too ‘boxy’ and features too much glass. We are told there will be a theatre included which may be a public asset.

The Mayor keeps saying the “West End is safe.” This is another example of where it is not.

New laws to help rub out graffiti now in force

Government of Western Australia Media Announcement

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Liberal National Government has delivered another blow to graffiti vandalism in Western Australian communities with its tough new graffiti laws coming into force.

Deputy Premier and Police Minister Liza Harvey said the Liberal National Government had delivered another major election commitment by creating a stand-alone graffiti offence which carried significant maximum penalties of a $24,000 fine and/or two years behind bars.

“The delivery of this election commitment sends a clear message to the graffiti vandals that they are committing a serious offence and will pay a high price,” Ms Harvey said.

The Deputy Premier said the Graffiti Vandalism Bill 2015 would also include:

  • mandatory clean-up orders for convicted vandals
  • confiscation of property, such as smart phones and laptops, used to record and transmit graffiti vandalism
  • strengthened Public Transport Authority (PTA) powers to ban serial offenders from buses, trains and stations
  • maintaining local government powers to enter private property to remove graffiti
  • an offence for possession of a graffiti tool or implement.

“These new laws support local councils, business and home owners who deal with the grind of cleaning up graffiti vandalism,” she said.

“Now offenders will understand the effort it takes to clean up and have plenty of time to rethink their unacceptable behaviour.”

Recording devices

The Deputy Premier said the ability to confiscate recording devices was aimed specifically at removing the graffiti vandal’s method to glorify the damage to other people’s property.

“Now graffiti vandalism will truly be the most pointless pastime in WA,” she said.

Ms Harvey said the laws strengthened what the Liberal National Government was already doing to combat graffiti vandalism, which costs WA about $8 million a year to remove.

Fact File

  • Graffiti vandals are currently charged under criminal or property damage
  • In 2007-08 there were 16,025 verified graffiti offences, dropping to 2,139 in 2015-16
  • The cost of removing graffiti vandalism 2012-13 was $7.99 million and in 2013-14, $7.84 million.  These figures have been collated from Western Power, the PTA, Main Roads, Department of Education and nine metropolitan councils

Deputy Premier and Police Minister’s office – 6552 5900