October 7, 2016 · by Your Herald · in News.

FOLLOWING last week’s Herald front page story,  (Mills to go? October 1, 2016) Fremantle council reclassified the redevelopment of Mills Records as “significant”, and it will now be widely advertised and open for public comment until November 7 – with a community information session in the wings.

The future of the long-standing record shop was thrown into doubt when plans emerged to redeveloped the site into five-storey tourist accommodation with ground floor retail.

Council staff have told Mill’s owner Andrew Bailey if he is evicted he would be given help to find other Fremantle premises.

The proposed five-storey accommodation includes 40 rooms, 12 parking spaces and a shop.

Responding to criticism for failing to advise Mr Bailey, the landlord said the real estate company managing the site had written to tenants prior to the development being advertised: “Not all tenants were available. Those that were, were advised.”




October 7, 2016 · by Your Herald · in News


A FREMANTLE architect who established heritage guidelines for the redevelopment of Atwell Arcade says the project has “gone off the rails” and deviates from its planning approvals.

“[Stripped] of its historical references, [it] shares its impersonal and generalist design with shopping…malls anywhere,” Sasha Ivanovich says.

He was on Fremantle council’s design advisory committee when the $16.5 million redevelopment was approved in 2014, and says the arcade’s heritage has been ignored and the building modernised, counter to approvals.

“During construction, original heritage features like timber mouldings were uncovered but these have been ignored,” he says.

“Though there has been some restoration of original glass shopfronts, new contemporary style materials have been introduced.

05-41newsFinishes to Atwell Arcade concern Fremantle architect Sasha Ivanovich

“Substantial restoration has been performed…intermixed with a modern look fascia to the street canopies.”

Council’s system of checking whether developments comply with planning approvals is flawed and should be revamped, Mr Ivanovich says.

He sits on Vincent council’s design advisory committee and is a member of the state government’s Development Assessment Panel, and says the DAC must review documents when they reach the building license and construction phase.

“They would be most sensitive to design issues and be alert to the carefully worded conditions of original planning approval,” he says.

“Whilst council remains shy of enforcing every detail in planning approvals, there can only be more breaches in a process that is considerably invested in time and professional resources.”


The Fremantle Society backs Mr Ivanovich’s call for a revamp

“You only need to look at the brutal aluminium shopfronts on Boost Juice and City Beach to see the system is failing,” president John Dowson says.

“City Beach installed a timber-framed shop front, but recently it was ripped out and replaced with a totally modern full glass shop front… inappropriate to the heritage of the arcade.

“[It] represents a missed opportunity, and is another sub standard development in the tsunami of unacceptable developments hitting Fremantle’s valuable heritage heart.”

Fremantle council planning director Paul Trotman says he is aware of Mr Ivanovic’s concerns and is reviewing the matters raised.


Greater Fremantle – Opinion Piece by President John Dowson

Fremantle must grow its boundaries. It has a population not much greater than 100 years ago

greater-fremantle-044367b2-e2b1-49fe-891a-d3a5b9f6402aFremantle Society Support Area left of Blue Line Below Being Added to Fremantle at the Moment

Adin Lang initiated a Greater Fremantle campaign but was hung out to dry at a large public meeting last week at Hilton PCYC when he was given no support from Fremantle Council. The Herald reported that Fremantle Deputy Mayor Coggin and councillor Hume were present but did not speak because “Fremantle had not officially endorsed the boundary shift”.

But Fremantle Council encouraged Adin Lang to pursue the boundary reform and will be making a submission supporting the same boundary extensions. Adin Lang was told Fremantle Council would attend the meeting and participate. Cr Coggin, who is paid $1,000 a week to represent Fremantle’s interests, and Cr Hume attended the meeting but said nothing.

The incendiary meeting, with vehement criticism of Fremantle Council, follows other rejections of a larger Fremantle, when East Fremantle overwhelmingly voted to stay independent of Fremantle, and hundreds of North Fremantle residents more recently voted to leave Fremantle and join Mosman Park.

The Society’s preferred option

Earlier the Fremantle Society met with Adin Lang and was impressed with his passion for Fremantle. Although not agreeing with his proposed area which includes Hamilton Hill, the Fremantle Society did agree to make a submission seeking the area south of Fremantle to the South Fremantle Power Station to be added to the municipal boundary of Fremantle on the basis of historical and heritage associations.

While more modest that the current Greater Fremantle push, it is considered more achievable at the moment, and more relevant to Fremantle and the area is shown in the map above being to the left of the blue line. The area sought by Greater Fremantle is bounded in red. The yellow line is the current southern border of Fremantle.

Council’s survey

The animosity towards Fremantle Council as shown at last week’s meeting is developing, and spending $200,000 a year on another newsletter (The Pulse) in addtion to all its other communication is not the answer. The answers can be found in an analysis of the Catalyse Survey done in 2015 about Fremantle Council’s performance, and a comparison with other councils and former councils.

While the $30,000 survey found Fremantle Council did well with festivals and youth, in almost every single category of the survey Fremantle Council did worse than the industry average.

Around 25 councils are surveyed each time. Fremantle came in 18th. Here are some findings of those ‘very satisfied’ with the average of all councils in brackets. In many cases satisfaction rates were higher in 2005 when Peter Tagliaferri was mayor.

Some statistics

Overall satisfaction with council: 29% (average 39%)

Satisfaction with council leadership: 21% (average 26% – was higher in 2005)

Openness and Transparency: 14% (average 23% – was higher in 2005)

How Community is Consulted: 19% (average 22% – was higher in 2005)

How Community is Informed: 19% (average 27% – was higher in 2005

Control of graffiti and anti social behaviour: 19% (average 35% – was higher in 2005)

Streetscapes: 26% (average 37% – was higher in all previous surveys)

Parks and Green Spaces: 45% (average 57% – was higher in 2005)

Seniors: 23% (average 40% – was higher in 2005)

The most worrying finding perhaps relates to community perceptions about economic development. Only 6% were very satisfied compared with the average of 14%. 40% were ‘satisfied’ but the figure in 2005 was 70%.

In terms of how the city centre is being developed only 17% were ‘very satisfied” . The average among councils was 33%.

Parking remains an issue – only 15% very satisfied against an average of 27% for all councils.

Having paid for these survey results, council should be held accountable and made to improve.


Some history of Atwell Arcade

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 – 1954) Monday 20 May 1895

Page 5 of 8.       


A most noticeable feature in the progress of Fremantle at the present time is the large number of new shops and residences which are in course of construction in the main street in order to meet the growing requirements of the town. The old corner block opposite the Town Hall, which many residents will remember as once having been the site of the old council chambers, is being rapidly demolished in order to make way for a row of two-story shops more in keeping with the times. The new buildings will have a frontage to High-street of 120ft., and comprise four shops with storerooms upon the ground floor. The first floor will be allotted to show and dwelling rooms. The shops are all of large size, being 28 x 35 in the clear, and the largest one at the corner will have as much as 38ft. frontage to the street.

Particular attention has been paid to the windows, some of which will be among the largest in the colony. Each window will consist of one sheet of glass, unbroken by any transom or mullion, thus affording special advantages to soft-goods men, whose goods may be dressed to the ceiling and still be clearly in view of the public. The large shop will have a frontage of 38ft., has three bays of glass, with tiled entrance between, and by this arrangement there will be nearly 50ft. of glass fronting High street.

The elevation has been designed in a conventional manner, similar to that so much in vogue in Melbourne during the great boom, and should therefore be of the most modern and approved style. The whole front is to be built of imported brick, tuck-pointed in black and finished with Doric columns, entablature and pediment worked in “Atsena” cement, the windows also being ornamented with pediments and ornamental dressings of the same material. The cornices will be boldly outlined and enriched with foliated medallions, the whole being surmounted with well proportioned balustrading and panelled pediments culminating in a larger pediment enriched with designs for the modeller to execute. In the panels with which the front will be adorned a new feature will be introduced All these panels are to be set with ornamental glazed tile, which should produce a happy relief in the well toned mouldings of cement. The cement work is all to be coloured in imitation of rich tinted sandstone, and in fact the whole front is designed to present to the eye a desirable combination both of shade and colour. The drawings and construction arc in the hands of Mr P. J. Wilson, A.R.V.T.A., architect, the contractor being Mr. W. Reynolds, of Fremantle. The work is being carried out for Mr. H. Atwell, and when completed will cost about (Pounds) 2,600.



The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 – 1954)
Saturday 1 July 1933 p 6


A contract has been let by Messrs. Oldham, Boas and Ednie-Brown, architects, to Areus Ltd., for the reconstruction of the High-street fronts of Atwell’s arcade, Fremantle. The work, which will cost about £2,000, comprises the modernising the whole of the frontage to High-street, and diverting the entrance to make a more direct line through to Cantonment-street, necessitating the reconstruction of approximately half of the present arcade. The shop fronts will be carried out in nickel finish, with tiled bases and piers and there will be additional and larger shops. The main walk of the arcade will be formed in terrazzo marble. An. effective electric lighting system has been evolved, and generally the work will be an advantage to this part of Fremantle.


Bad News and Good News





Tsunami of Poor Quality Development Continues

The bad news is that yet another low quality oversized building is proposed for the heritage heart of Fremantle as above.

The bad news is that council said the 5 storey backpacker box is not a significant development and therefore the public doesn’t need to know about it.

The good news is that following two letters from the Fremantle Society  to the Fremantle Council and a front page story in today’s Herald, they now admit it is a significant development, and therefore we are allowed to know about it.

High Rise Deferred by DAP

52 Adelaide Street (former Spotlight/Coles site)


The 8 storey proposal shown above for 72 flats, 6 commercial tenancies and 98 car bays was deferred at the state government’s Development Assessment Panel (DAP) meeting yesterday (Monday 19 September).

Two Fremantle councillors, Crs Sullivan and Pemberton, voted with one other DAP member to have the matter deferred so the developer could bring back revised plans showing parts of the building above 21 metres being set back as per council policy. Councillor Sullivan proposed the deferral and it passed with a narrow 3-2 vote.

The developer is seeking 8 storeys straight up from the street with no set backs. Council’s lawyer insisted that it could not be approved, but the applicant’s lawyer cleverly shredded the council officer’s report to argue otherwise.

The Fremantle Society has invested a great deal of time on this issue because of its importance, and the fact that any variations to the current scheme that are approved will set a precedent for future developments in this city centre area.

For the Fremantle Society, four architects scrutinised the plans and the officer’s report,  and all were scathing at the quality of the report written.

The council report recommended refusal on grounds of:
a) height
b) detriment to amenity under clause 67.
(though nowhere in the officer’s report are the arguments presented to support that refusal)

Despite the officer’s recommendation, Mayor Pettitt, and councillors Nabor, Hume, McDonald, Walthan, and Jones all voted to send the item to the DAP to let them decide on the legal advice. By the time it got to the DAP, somehow the officer’s recommendation for refusal had turned into a glowing approval. The applicant’s lawyer said she had  been at the planning meeting and that there had been ‘a unanimous decision to approve.’ The applicant said that council staff ‘are clearly supportive of this plan’. The chair of DAP Ian Birch said that ‘the alternative recommendation (for approval) had been adopted by the planning committee.’ Remarkable stuff.

The Fremantle Society presented their case and a Fremantle lawyer was brought in to present for the Fremantle Society as well. This is a very complex case with many facets and issues to be dealt with, but the focus from DAP was mainly on how could the developer have the extra storey he was seeking.

The applicant’s aerial view of the 52 Adelaide Street proposal as shown is dishonest and should not have been allowed to go forward by council officers. The drawing shows Johnston Court as being significantly higher, whereas both are almost the same height. The applicant has shown his building bathed in light on the facing side, whereas the same side of Johnston Court is ominously dark. Also there are no lift overruns or rooftop clutter shown on 52 Adelaide Street, clutter which always ends up adding considerably to how buildings are viewed around town.

Claudia Green from FRRA was there and supported the Fremantle Society case, as did Julie Matheson from Scrap the DAPs.

Further details will be provided of the expert analysis from Fremantle Society architects.