THE City of Fremantle is scrambling to find a temporary event to run in Arthurs Head this summer after the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) rejected plans for a tavern and music venue in the space.
At a recent meeting, the WAPC voted to reject the Sunset Events application, citing a lack of parking, as well as non-compliance with a number of Fremantle planning policies and the Metropolitan Region Scheme as the reasons for its refusal.
The WAPC ruling backed up the City’s June recommendation to refuse the application, but that recommendation came after years of resident complaints following the 2014 decision to hand Sunset Events a 21-year lease to develop the J Shed area.
Fremantle city business acting director Tom Griffiths said both council and the WAPC found the current proposal for a 1500-patron music event venue and an 850-patron tavern was inconsistent with planning policies, which is why both parties refused it.
“The City will advertise for expressions of interest to temporarily activate the space from October to June 2017 in the coming weeks,” he said.
“This is to ensure the building is activated in the interim before Sunset Events’ lease agreement begins in July 2017.
“Sunset Events has been advised to submit a new development application for the site to the City to ensure it satisfies the lease’s performance criteria prior to its activation in July next year.
“At this stage, the City is fully expecting Sunset Events to take on the lease and the performance criteria in July [but] the City will consider alternative options should Sunset Events rescind their lease.”