Concerns raised over Arthur Head proposal

Sunset Events’ proposal to lease Unit 1 of the J Shed building went before the City of Fremantle on Wednesday, with the J Shed artists and members of the Fremantle Society and Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association voicing their concern over the size of the proposal. 

Sunset Events proposal could see a craft brewery with a capacity of up to 1500 on the site, as well as the opportunity to hold 10-15 ticketed events for up to 1500 people. 

Other ideas include clothes hoists and dog lead raise for beach goers and dog walkers who want to buy a meal or drink, weekend craft and art markets, exhibitions and free wifi. 

However, J Shed artists and local community and resident groups say they believe the 1500 capacity planned for the leased area, plus the ensuing foot traffic, could be detrimental to the heritage aspect of the area. 

J Shed artist Peter Zuvela said they were concerned about the size of the proposal, which was 1766sqm with 658sqm in retained open space and the social and environment impact.

‘Fifteen hundred people is a lot of alcohol intake for a small A Class Reserve and that’s a worry for me,’ he said.

‘Secondly, there was no mention of heritage and Aboriginal culture on the original application and where Sunset Events want to do their extension there are the archaeological sites of Station House and Mews Boatshed.

‘All this adds up to the fact that Arthur Head is primarily a heritage reserve and not some property that needs to be turned into a highly commercialised commodity.

‘I would prefer that Unit 1 J Shed be leased to a small arts business that can enrich the arts and heritage at Arthur Head and that could fit into the Heritage Reserve environment.’

At the council meeting, Mayor Brad Pettitt said he thought it was an ‘exciting project’ but moved for the item to be deferred.

‘There is some modification and tweaking to be done but I think it could be good for the area,’ he said.

The item has been deferred until later this month.