Dr Lutton, who caused controversy when he resigned from the City of Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee recently, was speaker at the Freo’s Future: Which Way? public forum held by the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association last Tuesday.
Dr Lutton urged more residents to get involved in the consultation process, saying only three community representatives attending the information session for the Queensgate building was not good enough.
‘When the community is fully involved and listened to, they can generate truly sustainable cities, where the community and representative government can combine fully,’ he said.
With the Queensgate building also up before the Planning Services Committee the next day, Dr Lutton brought up one of the more contentious issues associated with Amendment 49 in the height restrictions.
‘You should not be concerned about the heights in the central areas of the city,’ he said.
Dr Lutton said the extra heights at the proposed sites were not a big problem as long as the design was sensitive.
Some residents were not ready to let go of the fight against height in the city centre, with a number reiterating they did not want buildings that big in their city.
One point raised during the night was that Fremantle was not a ‘broken city’ and nothing needed to be rushed into, using the Esplanade Reserve Youth Plaza and J Shed proposals as examples.
‘Retail is going but they are doing that all over the metropolitan area; Fremantle is not unique here,’ Dr Lutton said.
‘Fremantle can not change dramatically due to the lack of available land, the richness of existing heritage precincts, competition from retail centres at Garden City and Claremont, and more desirable areas for office development closer to the city and in Cockburn.
‘Do not be convinced there is an urgency to do anything; the City needs to let the people in and figure out what really works in each area.’