Developments put fears through roof

Fremantle Council will consider proposed new developments and the height implications at this month’s meeting.
Fremantle Council will consider proposed new developments and the height implications at this month’s meeting.

About 130 residents heard the City of Fremantle’s proposal to alter a development zone on the border at the North Fremantle Community Centre last Tuesday.

There could be nine to 10 storeys and seven to eight storeys in two towers behind the former Matilda Bay Brewery, recently sold by Cottesloe developer Alan McGillivray to Chinese owners, and seven to eight storeys at the Taskers development’s second apartment block on McCabe Street.

The heights have been investigated since Mr McGillivray met the council a year ago. Prior to that, the State Government said traffic from up to 700 new apartments should use an extended Thompson Street through the brewery north to McCabe Street.

‘Extending Thompson Road would convert an already small and busy road into a major thoroughfare for Mosman Park residents going through our streets,’ North Fremantle resident Ben Lane said.

Council planning project manager Paul Barbett said artists’ impressions only showed buildings’ potential bulk and developers needed structure plans for specific designs.

To get extra heights, the designs had to pass five-star criteria, have non-residential uses on ground floors, distinctive architecture, include brewery heritage and have limited footprints.

The rules did not convince residents, who said the apartments would not fit with the Leighton Beach-Swan River area, would disconnect residents from communities and clog the roads with cars.

‘We need to take this to our local member, Colin Barnett,’ North Fremantle resident Lindsay Lovering said

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said extra height was ‘a carrot’ so developers would build bars, restaurants and design a place non-residents wished to visit, like the Leighton Beach development.

A residents’ motion said apartments must be linked with the community, demanded more consultation, opposed a 33m height and extending Thompson Road.