East Fremantle: Protesters gather at Royal George Hotel

Local residents are protesting the Royal George Hotel proposed development of 21 storeys.
Local residents are protesting the Royal George Hotel proposed development of 21 storeys.

DOZENS of protesters gathered at the Royal George Hotel on Thursday morning.

Protesters raised concerns about proposed height on the heritage area, with croquet squares decorated the building and groups of signs reading ‘Say NO to royal George Hotel 21 storey high rise-support your Council’s six storey height cap’.

In June, East Fremantle councillors voted unanimously to approve amendments to the local planning scheme limiting height of any development on the Royal George Hotel to six storeys.

Saracen Properties, which owns the site, had announced a concept plan that included refurbishment of the hotel and a high-rise apartment block with a minimum of 40 apartments.

The protest was ahead of a final decision on the scheme amendment, which will be decided in a confidential Western Australian Planning Commission meeting.

One of the protest signs.

Protester Genevieve Hawks said there was still widespread disbelief in the community that a building of such a scale was a real possibility.

“The protesters are mainly people who live in East Fremantle who have watched with heavy hearts the deterioration of the Royal George,” she said.

“The government can do something, even at this late stage, that is, they can endorse the local council’s height cap on the site.”

The Friends of the Royal George group have delivered a petition of over 1,800 signatures to Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk.