IT WAS standing room only as East Fremantle residents voiced their opinions at last night’s special council meeting.
Councillors voted unanimously to approve the amendments to the local planning scheme limiting height of any developments on the Royal George Hotel.
The amendment if approved by the Department of Planning will limit the height of any development to six storeys, which is the height of the hotel dome.
Residents expressed their concern for the concept plan by Saracen Properties which included refurbishment of the hotel and a high-rise apartment block with a minimum of 40 apartments.
A resident speaking against the amendment said there had to be some scope within the scheme to make the project viable.
“In 10 years time we will be standing here again and the building will be in worse condition then it is today because these opportunities for development have been missed,” he said.
Another resident said it was the best chance of limiting or putting things in place which a would-be developer would take notice of.
Saracen Properties executive director Joel Saraceni expressed his disappointment in the council process and said it lacked consultation and transparency.
“We asked how the council arrived at this decision,” he said.
“We were told there had been workshops which we weren’t invited to as the only land owner.”
Councillor Dean Nardi, who supported the amendment, said its important to maintain resident amenity.
Deputy Mayor Michael McPhail who also supported the amendment said a six storey building with set backs was the best outcome urban-design wise.
“If you accept that the Royal George will be a landmark building on George Street you can’t have a building that draws the eye taller then the Royal George,” he said.