Notre Dame University pulls plug on nursing and midwifery building design


Fail: The initial design, now gone back to the drawing board.
Fail: The initial design, now gone back to the drawing board.

PUBLIC outcry over height and design has forced the University of Notre Dame to withdraw a development application for its new nursing and midwifery building.

The university submitted plans for a new five-storey development at 3-5 High Street in November last year which would not only house the School of Nursing and Midwifery but also a 200-seat performing art centre, bar or cafe and retail space.

However, the City of Fremantle knocked back the development in February after community outcry over its height, bulk and look.

It was due to go before the Joint Development Assessment Panel, but Notre Dame announced it would withdraw the application all together, saying it would go back to the drawing board for a redesign.

A university spokesman said while they were satisfied that the plans catered for the future needs of its students and contributed to the amenity and activation of the West End, it was important to have community support over the design.

“We received both complimentary and critical feedback,” he said.

“The university completely understands that the Fremantle community and wider public are passionate about the West End of Fremantle and as key members of the Fremantle community, Notre Dame is committed to developing a building that is architecturally and historically significant, sensitive to heritage and makes an important contribution to the continued revitalisation of the West End.

“The university remains committed to development of the site and the benefits it will bring to our future nursing and midwifery students and to the West End of Fremantle.”

Fremantle Society president John Dowson, who was one of the more vocal opponents of the development, said he was relieved about the withdrawal.

“The material was flawed, too much glass, and the High Street/Cliff Street corner needed to be better addressed,” he said.

“As a non-ratepaying educational entity it is in the interests of such a successful enterprise as Notre Dame that they carry the community with them.”

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