Fears through roof

North Fremantle’s Ben Lane and Mosman Park’s Ian Thompson are among residents agaist highrise at and near the Matilda Bay Brewery. Below: Looking north to Buckland Hill, the new proposed heights allow towers at the brewery (pink), flats south of McCabe Street (blue), the One Steel site (green) and the Taskers development (brown).
North Fremantle’s Ben Lane and Mosman Park’s Ian Thompson are among residents agaist highrise at and near the Matilda Bay Brewery. Below: Looking north to Buckland Hill, the new proposed heights allow towers at the brewery (pink), flats south of McCabe Street (blue), the One Steel site (green) and the Taskers development (brown).

‘McCabe Street isn’t wide enough, has no footpaths or lights, and it’s already jammed with cars from the first apartments at the Taskers development,’ Mosman Park resident Ian Thompson said.

At the North Fremantle Community Centre last Tuesday, about 130 residents heard Fremantle Council’s proposal to alter a development zone on the border.

There could be 9-10 storeys and 7-8 storeys in two towers behind the former Matilda Bay Brewery, recently sold by Cottesloe developer Alan McGillivray to Chinese owners, and 7-8 storeys at the Taskers development’s second apartment block on McCabe Street.

The heights have been investigated since Mr McGillivray met with the council a year ago, before the State Government had said traffic from up to 700 new apartments would 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, whose residents would not be linked to communities, while their cars would congest streets.

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 and opposed a 33m height and extending Thompson Road.

Fremantle Council will consider the proposals tomorrow at 6pm.