PLANS to squeeze up to 1500 homes in a six-storey complex in South Fremantle have locals concerned about the place resembling a “great big brick”.
The 16-hectare site in Fremantle council’s sights is bounded by Hampton and Clontarf Roads, Milbourne Street and Butterworth Place.
The council gave the ambitious plan the nod late last year. It also allows for fast food outlets, cafes and shops.
Kieran Bell says the planned Strang Court development is out of kilter with the community and will dominate traditional streetscapes.
“Jamming a couple of thousand of people into these apartments, some up to six-storeys high, would be a planning disaster,” he told the Herald.
“Apart from the Port building and that obscene housing project south, the rest of Freo is no more than three storeys.
“I understand you don’t buy views, but I bet you the private developer will be selling the top storey of those apartments on views alone.”
Mr Bell has whipped up more than 200 signatures opposing the project in its current form, and written to WA planning minister John Day calling on him to intervene.
However, given the project subscribes to the Barnett government’s Directions 2021 paper, which advocates more high-density projects along main roads, Mr Bell is unlikely to win a receptive ear.
“We fully support the need for development, but we would be more comfortable with three storeys,” Mr Bell says.
Hale Street resident Carmela Briguglio is worried about even more traffic.
“Hampton Road is already a nightmare for traffic congestion, so why would want to increase the congestion with extra people?” she asks.
“And six storeys is ridiculous in that area.”
Mayor Brad Pettitt reckons the plan offers an excellent opportunity to create a transit-oriented village in what is a neglected and unkempt light industrial area.
He believes it’ll have little impact on traffic.
“A more significant influence on future traffic volumes on Hampton Road is likely to be future development in the Cockburn Coast area, south of the city of Fremantle’s border which is more than 10,000 people,” he says.
“Planning for improved public transport services and/or highway network modifications to respond to this future growth is currently taking place.”