A CONFRONTING new addition to their neighbourhood has residents in the swanky South Beach estate up in arms.
They’re so unhappy with developer Match’s Move apartments 20 of them hauled in Cockburn mayor Logan Howlett and council staff recently to demand answers on how the industrial-feel apartments got approved.
Paul and Ronnie Wilson live directly across the road from the development which straddles Breaksea Drive and Rollinson Road. They’ve just planted more trees out the front of their place to block Move from their view, describing it as having a “Homeswest aesthetic”.
“Is this the precedent level for future North Coogee?”
“Everyone fired questions at the mayor,” Mr Wilson said of the fiery meeting.
“They wanted to know, ‘is this the precedent level for future North Coogee?’”
The group’s biggest gripe is the amount of brown brick facing them. They claim their own homes had to have about 80 per cent render under estate guidelines, but Move has less than 50 per cent.
But Match’s managing director Lloyd Clark has defended the “specialised brickwork”, saying the product had won the ‘Think Brick’ award for sustainability and innovation.
“[Move] is designed by architects CODA to reflect Fremantle’s post-industrial era.
“During construction we have fielded positive comments, including reference that this approach is being seen a lot in Europe and it’s good to see WA moving out of the ‘cookie-cutter’ environment.
Mr Clark agrees the design is a “little different” and says its not uncommon for people to react when confronted by something so far from their usual aesthetic, but cautions that the development’s still four weeks from completion.
“We do believe … the building will be accepted an asset to the area—both socially and asceticaly,” he said, noting demand was so strong for the apartments there was a waiting list of potential tenants.
But not all future tenants are that thrilled either.
Former Fremantle councillor Valerie Cousins is threatening a class action because she doesn’t feel the finished product lives up to what she signed up for after reading the prospectus.
Decorative lintels around windows have disappeared, the concrete edges of balconies have been left so rough she fears the tiles will lift after a winter or two, decorative brickwork and steel frames seem topsy-turvy, and she even reckons the brickwork’s a bit too uneven.
Girders which she’d been hoping would be stainless steel she describes as “scaffolding quality” and none of concrete balcony roofs are rendered.
She said she’d been trying to get the company to apply a bit more render and paintwork to the exterior, but they wouldn’t budge.
At January’s meetings, locals also complained about the lack of parking at Move, and in the area generally, and said they had to wait up to 10 minutes some days to get onto Cockburn Road because the traffic was wall-to-wall.
by STEVE GRANT