THE old Matilda Bay brewery site in North Fremantle could be developed to almost twice the height currently allowed.
After an approach from owners HLM Holdings, Fremantle council has taken the first steps to increase heights on a portion of the site to 33 metres (currently it’s 17). The extra will only apply if new buildings achieve a 5-star green rating and are of “exceptional design”.
On another part of the site, heights will be lowered to ensure view corridors are created in anticipation of the residential redevelopment of the One Steel site across McCabe Street.
That site was also a beneficiary of council generosity, with the owners able to build up to 29m (the powerful but unelected state administrative tribunal gave the tick to a 22m structure plan).
The council had originally wanted to review heights in the whole area but most landowners weren’t interested so it stuck with the two fronting Stirling Highway. Just across the municipal border, Mosman Park residents are fuming about Freo’s mania for higher density: a handful is already experiencing blocked views caused by the five-storey Taskers redevelopment.
“When we heard about the Taskers one it was too late, it had already been approved and I find that insulting,” says Sue Downing, whose house abuts the site. She hasn’t been told anything about the brewery or One Steel plans, the council report noting only that developers have attended consultation briefings. She is philosophical about increasing densities to cater for Perth’s booming population, but isn’t looking forward to five more years of dust and noise.
On the next street up, 84-year-old John Kelly is livid at Fremantle council, both for taking his views and for ignoring his complaints about dust and noise from the Taskers project: “In the end we had to complain to Mosman Park because they were starting work at 5.30am and Fremantle did absolutely nothing about it,” he fumed.
“They said they could do nothing about it, but straight after we called Mosman Park they stopped.”
by STEVE GRANT