FREMANTLE mayor Brad Pettitt has warned state-controlled development assessment panels to lift their game or face further backlash.
This week the metro south west DAP approved a six-level, $12 million development on Queen Victoria Street which Fremantle council had recommended be rejected, and that’s got Dr Pettitt fuming.
The 1216sqm development, next to St Patrick’s community support centre, includes 43 apartments, 73 car bays and a 120sqm commercial space with offices, shops, a small bar and a restaurant.
Fremantle councillors voted 9/1 against the application, arguing the height and style of the building — especially its facade — clashed with smaller heritage buildings in the area.
“It’s one of those 3-2 verdicts again, I’m afraid,” said Dr Pettitt, referring to the council’s two elected representatives being outvoted by the state-appointed members of the DAP.
“The DAPs are in danger of shooting themselves in the foot if they don’t start approving better density.”
The panels, which assess large development proposals, are already under fire from community groups and a growing number of councils who say they’re being left to cop the flak over big, unpopular developments.
“My understanding is that they took a floor off as part of the negotiation, but our view was that because it’s next to St Pat’s and there’s a number of heritage buildings around, that it should have had the appropriate sensitivity, which it doesn’t,” Dr Pettitt said.
The Queen Victoria Street site is not on the city’s heritage list.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK and STEVE GRANT