SUNSET EVENTS owner David Chitty says he’s considering a scaled-back proposal for the J-Shed after getting a knock-back from the WA Planning Commission this week.
“I’ll gauge the council’s appetite for a revised proposal and take it from there,” he told the Chook.
Sunset wanted a tavern, bar, micro-brewery and roasting housing on the A-Class reserve and following a six-month trial asked to increase patron numbers from 400 to 850 in the tavern, and from 1000 to 1500 at an outdoor concert venue.
But Freo council said the proposal fell short of its aim to have an arts/community-focused activity on the site and was too focused on selling alcohol and big, commercial concerts.
The WAPC’s report also warned the tavern could set an “undesirable precedent” for other reserves.
Sunset could appeal the refusal with the state administrative tribunal, but as the rejection was based on non-compliance with the metropolitan region scheme, the chances of success are slim.
“It’s a shame because the demand from the public was clearly there and we had lots of enquiries to hold weddings, fundraisers and community events in the summer — it’s a great location,” Mr Chitty says.
“But I wasn’t really surprised by the decision as the council changed their position on the project following the trial and complaints from locals.
“There was concerns about the scale of the venue and the impact to the amenity which I acknowledge and take on board.”
Fremantle Youth Advisory Council founder Liam Carter says J-Shed is an ideal location for live music and a low-key alfresco business.
“Developing the area to create a lower capacity venue than the one proposed could attract people and acts, as well as maintain the character of Arthur’s Head, and this could be a way of opening the space up and catering to both residents and visitors who want to see greater diversity in venues and locations,” he says.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK