Spotlight plan rejected

YOLK PROPERTY director Pete Adams is unsure if he’ll appeal the rejection of plans to redevelop the old Spotlight building in Fremantle’s East End.

On Monday the eight-storey mixed use development of 71 apartment and seven commercial tenancies was knocked back by the development assessment panel 4-1 because it’s higher than allowed by the city’s planning scheme.

“In the same week that the Kings Square redevelopment got the go-ahead, this was an opportunity to revitalise the East End and get more people living there as well,” Mr Adams said ruefully.

“Without people living there you won’t get the new cafes and retail in the area.

“It’s a very disappointing decision and we’re reviewing our options.”

Fremantle chamber of Commerce CEO Olwyn Williams said the empty Spotlight building on Adelaide Street has been an eyesore for years and its redevelopment pivotal to the East End revitalisation.

“…an opportunity missed, it is ridiculous, and is made even more so that the JDAP did not give the full reasons for the rejection,” she says

“How on earth is a property owner expected to respond without complete reasons.

“Every year that it remains undeveloped is another year with a significant blight on the inner city landscape.”

However Fremantle council, The Fremantle Society and Julie Matheson — an independent state election candidate for Fremantle — all opposed the development, citing either the height or poor aesthetics.

“Effectively it didn’t comply with the town planning scheme,” says Cr Rachel Pemberton, who sat on the JDAP and voted against it.

“We’re all for rejuvenating the East End, but it has to be the right development and has to abide by the scheme.”

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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