Nursing centre pulled

NOTRE DAME University has put its application for a proposed nursing and midwifery centre in Fremantle on ice for a month.

The state-controlled development assessment panel was due to consider the five-storey building next Thursday, but following Fremantle council’s thumbs-down last week, the uni has asked for it to be deferred.

“Our purpose in seeking the adjournment is to give us additional time to consider the responsible authority report and undertake further consideration of matters which have been raised in the report and council discussions,” Notre Dame vice chancellor Celia Hammond told the Herald.

“As part of this we are engaging an independent heritage specialist to assist us in addressing the heritage matters which have been raised.

“We will also be seeking the input and comments of the city officers, and we would welcome the opportunity to meet with councillors during the adjournment.”

But while Prof Hammond was walking a conciliatory line, architect Dean Fehlberg got stuck into the council over its rejection of his firm’s design.

Mr Fehlberg says MCDF Architects met with the council’s design advisory committee three times and garnered its support, including the contentious fifth storey, while the State Heritage Office was also on board.

But he says no councillors noted this support when knocking back the building.

Mr Fehlberg says there are plenty of buildings in the West End that are just as high, and says trying to ignore the neighbouring Tramways building as an “aberration” is silly.

“It exists and is part of the history and fabric of the West End, as is Marina Apartments,” Mr Fehlberg said.

by STEVE GRANT

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