Beacy rebirth

ITS transformation could potentially outdo Fremantle’s CBD in scale, but Beaconsfield councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge fears ratepayers haven’t quite cottoned on to the magnitude of what’s looming for a huge swathe of her ward.

This Tuesday the council will be holding the first open community workshops to discuss the project dubbed The Heart of Beaconsfield.

A collaboration between the council, Homeswest, Landcorp, WAPC, the Department of Education, the Department of Training and Workforce Development, the Portuguese Club of WA and Activ Foundation, the project will see the redevelopment of 48 hectares between South Street and Clontarf Road.

It takes in Bruce Lee Oval, the Homeswest enclave known as the Beacy Bronx, South Metropolitan Tafe, the new Fremantle College and the old quarry site on Lefroy Road.

• Beaconsfield ward councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge looks over the suburb from Salentina Ridge; in 20 years time the view will be completely different.

Homeswest has already asked the council to declare its section a ‘development zone’ so it can triple  density, but says it’ll be scaling public public housing.

The education department has confirmed the Tafe will be leaving by the end of the year, says Cr Fitzhardinge, although it may retain its restaurant on site. Activ has also scaled back use of its site along Lefroy Road in recent years.

That, plus the council’s own quarry site, could pave the way for thousands of new homes, but Cr Fitzhardinge says the conversation is much broader.

“We’re trying to keep it really open because it’s an opportunity to talk about what do we need for the future of Fremantle with things like sporting facilities, recreational activities or aged care,” she said.

She says that means all Fremantle residents have a vested interest in coming to the council’s workshop or commenting on its MySay website, but so far there hasn’t been much encouragement.

She says while doorknocking and discussing the project with people in the supermarket, she’s been a bit disappointed at their lack of engagement.

“If the Fremantle community are involved in this, we can get a good outcome, but if we leave it to the agencies, we might end up with something disastrous,” she says.

Cr Fitzhardinge says nothing’s off limits yet, including the possible relocation of Bruce Lee Oval – a former tip site – being relocated to a more integrated sporting complex.

Residents from the Homeswest section dubbed the Beacy Bronx have already suggested improving the diversity of recreation options at the oval, including bike trails.

To register for Tuesday’s workshop log onto mysay.fremantle.wa.gov.au

by STEVE GRANT

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