Woolstores plan back

REJIGGED plans for the Woolstores shopping centre redevelopment are expected to come before Fremantle council’s planning committee this coming Wednesday.

The Herald was contacted by a Freo councillor earlier this week who’d been alerted to the application for a 10-storey mix of shops, hotel, aged care and car parking being listed with the JDAP, which left this coming week’s meeting the only available slot for it to come before the council.

The councillor, who didn’t want to be named, said they were concerned that with the Easter long weekend the controversial development might get through without the scrutiny it deserves.

Silverleaf Investment’s plans have already been run past the council, which said it would need considerable changes if was to be supported.

The council wanted the building to be more in keeping with the Elders woolstore next door, changes to “porthole” windows proposed for the hotel, widening a pedestrian link through the complex and making more of the hotel lobby along Queen Street.

Local architect Malcolm Mackay has also weighed into the debate about whether the first iteration was worthy of being classified as “exceptional” to qualify for additional height.

In a report for the Fremantle Society, Mr Mackay says he’d prefer the less onerous term “exemplary”, but still thinks Silverleaf’s first plans need considerable rejigging to qualify.

Taking exception to the porthole windows as a “cheesy” maritime reference, Mr Mackay also questioned a series of curved steel fins along the hotel’s flanks saying they contributed nothing to Fremantle’s sense of place.

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