SUNSET EVENTS got its scaled-down proposal for a tavern and micro-brewery on Arthur Head through Fremantle council’s planning meeting this week – sort of.
Although the committee voted 5-2 to support the 300-patron tavern, chair Jon Strachan felt that given the community interest in the item, it should be referred to full council because the vote wasn’t unanimous.
Former mayor Jenny Archibald and Hilton warder Jeff McDonald were the only dissenting voices, the latter wondering how a tavern open to midnight would help stimulate business along High Street, referring to the council’s West End activation plans which led to the tavern proposal.
Cr Archibald argued that because Arthur Head was “precious” it needed a more cohesive plan.
City ward representative Cr Adin Lang appeared to be convinced by a condition that coastal bushes impacted by the development be replaced elsewhere.
He also noted that Sunset could be up for at least $1 million upgrading the J-Shed’s plumbing, which might not be feasible if the site were to be restricted to a small cafe.
Sunset is planning to build decking and pergolas around the J-Shed studio facing directly onto Bathers Beach and also wants to create an artificial “beach” area of its own, which copped some stick from councillors.
It is also planning a display of permanent art installations and recurring programs featuring local artist.
But the surrounding J-Shed artists and inner city residents association say the scaled-back version is still unacceptable.
FICRA Arthur Head sub-committee member Maryrose Baker spoke at the meeting, telling councillors the amendments were only minor and they were essentially being asked to approve a large tavern.
by STEVE GRANT