By George!

A WEEK after forming, The Friends of the Royal George have already collected 600 signatures opposing the construction of a high-rise apartment on the site of the Royal George in East Fremantle.

Saracen Properties say their proposed tower must be 18 storeys to cover the cost of refurbishing the historic hotel, but that’s riled locals who are concerned the high-rise will diminish the town’s character.

In June, East Fremantle council approved an amendment to its local planning scheme to limit the height of the development to six storeys, but Friends spokesperson Genevieve Hawks says many residents wrongly think this has put the matter to rest.

“The council’s amendment to the planning scheme is not effective until it is approved by the minister for planning, and this has not happened yet,” she says.

“It seems the minister is waiting to assess community opinion.”

Ms Hawks says they are aiming to get 1000 signatures before Fremantle Labor MP Simone McGurk tables the petition at state parliament on Thursday August 23.

by MOLLY SCHMIDT

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