EAST FREMANTLE mayor Jim O’Neill says he’s “worried” about high rise development being pushed onto the town by the state’s planning tsars.
Recently the WA Planning Commission knocked back the council’s attempts to impose a seven-storey height limit on a development proposed for the old Roofing 2000 building on the corner of Canning and Stirling highways.
The council had initiated a scheme amendment for the site last year after owners ST Melville and RH Turner pitched an eight- or nine-storey development, but when it advertised the plan there was an outcry from residents who said it was too big and too bulky.
In response the council has tried to tone down the scheme amendment by limiting the site to seven storeys along Canning Highway and tapering it away towards residential areas, but the WAPC has said it’s not interested.
“We negotiated with the development for around two and a half years with this amendment and we were pretty confident with our scheme amendment,” Mr O’Neill told the Herald.
He said the WAPC had indicated it was considering discretionary height, but the council didn’t know what was being proposed to earn the extra storeys and was concerned.
“These proposals are the biggest building outside of the CBD if you take out South Perth,” Mr O’Neill said, noting that the council’s attempt to limit the old Royal George Hotel site is also awaiting the WAPC’s verdict.
“We are worried.
“East Fremantle is seen as green and leafy, but it’s actually a dense suburb and we don’t have a lot of green, open space.
“Sure, we have the river but not a lot of other public, open space and we are dense enough already.”
Mr O’Neill said he hoped the council could work with the WAPC to get a more acceptable outcome, and said they’d re-advertise the outcome to allow the community to respond further.
by STEVE GRANT
and MOLLY SCHMIDT