Oval apartments mooted

FREMANTLE council is now looking at adding residential apartments to its multi-million dollar redevelopment of Fremantle Oval.

The council’s reference group recently took a walking tour of Claremont Oval to see how Landcorp had ringed the site with four to six-storey apartments, though mayor Brad Pettitt says that was more about fact gathering than looking for a blueprint to follow.

Landcorp, which is the throes of merging with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, is firming as a potential development partner for the council at Freo oval.

Dr Pettitt said it was too early to say how high the apartments would be, but picked the old Stan Reilly site as a likely focus.

• Freo council visited Claremont Oval (above) to see how apartments have been incorporated into its redevelopment, and an artist’s impression of the new Freo Oval (below).

“They’d be shorter than the hospital and then stagger down to the synagogue site, which is another landmark building,” Dr Pettitt said.

“We’re still looking at ideas for what type of accommodation they’d provide; one idea is that they’d be linked to the hospital as short-stay, or maybe a retirement complex, or as straight residential.”

At Wednesday’s council meeting, a recommendation from its strategic planning and transport committee was endorsed to try and have the city’s planning scheme imposed over the oval, rather than have it declared a special development zone.

Dr Pettitt said that would be to ensure the council had a firm hand on how high and how dense the development would become.

No doubt Fremantle had its eye on Scarborough while drafting that motion; its northern counterparts had to stand by while the MRA ignored their wishes and granted approval to a 43/33-storey twin tower development in June.

Dr Pettitt said the council was being very cautious because the oval is in the buffer of the world heritage-listed Fremantle Prison, and he didn’t want any oval development viewable from within its walls.

He says the council decided to add apartments into the oval mix because the site was at the transition between the CBD and residential areas and it made sense to try and bridge the two.

by STEVE GRANT

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