Heritage setback?

Freo’s planners say the modern building in the centre (left) could benefit from a little extra height to fit in with the West End’s streetscape (right).

FREMANTLE council wants to drop rules which force developers to step back a fourth floor in the historic West End, arguing it can actually contribute to an uglier streetscape.

The council has just launched consultation for an updated West End Heritage Area planning policy (LPP 3.21), which aims to ensure any new developments or alterations are respectful to its 19th century port aesthetic.

But a fourth floor has long been a source of conflict between heritage purists who argue the precinct’s current scale contributes to its charm and others who say that stifles the precinct’s economic viability; as a compromise, current rules demand the fourth storey be set back from the street.

The council says this hasn’t always resulted in a better outcome.

“… it is not consistent with the traditional building form in the West End, and has not been successful in many instances,” an information pack released for the consultation states.

Buildings would still be limited to a maximum of 14 metres and would have to be consistent with the predominant height pattern of adjoining properties.

The council is holding a “talk to a planner” session on August 26, though venue and times haven’t yet been released, while the consultation closes on September 7. 

The updated policy and information pack are available on the council’s mysay.fremantle. wa.gov.au page.

Leave a Reply