Diversity ‘nonsense’

Three Oceans’ plans for the old brewery site.

FREMANTLE council’s planning committee has again knocked back a 23-storey development application for the Matilda Bay Brewery site.

Developer Three Oceans had its application deferred by the state-controlled JDAP so it could further develop the proposal, but Fremantle mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge said the resulting plans still didn’t didn’t “come to the party”.

A string of residents fronted the committee to urge councillors to follow their planners’ recommendation to refuse the application, which is one of two major developments on the cards for North Fremantle in the immediate future.

Ray House lives with his wife just 400 metres from the old brewery and Ford factory site and said Three Oceans’ proposal was a “gross over-reach” which added nothing to the community but lined the developer’s pockets.

“The proposed development on htis site and the One Steel site will see about an extra 2000 people living there,” Mr House said.

“That means a 50 per cent increase in North Fremantle’s population, all entering and exiting at one intersection that is not designed to cater for such volumes.

“Traffic and parking chaos will be the result and local residents will be left with the pain,” he said.

Councillor Su Groom also took aim at the developer’s “elaborate argument” that the extra height could be justified by the increase in housing diversity.

“The only dwellings in this development that would be affordable for the current income band in North Fremantle is the one-bedroom units,” Cr Groom said.

“I think it’s a misunderstanding of the kind of diversity that we’re trying to achieve which is recognition that developments in North Fremantle, Fremantle and other parts of our district are pricing people out of the market, so using the existing average median income in North Fremantle as a basis to decide whether this new development is going to give us more diversity is a nonsense, because we actually to enable people on different incomes to come and live in North Fremantle,” Cr Groom said.

Councillor Andrew Sulliver, acknowledging he was the “outlier” in the debate, said he wasn’t opposed to the style of high-density development on offer out of “a desire to see Perth develop in a way that stops the continual infill of the outer suburbs and actually embraces urban infill and high-density living”.

Cr Sullivan still voted against the development saying it still had a range of issues, but he’d sat on the JDAP when it came up first time and said the panel members didn’t want to outright refuse it because it had “a whole range of admirable qualities”.

The committee unanimously voted to recommend the JDAP refuse the application.

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