FREMANTLE council has approved plans from a developer to turn a slither of land across the road from the Fremantle Markets into a “high quality public space”, but it will come at the cost of a handful of parking bays.
The site, coined “The Triangle”, is on the corner of William and Parry Streets and Silverleaf Investment Group wants to tizz it up to draw people into its emerging hotel and hospitality hub at the old courthouse and police station.
Design plans by UDLA Landscape Architects show the site hosting a grassed area bordered by a pathway, several palm trees, and a low limestone wall for seating.
The design is in response to conditions set by the council in 2018 when it first saw Silverleaf’s development plans for the precinct and agreed to give it control of The Triangle.
It must “demonstrate an understanding and interpretation to cultural heritage and context,” given the site “signifies transition between the city centre and former convict establishment precinct”.
In response the designers say it “makes a strong visual connection with the prison and prison ramp, reinforced through materiality and careful alignment”.
The plan isn’t without its critics, given the further loss of parking spaces in the city.
Former council candidate and precinct convenor Mark Woodcock spoke during question time at the council’s last meeting.
“Can council inform the ratepayers of the impact of the loss of parking to the City of Fremantle due to council decisions,”Mr Woodcock asked.
He listed carparks the council had closed over the last few years, including Bannister Street, Point Street, and Quarry Street.
A staff report revealed the small carpark earns the council $90,000 each year, particularly on weekends when the markets are open.
But mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge said she’d never struggled to find parking there, suggesting it wasn’t critical.
Closing another “sneaky” little car park also fitted in with the council’s parking strategy, which was to build large, easily identifiable car parks on the periphery of the CBD.
South Ward councillor Geoff Graham also queried why a ramp running alongside Fremantle Oval to the prison was being treated with heritage kid gloves in the development, saying it had simply been a road before being made redundant when the Parry Street ring road was created to make negotiating the port city’s streets easier in preparation for the America’s Cup defence.
by JESSICA CONSTANTINE