06/06/2006 - 22:00

Alternative vision for Victoria Quay

06/06/2006 - 22:00

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The federal and state members for Fremantle, Carmen Lawrence and Jim McGinty respectively, have met with Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri to explore possible alternatives to the proposed $200 million Victoria Quay redevelopment on Fremantle Harbour.

Alternative vision for Victoria Quay

The federal and state members for Fremantle, Carmen Lawrence and Jim McGinty respectively, have met with Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri to explore possible alternatives to the proposed $200 million Victoria Quay redevelopment on Fremantle Harbour.

This follows weeks of government and community objection to the plans, put forward in March by developer ING, for an eight- or six-storey commercial, office and retail develop-ment next to the E-Shed Markets.

The plans feature 12,000 square metres of retail and entertainment space at ground level with 25,000sq m of commercial and office floor space above.

ING, the developer of discount centre Harbour Town in West Perth, believes the Victoria Quay redevelopment will attract up to two million additional visitors a year to the port city and inject $80 million into the local economy.

The meeting produced several variations to the current plan, which will be presented to ING and Fremantle Ports.

Mr Tagliaferri said that while the area was currently under the control of the WA Planning Commission, the issue had engaged the whole community.

“We’ve come together to produce viable alternatives that still meet the objectives of what the developer is trying to achieve while ensuring the planning, heritage and economic aspects are of benefit to Fremantle as a whole,” Mr Tagliaferri said.

He stressed the meeting with Dr Lawrence and Mr McGinty was aimed at generating discussion about alternative possibilities.

While the City of Fremantle has not adopted any official position, Mr Tagliaferri has voiced his concerns regarding the bulk and scale of the development. This puts him at odds with the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and Fremantle Ports, both of which support the plan.

The first critical matter raised from the meeting between the ministers and the mayor concerned the issue of excessive floor space. In this regard, ING could be asked to provide the amount of floor space needed for the project to remain economically viable.

Variations proposed to reduce the height and bulk of the building include either offsetting floor space at D-Shed or redistributing floor space and car parking facilities, thereby improving the development’s integration with the existing train station and city centre.

The variations aim to reduce the maximum height of the commercial development to four storeys or an equivalent to the historic three-storey buildings located in the immediate locality. 

The group recommended the west wing of the train station should be developed to improve integration between Victoria Quay and the city centre, providing a historical shopfront entrance into the site.

Mr Tagliaferri said the meeting provided an opportunity to look at the commercial impact of the project and how it consolidated into Fremantle’s core retail area, while integrating pedestrian access into the city centre.

ING is expected to lodge a development application with a refined scheme to the Fremantle City Council once feedback from community consultation has been considered.

The developer has commissioned the architects behind the Maritime Museum, Cox Howlett + Bailey Woodland, to design the project, with early 2009 a forecast completion date.

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