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Leighton to spark ‘domino effect’

“It is a matter of planning and designing the buildings for the nearby activity or any risk.”

-         David Caddy

-          

THE State Government’s plan to convert the old Leighton marshalling yards into a coastal village could spark-off nearby residential redevelopment projects along the North Fremantle coast.

The Leighton marshalling yards proposal is for a blend of residential, recreational and commercial development on four hectares of the 17ha site. By 2006 the currently degraded site is to be transformed into a coastal residential precinct for around 1,000 people.

Fremantle Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Longley said the redevelopment of the Leighton marshalling yards would have a “domino effect” in the area.

Mr Longley said there were a number of sites with great ocean views that would be suitable for residential development.

Perth businessman Michael Hodgson, owner of the One Steel site on the corner of Stirling Highway and McCabe Street, is currently in discussion with the City of Fremantle to convert the 3.1ha industrial zoned site into a residential and mixed-use development.

Mr Hodgson’s company, Octennial Holdings, was previously involved in a joint venture with LandCorp to develop 140 home sites at Minim Cove in the riverside suburb of Mosman Park.

City of Fremantle land use planner Jill Gaynor said that, apart from the redevelopment interest in the One Steel site, no other redevelopment proposals had been presented to the City of Fremantle to date.

Holders of large land parcels with potential redevelopment value in North Fremantle include Caltex Petroleum, Standard Wool Australia, Allied Mills, Barrymore Nominees, HLM Holdings and government bodies.

Property developer Australand has an option over a small land holding nearby the One Steel site.

Introducing more residential development into mixed use/ industrial areas is sure to raise planning issues, however. Australand general manager (WA) Chris Lewis said well-planned residential development mixed with light industrial areas could give areas character and feeling.

Planning Institute Australia president David Caddy said the City of Fremantle was keen to retain its economic base and workforce. As a result, residential development could not preclude land uses that bore economic benefits for the city.

Mr Caddy said that, with careful planning and education of residents and business operators, mixed-use developments could exist in harmony.

In the case of the redevelopment of the Leighton marshalling yards, design of the residential buildings will play a large part, particularly with the oil tanks stored nearby.

“It is a matter of planning and designing the buildings for the nearby activity or any risk,” Mr Caddy said.

Mr Caddy said for mixed-use areas to work well both land users had to respect each other. 

He said new residents needed to be educated about what they could do to ensure there was no adverse impact from surrounding activities.

North Fremantle’s two prominent industry icons, Dingo Flour and Matilda Bay Brewery, are planning to be around for at least another decade.

Matilda Bay Brewery has recently signed a 10-year lease and Dingo Flour, which was bought by Allied Mills, is planning to stay for a further 15 years.

LandCorp is currently working with the new government architect, a community reference group and the City of Fremantle, to develop design guidelines for the Leighton redevelopment.

The area will have five distinct precincts and the Government plans to involve a number of developers and builders.

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