North Freo apartment plans too high

Ambitious plans for two new apartment projects in North Fremantle will have to be substantially revised, after a height study commissioned by the City of Fremantle found the developments would not produce a desirable outcome.

SAS Global Ltd put forward its structure plan for a 36-metre high residential development on the former OneSteel site in North Fremantle earlier this year, which included 192 apartments.

Next door, at 9-15 McCabe Street, Australian Finance Group Ltd had drafted plans for a slightly smaller development of up to five storeys, containing 76 apartments and 16 townhouses.

Neither project will go ahead in its current form after the Fremantle council voted to adopt the recommendations of a height study of the area, and concurrently rejected AFG's structure plan.

SAS Global project manager Jonathan Roach said the company was still deciding how to respond to the height study, in terms of revising its structure plan.

"It's looking like we'll have to change our plans, so we'll have to work out whether we can produce a design that will still achieve what we want," Mr Roach told WA Business News.

"We have to make a yield out of the site in order to make it viable, and height was an important aspect of the design. The best lots, at the top of the development, would have had views of the river and the beach. We still want to try and get the best views we can."

Mr Roach said one option was to design something similar to the nearby Buckland Hill development, but with views of the beach.

The height study, undertaken by Victoria-based consultancy Scenic Spectrums Pty Ltd, covered an area of land around McCabe Street, including the former OneSteel site, the old Tasker Sails and Spars premises, owned by AFG, and the Matilda Bay Brewery site.

It was commissioned by the city to determine an appropriate scale for future development in the area, based on the topography of the land and other factors.

The report found a development based on SAS Global and AFG's plans would be the least desirable outcome, in terms of visual effects and overshadowing.

It also said a development that maintained low building heights, of up to four storeys along Stirling Highway and McCabe Street, would preserve most views, particularly from public viewpoints, and would also retain the profile of the Buckland Hill ridgeline.

A spokesperson for AFG said a decision was yet to be made on revised plans for the site.

SAS Global bought its site from developer Michael Hodgson in May last year for $61 million.


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