18/12/2019 - 09:52

Planning changes pave way for Royal George revamp

18/12/2019 - 09:52

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Developer Saracen Properties will start work early next year on a heritage restoration of East Fremantle’s historic Royal George Hotel, after Planning Minister Rita Saffioti approved changes to planning guidelines to facilitate the development.

Planning changes pave way for Royal George revamp
East Fremantle's Royal George is one of the suburb's most architecturally-significant buildings. Photo: Saracen Properties

Developer Saracen Properties will start work early next year on a heritage restoration of East Fremantle’s historic Royal George Hotel, after Planning Minister Rita Saffioti approved changes to planning guidelines to facilitate the development.

Ms Saffioti announced today that new development controls had been put in place for the site, with a 28-metre height limit, around a metre higher than the hotel’s spire, to ensure the project is in keeping with local character.

Saracen Properties had originally proposed to build a 21-storey apartment building alongside the restored landmark.

Project director Joel Saraceni said the company had been working with the Minister’s office, the Western Australian Planning Commission and the Town of East Fremantle for the last two years, describing the guideline changes as a “balanced outcome”.

“It gives us the certainty now to go on with the whole project and restore the heritage building,” Mr Saraceni told Business News.

“(The height limit) is well under what we originally designed and put forward, but all things considered it is a pretty balanced outcome and gives us the scope to do a really good design on the balance of the site.”

Mr Saraceni said design works would commence in January for the non-heritage portion of the site, while restoration work was set to begin in March.

Construction on the apartments component is not expected to begin for at least 12 months, and is subject to development approval and a successful pre-sales program.

Discussions with potential builders for the heritage component were under way, Mr Saraceni said, with the Royal George Hotel to be restored to its former status with a significant hospitality offering.

Saracen Properties has been working with Fremantle-based architecture group Spaceagency on the redevelopment plan.

“The idea is it will be a restaurant, bar, short stay accommodation and an urban winery or gin distillery in the basement area,” he said.

 

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