The controversial $200 million facelift planned for Fremantle’s Victoria Quay by property developer ING Real Estate has come up against further opposition, with the City of Fremantle seeking to intervene in a review of the plan by the State Administrative
The controversial $200 million facelift planned for Fremantle’s Victoria Quay by property developer ING Real Estate has come up against further opposition, with the City of Fremantle seeking to intervene in a review of the plan by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).
The city put forward a number of conditions for the development last year – including opening the proposed shopping centre to the sky and sprucing up Peter Hughes Drive – which were largely adopted by the Western Australian Planning Commission in December.
ING has since lodged an application with SAT requesting a review of the WAPC conditions, to be heard next week.
But the City of Fremantle wants to be involved in the review, fearing its conditions may be eroded in the process.
It believes the current plan would ‘seriously diminish’ the heritage qualities of Victoria Quay and the West End, and is opposed to various elements of the project, including the bulk and scale of buildings.
At last week’s council meeting, the city voted to seek support from Fremantle MP and Attorney General, Jim McGinty, regarding its position.
The city also adopted a confidential ‘battle plan’ at its meeting, to lobby stakeholders in the development.
However, it is keen to keep the WAPC on side, stating in its meeting agenda that “there will be other key projects that the council will inevitably seek support for”.
Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri said there were several concerns with ING’s plan, including the built form design and the maintenance of view corridors from the waterfront.
“We fundamentally support the project, but there are elements we don’t like, and we want to make sure the review of ING’s plan reflects the outcomes we want,” Mr Tagliaferri said.
“We want to make sure our conditions are concrete.”
However, ING Real Estate chief executive officer Greg Boyd said he believed there was genuine co-operation between the various stakeholders, including future landlord Fremantle Ports.
Mr Boyd said ING had significantly revised its original plan, which had contained almost double the amount of office space, and said he hoped construction would commence early next year.
“We would hope that given the exceptionally long journey, and the compromises made on this project, that it has a smooth passage from here, because Fremantle needs it,” he said.
In its current form, ING’s development contains a mix of commercial, retail and entertainment areas, including two six-storey office blocks with 14,000 square metres of space.
About 12,000sqm of space will be designated for retail, restaurant and café space.
While Fremantle Ports has previously expressed its support for ING’s plan, a statement from acting chief executive officer Chris Leatt-Hayter said there were a few matters that were the subject of further discussion and clarification, which Fremantle Ports was trying to resolve.
The move by the City of Fremantle to intervene in SAT’s review of the project follows the formation last month of the Victoria Quay Planning Committee – an initiative of Planning Minister Alannah MacTiernan – which will seek more transparent planning for non-port activities in the western end of Victoria Quay.
This area includes the A, B and E sheds, the ferry landing, Fremantle Ports’ head office, the Maritime Museum and Challenger Tafe.
Top of the committee’s agenda is a review of the Fremantle Waterfront Masterplan, and the development of a strategy that will integrate the views of the community, the port and the City of Fremantle.
In addition to Mr Tagliaferri, the committee includes recently appointed Fremantle Ports chair Alan Birchmore, Tourism WA chief executive Richard Muirhead, architect Richard Longley and WA Planning Commission chairman Jeremy Dawkins.
“What we’ve been formed to do is to lead the public consultation process, so we don’t end up with another situation like [the ING project],” Mt Tagliaferri said.