Fremantle moves closer to adopting landmark planning scheme amendments
The City has moved a step closer to the adoption of its groundbreaking Planning Scheme Amendment 49, after council voted to support principles of the amendment at its meeting last week (22 February).
The adoption of the planning principles will allow city officers to prepare a final scheme amendment document, paving the way for Planning Scheme Amendment 49 to be adopted by council at its next meeting on 28 March. Following this, the scheme amendments will be submitted to the Western Australian Planning Commission and the Minister for Planning for approval.
The planning scheme amendments cover 12 key sites in the City Central area of the CBD, focused around Queen Street between the Fremantle Railway Station and Kings Square. These sites were identified by the City as capable of supporting redevelopment of an intensity and scale that would make a significant contribution to achieving a multitude of strategic imperatives as identified in the City of Fremantle Strategic Plan 2010–2015.
The principles adopted by council include a provision that the maximum height on some of the key sites will not be able to be approved until council has developed a policy to provide guidance in the exercise of discretionary height. This policy will be subject to a further public consultation process prior to its approval.
Fremantle Mayor, Dr Brad Pettitt, said he was delighted with the outcome: “After what equates to years of extensive research and months of community consultation, council is very pleased with the final planning scheme amendment principles,” said Dr Pettitt.
“Council is confident that these amendments will provide the scope for sustainable development that has previously not been possible under the current planning scheme. I thank everyone involved in this initiative including city staff and consultants, the local community and of course my fellow elected members, who have shown great vision and resolve throughout the planning and consultation process.
“With the final stages of Planning Scheme Amendment 49 in sight, council is now turning its attention to achieving an integrated development of the Kings Square precinct. Community consultation on that initiative is expected to commence in April,” added Dr Pettitt.
The City of Fremantle Economic Development Strategy 2011-2015, adopted by council in April 2011, established targets for City Central which included:
- 20,000 sqm of additional retail floorspace
- 70,000 sqm of additional A grade office space
- 1,500 additional dwellings.
It is anticipated that redevelopment of the 12 strategic sites in City Central, combined with development of minor city centre sites and other sites outside the area–including Victoria Quay and Fishing Boat Harbour–will enable these additional floorspace targets to be achieved.
Under the existing provisions of the local planning scheme (to maximum discretionary heights) it was found that only 67% of the targeted floorspace could be met. Council considered this shortfall to be a sound basis for amending the planning scheme.
Achievement of the City’s targets will support Fremantle’s objective to be recognised as a Primary Centre in the Perth metropolitan area as identified in the state government’s spatial strategy ‘Directions 2031 and Beyond’.