McCabe St: A win for residents
A PUSH by North Fremantle residents for more input into the development plans around McCabe Street has been successful, with a modified planning policy going before a City of Fremantle committee this month.
First introduced in 2009, the McCabe Street planning policy was brought into the limelight again last year when the city made changes that would allow the council to approve additional heights of between 25m and 33m at its discretion, an increase from the original 17m to 20m.
After a deferral in October, the modified item came back before the Planning Services Committee on Wednesday.
A recommendation was introduced asking for a minimum of 15 per cent at the Matilda Bay Brewery site to be public open space before council would consider approving discretionary height, while a decision was also made that council should work with the community to produce a guideline which would help in the creation of a structure plan.
North Fremantle Community Association convener Gerard MacGill said the group, which took part in the extended community consultation, had wanted the guideline to be dealt with alongside the policy as a package deal, which he said would give the community more chances to be involved in the process.
“The guidelines are the only way in which council and the community can exercise some degree of control over the designs,” he said.
“The community has to be satisfied that in accepting the policy, albeit reluctantly, there will be guidelines on its application.
“The small changes are welcome and we accept the limit of what is permissible under the State planning rules; however we’d rather that the discretionary heights were not included because developers will go to the maximum and look for more.”
Fremantle Planning and Development acting director Paul Garbett said officers had decided to keep the policy and guideline separate to provide more certainty for the policy as it was being finalised.
“Officers recommended the two matters be dealt with separately to provide certainty about permissible building heights through finalisation of the policy before working on a broader range of issues that would be addressed in the guidelines for the structure plan,” he said.
“The former industrial sites in the McCabe Street area are one of only a few locations in the City of Fremantle where there is an opportunity to provide new residential development at the higher densities required to enable the city to meet its share of the population growth and housing supply requirements.”
The policy will go before full Council on January 28.