McCabe St: A win for res­i­dents

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Streetwatch - By JESSICA NICO

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.

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