SCHEME AMENDMENT No. 15 – ROYAL GEORGE HOTEL SITE

Update - Wednesday 7 November 2018

Following Council adoption of Amendment 14 and 15 in May and June of 2018, Elected Members and the Town’s Officers have met with the:

  • Minister for Planning;
  • relevant Members of State and Federal Parliament;
  • Chair of the Heritage Council;
  • CEO of the State Heritage Office and heritage officers;
  • Director General of the Department of Planning; Lands and Heritage; and
  • Senior State Planning staff and the Chair of the Western Australian Planning Commission.

The aim of the meetings was to outline the basis and importance of the Scheme Amendments in relation to orderly and proper planning for the sites and to seek support for the Amendments. 

The Town has liaised with community members and organisations who have expressed an interest in voicing their support for the Council’s Amendments. Meetings with the land owners of both Amendment sites and their representatives have also occurred as required.

Amendment 14 and 15 were considered by the Statutory Planning Committee (SPC) on 23 October 2018.  At the meeting the SPC considered reports by Officers of the Department of Planning which did not support the Town’s Amendments and proposed substantial modifications to both Amendments.  The SPC reports are confidential.

The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Officers from the Town, as well as many community members, the land owners/developers and their representatives made deputations to the SPC (a sub-committee of the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC)) to speak both in support of and against the Town’s Amendments. 

Following the meeting the Town was advised by the Department of Planning that the SPC determined to forward both Amendment 14 and 15 to the Hon. Minister for Planning for her consideration. The SPC’s decision is not publicly available as both Amendments remain confidential reports with the Minister.

Under the Local Planning Schemes Regulations 2015 the Minister, before making a decision on the Amendments, has the discretion to direct that modifications to the Amendments be advertised if the:  

  • WAPC recommends that the Amendment that was advertised be modified; and
  • Minister is of the opinion that the modification is significant.

The direction from the Minister must include details of the process to be followed in respect of the advertisement including timeframes for:  

  • the making and consideration of submissions on the modifications; and
  • providing recommendations to the Minister following the advertisement.

If the Town is given a direction by the Minister it must advertise the modifications to the Amendment as directed.  This includes when and for how long the Amendments will be advertised.

It is the Town’s understanding that both Amendments will be readvertised.

Advertising for both Amendments could occur concurrently.

The Town intends to continue to keep the community updated throughout the Amendment process.  When the Amendments are to be advertised the Town will post the details on the web site, write to land owners/occupiers within the Town seeking their comments and explain how to make a submission.  Advertisements will also be placed in the local newspapers, in the Town's E-newsletter (which is also distributed electronically), on its Facebook page and through all other relevant advertising means considered suitable. 

Following commencement of advertising the details of the modifications to the Amendments will be made available on the web site and at the Town’s administration office.  The Town’s Planning Officers will also be available to discuss the modified Amendments and how to make a submission.

If you require further information or clarification in regard to the Scheme Amendments please contact Christine Catchpole on 9339 9319 or ccatchpole@eastfremantle.wa.gov.au or Andrew Malone on 9339 9339.

----------------------------------------

Update Published Wednesday 24 October 2018

Today Tonight - Royal George Hotel Feature - on Monday 22 October, Channel 7 current affairs program, Today Tonight, ran a story on local residents fighting to stop the possible high rise development at the Royal George Hotel site - to view the feature click here

The Royal George Hotel was purchased by Saracen Properties Pty Ltd in June 2017 after it was transferred to the State Government from the National Trust. 

Through engagement with the owner and the Heritage Council of WA, the Town identified that the site’s Conservation Management Strategy (developed in conjunction with the Heritage Agreement) - a condition of sale of the land - did not address development controls and mainly focused on the restoration of the Hotel.

To provide statutory development controls, the Town initiated Scheme Amendment No.15 in June 2017. Scheme Amendment No.15 took into consideration the location of the site, its heritage value, and the character and amenity of the surrounding area. It recommended any building at the site be limited to seven (7) storeys, with the provision that a decision-maker could vary all development standards including height.

Amendment No. 15 was advertised for public comment by the Town of East Fremantle from July to September 2017 and received 15 submissions from residents;  all supported seven (7) or less storeys or equivalent building height to the Hotel. At the same time, planning consultants for the owner of the site made a submission to the Town of East Fremantle proposing nine (9) storeys, with a provision for increased height if performance criteria were met. The community submissions included a 115-signature petition, which objected to seven (7) storeys (requesting maximum five (5) storeys) and the associated traffic and parking impacts. Nearly all responses commented on the significant, ongoing traffic and parking issues experienced in the area. 

Council, at a Special Meeting held on 6 June 2018, resolved to support Amendment No. 15 with modifications that  introduced a maximum building height of six (6) storeys (including basement or semi basement parking), building setbacks from Duke Street and the Hotel, no plot ratio control and no parking concessions.   It also included a provision that prohibited the ability for a decision-maker to vary the site’s height and setback.   

To view a copy of the Local Planning Scheme Amendment No. 15 - Royal George Hotel Site click here  

To view a timeline of the Local Planning Scheme Amendment No. 15 Royal George Hotel Site click here                                                                                              

Fig. 1 - Below - Council Concept Drawing – this drawing is an example of what the height limit of 6 storeys may look like under the Town’s proposed Amendment No. 15.

Amendment No.15, with modifications, is now with the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) for review and consideration.  WAPC will provide a recommendation to the Minister for Planning, Lands and Heritage. The Minister has the authority to approve, refuse or modify Scheme Amendment No.15.  (To view a copy of Amendment No. 15 adopted by Council click here).