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Royal George Hotel Site Redevelopment

Royal George Hotel Site Redevelopment

August 2023

At its meeting on 15 August 2023, Council resolved to forward a submission on the amended development application for the Royal George Hotel site to the WA Planning Commission (WAPC). The submission expressed strong objection to the proposed change of use from Hotel to Tavern and alterations to the apartments and requested the WAPC refuse the application. Over past months, the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU) has undertaken their assessment of the proposal and in due course the SDAU will make a recommendation to the WAPC which will then determine the application at an upcoming meeting. The SDAU will advise the Town when the matter is to be considered by the WAPC and the Town will inform the community through the usual communication channels. The WAPC meetings are open to the public and the public can make deputations. Full details of the Council’s submission can be found at: – Item 13.5 page 235 of the Council Minutes.

June 2023


Public consultation has opened on an amended development application for the Royal George Hotel site at 34 Duke Street, East Fremantle.

The amended application proposes to change the approved land uses of ‘Hotel’ and ‘Artisanal Food and Beverage Production’ to ‘Tavern’, internal alterations to the hotel including converting the upper floor hotel rooms to a function space and modifications to the basement, lower ground and ground floors.  Minor internal alterations are proposed to the apartment building but no change is proposed to the building height.


This application was submitted to the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU) and will be assessed / determined by the SDAU and the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) under the ‘Significant Development’ pathway in accordance with planning legislation.

The Town is only a referral body for this application, providing comments, information and recommended conditions regarding the proposal. It is not involved in the consultation process. The Council is required to consider the proposal and should it wish to do so, formally make a submission to the WAPC.

The Town is not authorised to provide any information pertaining to this amended application as directed by the SDAU. All advertising of the proposal and the final determination will be undertaken by the SDAU/WAPC. All enquiries about the amended proposal should be directed to the SDAU using the above link.

Advertising commenced on Thursday, 22 June and will close on Thursday, 13 July 2023. All relevant documentation associated with the amended application is available to be viewed and downloaded via the above link.

It is intended that Council will consider a submission on the amended application at its meeting of 15 August 2023. A Council meeting date will be confirmed through the usual communication channels.

February 2023

Since our last update, the final restoration works to the external areas with a direct interface with the new apartment building and the additional parking aspect of the development have not been finalised. The Town has not been advised of the date on which construction of the apartment building will commence and at this stage a Building Permit application has not been submitted. Further community updates will be provided as the development progresses.

March 2022

The restoration works to the hotel are continuing and the developer is required to submit a separate Building Permit for the apartment project at the rear of the hotel. 

Further community updates will be provided as the development progresses.

February 2022

Saracen advertised for expressions of interest to be submitted by 15 March 2022 for either purchase and/or lease of the Royal George Hotel.

Read the Town's Statement:

Potential Sale or Lease of Royal George Hotel - Owner Seeking Expressions of Interest

January 2022

The Town commenced preliminary discussions with the developer regarding additional car parking and several concepts for the car parking were presented to the Town. Feedback was provided on each concept and further information was requested. 

November 2021

The development application for Phase 2 of the Royal George Hotel redevelopment was approved on 4 November 2021. It included approval for the hotel uses, including a full refurbishment of the building for hospitality purposes, 10 hotel rooms, artisan food and beverage production and the construction of 24 apartments in a nine storey building at the rear of the site.

Key points of the redevelopment proposal:

    • the development is estimated to be worth $24 million
    • the development provides for “adaptive re-use of the hotel with an artisan food and beverage production area, cellar door sales, a small bar, restaurant and 10 restored hotel rooms”
    • the new apartment building on the northern side of the hotel will house 24 apartments and 52 cars bays mostly in an underground car stacker, including 44 residential bays and eight commercial bays for hotel staff
    • a condition of approval requires the developer, in consultation with the Town, to provide for additional street car parking bays in the locality around the Royal George Hotel or provide a cash in lieu payment to the Town, and
    • the development is required to be substantially commenced within 18 months of the approval date.

Due to the construction cost of this development and new planning legislation, the Town of East Fremantle was not the decision-maker in respect to planning approval. The WAPC determined the ‘Significant Development’ application subject to conditions. The decision and conditions of planning approval are available on the WAPC website at:

The owner must now make an application for a Building Permit before any works on the rear of the site can commence. 

The Town can be contacted for any enquiries regarding the planning approval process or the conditions of planning approval.

3 March 2020 

Official notification of Local Planning Scheme No.3 - Amendment No.15

Documentation relating to gazetted Amendment

 3 September 2019

Outcome of Consideration of Schedule of Modifications and Schedule submissions

Council has now endorsed a recommendation for both Scheme Amendments.

At the Special Council Meeting of 7 August 2019 and the Ordinary Council Meeting of 20 August 2019, the Council resolved, pursuant to Section 75 of the Planning and Development Act 2005 and Regulation 41(3) (c) of the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, to support complex Amendment No. 14 and No. 15 to Local Planning Scheme No. 3 subject to the modifications to the Schedules of Modifications (as directed for advertising by the Minister for Planning).

The Council resolution and Officer Reports in relation to both Amendments can be found here:

Amendment No. 14

Amendment No. 15

State Department of Planning Officers will now consider the submissions and the Council resolutions for both Amendments and prepare reports which will be considered by the Statutory Planning Committee - SPC - (a sub-committee of the WAPC).  The Officer reports are confidential and not available to the public prior to the SPC meeting, however, community members can request to make a deputation/presentation to the SPC. 

The meetings are not open to the general public unless an invitation to make a deputation/presentation is extended.  Should you wish to make a deputation/presentation an application to the Presiding Member can be made by following the link below:

Further information in relation to SPC Agendas and upcoming meetings at which Amendment No. 14 and No. 15 may be considered, can be obtained from the following website or you are welcome to contact the Town to enquire about meeting dates.

Please note: Deadlines for making an application for a deputation/presentation prior to the scheduled meeting date apply – three (3) clear business days from the date of the meeting.   Agendas for meetings are available 72 hours prior to the meeting.

The Minister for Planning will make the final decision on the Amendments in due course following referral and consideration of the recommendation of the SPC.  There are no statutory timeframes by which the Minister is required to make a decision.

All those who made a submission on the Amendments will be advised of the Minister’s decisions and the Minister’s decisions will also be posted on the Town’s website and in the Town’s e-newsletter.  Public notices will also be published in a local newspaper.  

Should you have any queries regarding either Amendment please contact Christine Catchpole on 9339 9319 or email


Update - Special Meeting of Council  - Schedule of Modifications

Notice of Special Council Meeting – 7 August 2019

The Town of East Fremantle will consider the Schedule of Modifications and the submissions relating to the Royal George Hotel Scheme Amendment No. 15 at a Special Council Meeting to be held on

 Date:                        Wednesday, 7 August 2019,

Location                  Council Chamber, Town Hall

                                 135 Canning Highway, East Fremantle

 Time:                        commencing at 6:30pm. 

Deputations/presentations will be permitted.

Should you wish to make a deputation or presentation, the Agenda and Officer’s Report for the meeting will be available on Friday, 2 August 2019.   Go to the Council Meetings Page here 

If you have any queries please contact Senior Town Planner Christine Catchpole on (08) 9339 9319 or Executive Manager Regulatory Services, Andrew Malone on (08) 9339 9324.



The Town of East Fremantle would like to provide additional information in regard to the Planning Minister’s modifications to the Amendment and the progress of Amendment No 15.    

Since the Town was directed to advertise the Minister's modifications, the Town has had concerns with the specific wording of the controls relating to building height.  Investigations have confirmed the modified building height controls do not specify a maximum building height that cannot be varied. This means that a decision maker has the discretion and power to approve a building that is higher than what would reasonably be considered seven (7) storeys.  As the Amendment currently reads, a building could be permitted to exceed seven (7)  storeys from natural ground level. 

Adding to the uncertainty surrounding building height is the pending gazettal on 24 May 2019, of State Planning Policy 7.3 – R-Codes – Volume 2 Apartments (SPP 7.3).  SPP 7.3 will apply to the site and introduces definitions that impact on and provide flexibility in regard to determining building height.  

The new R-Codes:

  • do not include basements in the calculation of the number of storeys
  • allow 5 metre high storeys
  • do not include mezzanines, lofts and roof structures up to 2.4m in height within the definition of a ‘storey’
  • state that building heights expressed in metres are a ‘conservative baseline’
  • state that ‘natural ground level’ is indeterminate. The starting point could be higher than the present ground level as per the definition of ‘natural ground level’ under the new R-Codes. 

At the time of advertising the modifications, it was not possible for the Town or the community to be fully informed of the new R-Codes, given SPP 7.3 was released on 18 February, only days before the close of the advertising period on 25 February and well after most people had made a submission on Amendment No. 15.  

If the issue regarding building height is of concern to you, please contact your local State Members of Parliament to express your views.  Their contact details have been provided below.  

You are also welcome to discuss the matter further by contacting Christine Catchpole, Senior Town Planner at the Town on 9339 9339.

Hon Simone McGurk MLA

Member for Fremantle Electorate

Minister for Child Protection; Women’s Interests;
Prevention of Family Domestic Violence; Community Services

Shop 2, 8-12 Market Street, FREMANTLE, WA, 6160

PO Box 912, FREMANTLE, WA 6959

Tel: (08) 9336 7000


Hon Lisa O’Malley MLA

Member for Bicton Electorate

Suite 12 Riseley Corporate Centre

135 Riseley Street, BOORAGOON WA 6154

PO Box 272, MELVILLE WA 6156

Tel: (08) 9316 0666


next steps

The next step in the Amendment process is for the Council to make a recommendation in regard to the Schedule of Modifications and the community submissions.  Notification of the Council Meeting date at which the Amendment will be considered will be posted on the website in advance of the meeting and if you made a submission on the Amendment you will receive notification in writing.  Members of the community are welcome to attend the meeting.

Following the Council meeting the Amendment documents will be forwarded to the WAPC for its consideration. Following consideration by the WAPC, the Amendment will be forwarded to the Planning Minister who can either determine to approve the Amendment, approve the Amendment with further modifications or refuse the Amendment.

timeline of events

29 January – 25 February 2019

Schedule of Modifications for Amendment No. 14 and No. 15 advertised for public comment.

18 February 2019 Release of State Planning Policy 7.3 - R-Codes – Volume 2 Apartments – introduces new development controls for apartments
20 February 2019 Town Hall Community Information meeting for Amendment No. 14 and No. 15. 
March 2019

Town’s officers meet with Planning Minister’s advisors and senior State Planning staff to discuss concerns with the modifications to both Amendments.

4 April 2019 Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) grant Council an extension of time in which to make a decision on the Schedule of Modifications - until 25 June 2019 for Amendment No. 15 and 25 July 2019 for Amendment No. 14.
April 2019

Town’s officers meet with the local Federal and State Members of Parliament and Chairman of WAPC to discuss concerns with the modifications to Amendment No. 15.


Modifications to Scheme Amendment 15 -
Royal George Hotel Site - Public Comment Period Closed

The advertising period for the modifications to Scheme Amendment No.15 has closed. 

Town Planning staff are collating all the information for inclusion in a report to be presented to Council in the coming months.  Further updates will be included in future e-newsletters and on the Town's website. 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to make a submission. If you have any queries in relation to this matter please contact the Town via phone on (08) 9339 9339 or email 



To make a submission click here - this link takes you to our Community Consultations Page - please click on the heading to view the documents, online form and the printable forms required for you to complete

A submission can be made by any interested individual - the Town encourages you to submit your views on the modifications to this important Amendment.


In 2018 the Council adopted a major Amendment to its Planning Scheme for the Royal George Hotel site. This was necessary to control development on the vacant land at the rear of the Hotel. The Amendment considered the site's location, its heritage value, and the character and amenity of the surrounding area. It limited redevelopment to a non-variable maximum height which equated to 6 storeys (including basement car parking), ensured restoration of the Hotel and respected residential amenity.

The Amendment was then forwarded to the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) for its consideration. The WAPC made substantial changes to the Amendment most notably to the building height, building setbacks and heritage controls. These changes were then reconsidered by the Minister for Planning who has directed that the Amendment be modified and advertised for public comment for 28 days. Following the advertising period the Minister will consider public comment (submissions) and Council's recommendations prior to making a final decision.

The modifications most notably impact building height. In summary, the modifications state that a building height not exceed 7 storeys. However, a capped maximum building height is not specified. It is therefore not possible to control or establish the exact height of a building in relation to the Hotel under the modified development standards. Other modifications include increasing developable floor space, variations to building setbacks and deletion of the heritage provisions as endorsed by the Council.

Documents providing full details of the modifications to the Scheme Amendment are available for inspection here or at the Town Hall, 135 Canning Highway, East Fremantle, during office hours up to and including Monday, 25 February 2019.

Submissions on the modifications to the Scheme Amendment may be made in writing to the Chief Executive Officer, Town of East Fremantle on Submission Form 3A and lodged on or before Monday, 25 February 2019.



Update - Friday 30 November 2018

Media Statement                                                                                                                                                                           


The Town of East Fremantle welcomes today’s decision by the Minister for Planning to endorse a seven-storey height cap on development at the Royal George Hotel site, Duke Street, East Fremantle.

The decision will enable the development of the site under Scheme Amendment 15, which will be re-advertised for public comment early next year for 28 days.

On the Minister’s decision, Mayor of the Town of East Fremantle, Jim O’Neill, comments:

“This decision is good news for the Town and the local community, as it provides us with some certainty regarding development controls for a very important State Heritage listed site.

“Not only does it recognise the views raised by the local community, but it considers the character, heritage and future planning requirements of the area.

“We look forward to working with the developer on the delivery of their project, which includes the restoration of the Royal George Hotel.”


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 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).