Freo Alternative

Shelter WA is delighted by the announcement from the Minister for Planning that she has approved Local Planning Scheme Amendment No. 62 in the City of Fremantle. 

The scheme titled ‘Freo Alternative - Big Thinking about Small Housing’ is a new planning policy to stimulate development of a wider choice of housing in Fremantle’s suburban areas while still maintaining what people value about their neighbourhoods. 

The Hon Rita Saffioti Minister for Transport; Planning approved the amendment which is consistent with the State Government's objectives to promote housing diversity and innovative housing types to meet the needs of changing demographics. 

“This scheme amendment strikes the right balance of retaining the character of established neighbourhoods while ensuring the City of Fremantle can accommodate a growing population,” Ms Saffioti said. 

In a January 2018 submission to the City of Fremantle, Shelter WA said that overall the Freo Alternative was an important initiative that identifies and responds to local housing needs.

“Shelter WA is supportive of the ‘Freo Alternative’ scheme amendment as it demonstrates a planning change that will encourage new and diverse housing in the City of Fremantle,” Shelter WA wrote.

“We are also supportive of the way the City of Fremantle has undertaken the community engagement process for this initiative and believe it has led to a more robust planning scheme amendment.”

Shelter WA CEO Michelle Mackenzie said, “Local government plays a critical role through their planning schemes to facilitate diverse affordable housing choice. It is fantastic to see a local government positively engaging with their community to support new, thoughtful and well-designed housing options whilst preserving Fremantle’s unique urban character and amenity.”

Key provisions include:

· Only applies to lots larger than 600 square metres.
· Dwellings to have a maximum floor area of 120 square metres.
· Maximum of three dwellings on lots of 750 square metres or less.
· Minimum of 30 square metres of outdoor living area per dwelling.
· Developments to have higher than standard energy efficiency ratings, and include solar panels, rainwater tanks, grey water systems or meet best practice accessibility standards.
· A minimum of 70 per cent of the entire development to be open space.
· At least one large tree to be retained or planted for each dwelling.
· A maximum of one parking bay per dwelling.
· Developments to be referred to the City’s Design Advisory Committee to consider design quality.

The Freo Alternative will initially be applied to specific locations within the City of Fremantle – in areas of White Gum Valley, Hilton, O’Connor, Beaconsfield and Fremantle – that meet certain criteria regarding proximity to public transport, existing lot size and housing stock and heritage streetscapes.

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