Freo council votes down ‘eyesore’ South Street sea container nursery25th February 2021
The site, on the corner of busy South Street and Plane Tree Grove, is home to popular drive-through cafe Salty Gnome, as well as fast food outlets, a gym, a spa, and two Asian restaurants.
“The design of the building is intended to provide a port-themed entry to the south-eastern gateway of Fremantle,” Deebo’s owners wrote in the council submission.
“The building is intended to address Fremantle’s context and focus on sustainable food production.”
Officers recommended council approve the development subject to conditions, including the structure be removed in five years’ time and the bar owners restore any damage to the verge vegetation along South Street.
But on a council meeting on Wednesday night, the proposal was voted down, which councillor Su Groome said was a “billboard by any other name”.
“I’m utterly unconvinced by the proposal that has been put in front of us,” she said.
“While our current planning framework makes it difficult to refuse this, in terms of its impact on the amenity of the area and its contribution to activation of the street to the public realm, it just doesn’t satisfy any of those boxes for such a prominent street.”
Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge said it was an eyesore, adding: “I just can’t see why they can’t put it somewhere else on their site.”
Council staff said the development was an acceptable use for the site and adhered to height and setback conditions but there were some concerns around appearance and quality, which was why it was recommended the containers only be approved for five years.