Celsius critics rise

Celsius’ revised design for 367-373 Fitzgerald Street.

LOCAL opposition is emerging to plans to put 13 storeys of apartments across a North Perth mega-block stretching from Raglan to Alma Road.

Developer Celsius has submitted plans for two towers with 97 apartments, seven ground floor commercial tenancies and a couple of levels of offices.

It’s been three years in the making, revised down from earlier plans for 16 storeys (“Celsius rising,” Voice, June 26, 2021).

The height’s still well above Vincent council’s usual six storey zoning for the area and will need the state government’s development assessment panel to exercise discretion if it’s to go ahead.

Nearby hairdresser Neil Stacey says the community is also unhappy that six century-old shopfronts would be demolished under the plans.

A flyer put out by Celsius earlier this year said the project was in line with the state government’s focus on putting new apartments on transport routes in activity centres to cope with a rising population. The flyer said these apartments would help North Perth meet its population growth more efficiently than more widespread piecemeal developments that’d have more of an impact on the suburb’s character.

The old 16 storey design split participants in a 2021 street survey of Fitzgerald Street shoppers carried out by Celsius, with 49 per cent for, 41 per cent against and 9 per cent neutral.

The redesigned plan has just been released for community consultation and some early local opposition is speaking out. 

Nearby resident Emily Bird told us the development would have “enormous visual impact – 13 storeys across a whole block and back to the laneway.

“The impact on the residential properties immediately surrounding that area will be devastating on their quality of life and property values.

“The overshadowing is going to be oppressive, especially for people who live on that laneway, who will also have a huge amount of traffic coming and going,” with the development hosting 351 car bays and the western laneway being the access point. 

Ms Bird said among the locals concerned about the project “a lot of people are not anti-high rise … people are prepared to accept six storeys, maybe even seven or eight. There’s a six storey building on the corner of Fitzgerald and Angove Street.

“But this would be two and a half times that height.”

Comments are open until October 17 under the development application section at imagine.vincent.wa.gov.au and there are info drop-in sessions at 10am on September 18 and October 1 at Vincent council HQ.

by DAVID BELL

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