The Freo Alternative

Adopted by City of Fremantle Council

On 28 March 2018 the City of Fremantle Council gave its final approval to the ‘Freo Alternative - Big Thinking about Small Housing’ by voting to support the City’s Local Planning Scheme and accompanying new planning policy. The proposed changes aim to stimulate development of a wider choice of housing in Fremantle’s suburban areas while still maintaining what people value about their neighbourhoods.

The WA State Government has set density targets across the metropolitan area to cater for population growth and limit urban sprawl. However, poorly planned or inappropriate infill developments are often unacceptable to local residents and may not meet the housing needs of the community.

The proposed changes will now be sent to the Minister for Planning for final determination. If approved by the WA State Government, the Freo Alternative will be a ground-breaking new approach to infill housing in suburban areas. It will provide an alternative option to landowners, without impacting or changing the current zoning or density. This means current development opportunities would still apply to landowners even if the Freo Alternative is gazetted. The Freo Alternative will be an alternative for landowners to consider when developing their land.

The Freo Alternative provisions would apply in specific sections of White Gum Valley, Samson, Hilton, O'Connor, Beaconsfield and Fremantle. In general, the provisions include:

  • Only applies to lots larger than 600 square metres.
  • New dwelling/s 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.
  • 70 per cent of the entire development site to be open space, with some variation allowed to 60 per cent open space.
  • At least one large tree to be retained or planted.
  • A maximum of one parking bay per dwelling.
  • Developments to be referred to the City’s Design Advisory Committee to consider design quality.


For more information see the Document library for:

  • Final approval Council Minutes - 28 March 2018
  • Community engagement report 'What everyone said'
  • Summary Booklet



The first stage of the Freo Alternative was about generating a shared community vision on the future of housing in Fremantle. The second stage of the Freo Alternative is about realising this vision through planning policy.

At the end of 2016, the City of Fremantle asked the community to think big about small housing. Community members were generous with their time and ideas, and established eight themes to carry forward when thinking about smaller housing.

Stage Two of the Freo Alternative exploreed how the eight themes can be realised through planning policy. The goal of Stage Two is to identify how the City can change our planning rules to allow for smaller homes in suburban locations while protecting the things we love about our Fremantle neighbourhoods.


Adopted by City of Fremantle Council

On 28 March 2018 the City of Fremantle Council gave its final approval to the ‘Freo Alternative - Big Thinking about Small Housing’ by voting to support the City’s Local Planning Scheme and accompanying new planning policy. The proposed changes aim to stimulate development of a wider choice of housing in Fremantle’s suburban areas while still maintaining what people value about their neighbourhoods.

The WA State Government has set density targets across the metropolitan area to cater for population growth and limit urban sprawl. However, poorly planned or inappropriate infill developments are often unacceptable to local residents and may not meet the housing needs of the community.

The proposed changes will now be sent to the Minister for Planning for final determination. If approved by the WA State Government, the Freo Alternative will be a ground-breaking new approach to infill housing in suburban areas. It will provide an alternative option to landowners, without impacting or changing the current zoning or density. This means current development opportunities would still apply to landowners even if the Freo Alternative is gazetted. The Freo Alternative will be an alternative for landowners to consider when developing their land.

The Freo Alternative provisions would apply in specific sections of White Gum Valley, Samson, Hilton, O'Connor, Beaconsfield and Fremantle. In general, the provisions include:

  • Only applies to lots larger than 600 square metres.
  • New dwelling/s 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.
  • 70 per cent of the entire development site to be open space, with some variation allowed to 60 per cent open space.
  • At least one large tree to be retained or planted.
  • A maximum of one parking bay per dwelling.
  • Developments to be referred to the City’s Design Advisory Committee to consider design quality.


For more information see the Document library for:

  • Final approval Council Minutes - 28 March 2018
  • Community engagement report 'What everyone said'
  • Summary Booklet



The first stage of the Freo Alternative was about generating a shared community vision on the future of housing in Fremantle. The second stage of the Freo Alternative is about realising this vision through planning policy.

At the end of 2016, the City of Fremantle asked the community to think big about small housing. Community members were generous with their time and ideas, and established eight themes to carry forward when thinking about smaller housing.

Stage Two of the Freo Alternative exploreed how the eight themes can be realised through planning policy. The goal of Stage Two is to identify how the City can change our planning rules to allow for smaller homes in suburban locations while protecting the things we love about our Fremantle neighbourhoods.


  • Confirmed for Committee and Council

    7 months ago

    The Freo Alternative (proposed Scheme Amendment No. 63 & Draft Planning Policy for Small Infill Development) will be considered at the Strategic Planning & Transport Committee Wednesday 21 March 2018 and the Ordinary Meeting of Council on Wednesday 28 March 2018. Both meetings will be held at the North Fremantle Community Hall, 2 Thompson Road, North Fremantle, starting at 6.00pm.

    You can address the Committee or Council on this proposal if you wish, please be aware both have a three-minute time limit. The opportunity to address Council is given during ‘public question time’ – contact the minute secretary on...

    The Freo Alternative (proposed Scheme Amendment No. 63 & Draft Planning Policy for Small Infill Development) will be considered at the Strategic Planning & Transport Committee Wednesday 21 March 2018 and the Ordinary Meeting of Council on Wednesday 28 March 2018. Both meetings will be held at the North Fremantle Community Hall, 2 Thompson Road, North Fremantle, starting at 6.00pm.

    You can address the Committee or Council on this proposal if you wish, please be aware both have a three-minute time limit. The opportunity to address Council is given during ‘public question time’ – contact the minute secretary on 9432 9999 or email planning@fremantle.wa.gov.au before 3.00 pm on the day of the meeting, or register at the venue before 5.50 pm.

    Copies of the agenda, including the full report and attachments can be viewed or downloaded from the City’s website here. Alternatively, you can view a copy at City of Fremantle Library during normal opening hours. The library is now located on the ground floor of the City Administration Building at Fremantle Oval, 70 Parry Street, Fremantle.

  • Community engagement report on phase two of the Freo Alternative

    8 months ago
    Capture

    The report on community engagement 'what you said' for phase two of the Freo Alternative is now available in the document library. The report highlights what community engagement was undertaken, how many submissions were received and what the submissions said in relation to each theme of the Freo Alternative.

    Eighty-two submissions were received on the second stage of the Freo Alternative - 60 in support, 14 in objection and 8 neutral to the project.


    The report on community engagement 'what you said' for phase two of the Freo Alternative is now available in the document library. The report highlights what community engagement was undertaken, how many submissions were received and what the submissions said in relation to each theme of the Freo Alternative.

    Eighty-two submissions were received on the second stage of the Freo Alternative - 60 in support, 14 in objection and 8 neutral to the project.


  • Community Engagement Period Now Closed

    8 months ago

    The community engagement period closed on the 2 February 2018. Officers are now collating the submissions to report back to Council. All submitters will be notified when this item is to be considered by Council.

    The community engagement period closed on the 2 February 2018. Officers are now collating the submissions to report back to Council. All submitters will be notified when this item is to be considered by Council.

  • Second Stage of the Freo Alternative OPEN

    12 months ago
    Eight themes

    The second stage of the Freo Alternative is now open for public comment. The second stage of the Freo Alternative proposes planning rules (scheme amendment and policy) to allow smaller homes in specific locations, while protecting the things we love about our Fremantle neighbourhoods. The proposed planning rules are based on the eight community-derived themes from the first stage of the Freo Alternative.

    We have summarised the technical requirements for each of the themes in a booklet.

    Please also let us know what you think about each of the theme requirements here.

    We’d love to know your...

    The second stage of the Freo Alternative is now open for public comment. The second stage of the Freo Alternative proposes planning rules (scheme amendment and policy) to allow smaller homes in specific locations, while protecting the things we love about our Fremantle neighbourhoods. The proposed planning rules are based on the eight community-derived themes from the first stage of the Freo Alternative.

    We have summarised the technical requirements for each of the themes in a booklet.

    Please also let us know what you think about each of the theme requirements here.

    We’d love to know your thoughts!

  • Approval sought to advertise draft planning framework

    over 1 year ago


    The Freo Alternative has reached an important milestone. A draft scheme amendment and local planning policy for small infill housing will be considered by the Planning Committee on 7 June and Council on 28 June. This is the first step in the process for the next phase of community engagement.

    The amendment seeks to balance the need for greater housing diversity in Fremantle's suburbs with ensuring the right type of new development within these areas. Themes which emerged in the first phase of engagement have been incorporated into the draft amendment and areas for further consideration have been been identified for the next phase of engagement. This includes the areas within the City of Fremantle where the policy would apply, the maximum size and number of dwellings on a development site and mandating higher than standard sustainability requirements.

    You can view the draft amendment and local planning policy on the council agendas and minutes page. You're also welcome to attend the Planning Committee or Council meeting to ask a question, make a statement or simply observe. Find out how to get to the meeting and register for question time here.

    If adopted by council, it will enable the City of Fremantle to request approval from the West Australian Planning Commission to advertise the draft policy for public comment.

    We'll update you on the next steps for the project when the outcome of this decision is known.



    The Freo Alternative has reached an important milestone. A draft scheme amendment and local planning policy for small infill housing will be considered by the Planning Committee on 7 June and Council on 28 June. This is the first step in the process for the next phase of community engagement.

    The amendment seeks to balance the need for greater housing diversity in Fremantle's suburbs with ensuring the right type of new development within these areas. Themes which emerged in the first phase of engagement have been incorporated into the draft amendment and areas for further consideration have been been identified for the next phase of engagement. This includes the areas within the City of Fremantle where the policy would apply, the maximum size and number of dwellings on a development site and mandating higher than standard sustainability requirements.

    You can view the draft amendment and local planning policy on the council agendas and minutes page. You're also welcome to attend the Planning Committee or Council meeting to ask a question, make a statement or simply observe. Find out how to get to the meeting and register for question time here.

    If adopted by council, it will enable the City of Fremantle to request approval from the West Australian Planning Commission to advertise the draft policy for public comment.

    We'll update you on the next steps for the project when the outcome of this decision is known.


  • Council resolution on the Freo Alternative

    over 1 year ago

    Our Freo alternative – Big thinking about small housing community engagement process and outcomes report was presented to council on Wednesday 25 January.

    Council resolved to receive the outcomes report and recommended that the draft development provisions considered by Council in September 2015 and March 2016 be reviewed in the context of the eight key themes identified by the Freo Alternative. As an outcome of the engagement process, the review of draft development provisions will address the following matters:

    • Design provisions to promote communal interaction between neighbours.
    • Quantity and form of private open space for each new dwelling.
    • Design provisions to safeguard existing trees and/or require new tree planting on development sites, proportionate to achieving viable development of smaller housing typologies.
    • Whether draft planning standards providing reduced parking requirements for new smaller housing types, as previously discussed by Council, are the most appropriate approach to deal with parking demand and travel behaviour.
    • Whether current planning requirements for on-site vehicle manoeuvring space could be relaxed for new types of smaller residential development.
    • The level of access to public transport and local amenities required in order for an area to be considered a suitable, or preferred, location for the development of additional smaller housing typologies.
    • Draft planning standards for open space, outdoor living area and landscaping requirements.
    • The extent and form of provisions to ensure good quality design outcomes (including design that is responsive to local character and context).
    • The extent and form of provisions to encourage or mandate higher than ‘business as usual’ sustainability standards in building design and construction.

    You can read the council report and resolution in full here or watch a video summary From the council chambers.

    A local planning scheme amendment will now be drafted to reflect the council resolution. There will be further opportunites for community and stakeholder input into the development of the draft scheme which will be available for comment on My Say Freo mid-2017.

    Our Freo alternative – Big thinking about small housing community engagement process and outcomes report was presented to council on Wednesday 25 January.

    Council resolved to receive the outcomes report and recommended that the draft development provisions considered by Council in September 2015 and March 2016 be reviewed in the context of the eight key themes identified by the Freo Alternative. As an outcome of the engagement process, the review of draft development provisions will address the following matters:

    • Design provisions to promote communal interaction between neighbours.
    • Quantity and form of private open space for each new dwelling.
    • Design provisions to safeguard existing trees and/or require new tree planting on development sites, proportionate to achieving viable development of smaller housing typologies.
    • Whether draft planning standards providing reduced parking requirements for new smaller housing types, as previously discussed by Council, are the most appropriate approach to deal with parking demand and travel behaviour.
    • Whether current planning requirements for on-site vehicle manoeuvring space could be relaxed for new types of smaller residential development.
    • The level of access to public transport and local amenities required in order for an area to be considered a suitable, or preferred, location for the development of additional smaller housing typologies.
    • Draft planning standards for open space, outdoor living area and landscaping requirements.
    • The extent and form of provisions to ensure good quality design outcomes (including design that is responsive to local character and context).
    • The extent and form of provisions to encourage or mandate higher than ‘business as usual’ sustainability standards in building design and construction.

    You can read the council report and resolution in full here or watch a video summary From the council chambers.

    A local planning scheme amendment will now be drafted to reflect the council resolution. There will be further opportunites for community and stakeholder input into the development of the draft scheme which will be available for comment on My Say Freo mid-2017.

  • The Freo Alternative - guiding future policy

    almost 2 years ago
    Word cloud dialogue

    The full engagement report from The Freo Alternative can now be downloaded from the document library

    Based on the values which City of Fremantle residents consider important, a series of recommendations have been made for future planning policy to facilitate development of smaller, more diverse housing. This was presented to Council on 25 January.

    A draft planning scheme amendment is expected to be available for public input mid-2017. Subscribe for updates to stay informed.



    The full engagement report from The Freo Alternative can now be downloaded from the document library

    Based on the values which City of Fremantle residents consider important, a series of recommendations have been made for future planning policy to facilitate development of smaller, more diverse housing. This was presented to Council on 25 January.

    A draft planning scheme amendment is expected to be available for public input mid-2017. Subscribe for updates to stay informed.



  • That's a wrap!

    almost 2 years ago
    Img 2347 300

    That’s a wrap on the Freo Alternative engagement process.

    The Game of (Freo) Life, the third event in the community engagement series, was open at Many 6160 from 3 - 6 November. Over four days adults and children alike enjoyed designing their own piece of Freo....no design was the same!

    The City will now collate all of the data from the engagement series. This information will be made available when it is completed.

    The next phases of the Freo Alternative will commence in early 2017. Thank you to everyone who came to the consultation events and engaged in the Freo Alternative.

    That’s a wrap on the Freo Alternative engagement process.

    The Game of (Freo) Life, the third event in the community engagement series, was open at Many 6160 from 3 - 6 November. Over four days adults and children alike enjoyed designing their own piece of Freo....no design was the same!

    The City will now collate all of the data from the engagement series. This information will be made available when it is completed.

    The next phases of the Freo Alternative will commence in early 2017. Thank you to everyone who came to the consultation events and engaged in the Freo Alternative.
  • The Game of (Freo) Life

    almost 2 years ago
    Img 2550 300

    The Game of Freo LIFE will be running in our pop-up lounge in Many 6160 (former MYER building) from 3 - 6 November 10:00am - 5:00pm.

    Show us how you'd like to design Freo's housing future! You set the planning rules and we encourage you to be creative with your design for small housing development on a typical Freo suburban lot. Drop-in to share your ideas with us and see how others have responded to the challenge.

    The Game of Freo LIFE will be running in our pop-up lounge in Many 6160 (former MYER building) from 3 - 6 November 10:00am - 5:00pm.

    Show us how you'd like to design Freo's housing future! You set the planning rules and we encourage you to be creative with your design for small housing development on a typical Freo suburban lot. Drop-in to share your ideas with us and see how others have responded to the challenge.
  • The Freo Alternative Focus Groups

    almost 2 years ago
    Img 2557 300

    Thank you to everyone who attended a focus group to discuss changing planning rules to provide more housing options for a growing number of small households in our community.

    It's been valuable hearing what housing diversity means for you and about what values you want to inform future planning policy.

    A report on the outcomes of the focus groups will be available on this site soon.

    Thank you to everyone who attended a focus group to discuss changing planning rules to provide more housing options for a growing number of small households in our community.

    It's been valuable hearing what housing diversity means for you and about what values you want to inform future planning policy.

    A report on the outcomes of the focus groups will be available on this site soon.