Shaping the town of Claremont’s future

Sustainable inner city urban revitalisation

Perth is not unlike any other capital city in Australia in that it is facing unprecedented pressure from sprawling urban growth and population increases.

The Town of Claremont, which is close to the Perth CBD and strategically located between Perth and Fremantle, is also under pressure. Its residential streetscapes are threatened with demolition and subdivision.

“Week after week, I see higher density housing, with subdivisions filling blocks and leaving little lawn,” said Claremont Councillor, Wendy Stephens. “That really changes grand old lady Claremont.”

Councillor Stephens said the changes address the trends of future generations.

“Households are becoming more diverse, the population is ageing and people are seeking a wider range of housing types,” she said.

The Town of Claremont contains 4.5 hectares of under utilised land adjacent to a train station and situated around the Claremont Football Oval. This made it an ideal location for a sustainable inner city urban revitalisation project, based on transit oriented development (TOD) principles.

A TOD is a mixed use residential or commercial area designed to maximise access to public transport.

Claremont Mayor, Peter Olson, said there is ample potential to shape the future of Claremont by revitalising this northeast precinct, so that it can become a cosmopolitan destination with culture, art, cafes and a village green for social gatherings.

He said that to fully harness these opportunities, Council embarked on a comprehensive town planning and urban design review, which included a partnership with the Western Australian Government, extensive liaison with State authorities and comprehensive community consultation.

As such, in 2008 a structure plan was finalised for the area.

“The plan puts into motion the transformation of this section of the Town into a tunnel of tree canopies sheltering clusters of environmentally friendly buildings, including 500 high quality, comfortable apartments surrounding Claremont Oval for those who want to live locally or commute by train,” Mayor Olson said.

“It is intended that the oval, when not in use for football purposes, will be used as a ‘village green’. The village green could become a new meeting place for the community and local residents that will be accessible through numerous public access ways.

“A new ‘picnic and play’ public place located on the eastern section of the oval will also provide an additional meeting place for families.”

Another important aspect of the precinct includes the recognition and celebration of buildings in the historic train station heritage precinct.

A new public plaza is planned for this section, which will provide a much needed pedestrian connection between the town centre and the precinct.

The proposed Claremont North East Precinct Structure Plan was approved by Council in December 2008 and forwarded to the Western Australian Planning Commission for endorsement. The next step will be to finalise design guidelines for the precinct that will mandate sustainable outcomes for the project.

For further information contact Ben Rose, Claremont’s Principal Urban Planner, on (08) 9340 6903.