Jury still out on Fremantle Prison hostel plans

YHA’s plans to transform part of the World Heritage-listed Fremantle Prison into a hostel has come up against opposition, with local councillors divided on the issue, despite backing from the state government and WA’s Heritage Council.  

YHA hopes to convert the unoccupied women’s section of the prison into a 62-bed hostel, but as The West Australian reported, the council’s planning committee voted down the plans 4-3. The committee stated the hostel would detrimentally impact the “exceptional cultural heritage significance” of the prison.

The plans attracted nine public submissions, most of them positive, however concerns were raised about noise, parking and whether the proposed swimming pool was appropriate. The Heritage Council said it supported the proposal, subject to eight conditions, including no swimming pool.

The matter goes to a full council meeting on Wednesday, when councillors will decide on a recommendation to the Western Australia Planning Commission, which has the final say.

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