Roel Loopers in his blog, Freo’s View, tonight correctly has a go at lighting in the West End and specifically the Whaler’s Tunnel.
In his blog he mentions BID and the fact they lit up parts of the heritage buildings in High Street, and in a previous blog he mused that BID had not completed the project as the two buildings near the Roundhouse were not illuminated.
BID has spent a fortune installing underground cables and a new power board to connect to the lights which were to be installed in the pavement and pointing upwards. The lights illuminating the buildings in High Street are located on awnings and hence are no problem in respect to heritage concerns, but as there are no awnings on the buildings located at 1 and 2 High Street the lights had to be sunk into the road, or the pavement.
My contact at BID was Kim Low, the Executive Manager, who was very good, but has since resigned. She sent me this email in October 2013:
Hi Graham nice to chat with you. As I explained the Fremantle Business Improvement District (representing the property and business owners in the City Centre ) is providing up lighting of the tops of the buildings along High Street. We will then be able to program the lights in various colours to create a vibrant street at night which should also make it safer.
As agreed we will put the lights up and test to make sure you are happy with the result and it doesn’t interfere with your life. What you should know:
· There will be no cost to you, the lighting will be fitted free of charge to building owners
· No power costs to you, as the City of Fremantle will pay for all electricity and the BID will cover any ongoing maintenance
· Light fittings will be attached as per agreement with the City’s Heritage Officer and will blend in with the building.
· Buildings with residential occupancy will only be lit between or above windows and will not be a disruption to tenants.
The company chosen to carry out the works Pro Design Lighting have over 35 years of experience in the industry and are West Australian based. Should you have any concerns please feel free to contact me at your convenience. We hope to have this initiative installed by the end of November 2013 .
In March 2015 I emailed BID for an update and received this reply:
Thanks for bringing this to my attention and no the lights are not going to go ahead as first planned. The lights that have been supplied have not been supported by the electrician for putting into the ground. We have also been advised by a number of sources that putting lights into the ground in this area will cause an ongoing maintenance issue due to moisture which could then lead to power outages as far as Henry Street.
On this information the Board have decided that another lighting option would have to be looked at.
As Kim left FremantleBID in November and I haven’t been part of this project, I would really appreciate if I could come and meet you and discuss further. Would you have time next week?
I did meet with Jenny but it appears that it is all too hard for everyone concerned, and I came away thinking that the process got too expensive and the bureaucrats have said “no more.”