Categorized | Fremantle

Yuppies stymie Hilton Harley house


Gentrification in the earthy Fremantle suburb of Hilton is being used against a 72-year-old who wants to custom fit Harley Davidson motorcycles in his backyard shed.

David Coultas wants to move his appointment-only Custom Scoots Harley Davidson detailing business from Chadwick Street, where he has been house-sitting, to the pictured house on Nicholas Crescent which he has bought with his wife, Judith.

Only problem is, three of his neighbours have objected – though, according to Mr Coultas, not to his face.

He has told Fremantle council he is “perplexed” by one objection that states “nobody wants this business at all”.

Mr Coultas says that before applying to relocate the business he spoke to his five closest neighbours, none of whom complained.

In regard to a second objection he says: “I am surprised at the comment about ‘gentrification’ of Hilton and that some home businesses may affect such ‘gentrification’.”

“I must admit I hadn’t even realised that Hilton was being overtaken by wealthier families,” he said.

Hilton has a large number of Homeswest houses and was once much-maligned. But, attracted by the suburb’s leafy streets and proximity to the Fremantle cafe strip, 15 or so years ago the hippies started moving in. They were followed by the artists and, as occurs with gentrification the world over, eventually the yuppies.

Mr Coultas says no mechanical, cutting, welding, grinding or painting work will occur in his 45sqm shed, and no Harley engines will be revved.

Instead, he says, Custom Scoots only modifies removable parts of Harleys such as mudguards, indicators, forks, handlebars, wheels and tyres.

Custom Scoots HiltonMr Coultas says he only details two to three Harleys a month between the hours of 9.30am and 3.30pm Mondays to Fridays.

He says all Harley modifications will occur in the confines of his shed (pictured, left).

He says he was a police officer in his native United Kingdom.

“I am aware that the mention of Harley Davidsons may conjure up the image of ‘bikie’ type individuals,” he has told council planners.

“However, my client base consists mainly of professional and business people.”

In a recommendation that will be voted upon by city councillors tomorrow night, City of Fremantle planners have endorsed Mr Coultas’ plans.

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