By RYAN QUINN
Concerned locals will get their chance to voice objection to the proposed demolition of the Alexandria Hotel at a public conciliation meeting.
Alexandria Residents’ Action Group Co-Convenor, Ben Aveling, said the meeting, to be held at the end of the month, may bring good results.
“At the conciliation meeting, residents get to speak, council gets to speak, the developer gets to speak, and the idea is that maybe some compromise can be made,” Mr Aveling said.
As earlier reported by City Hub, development application was lodged with council in June to demolish the 81 year old hotel and build a four-storey building consisting of 28 apartments in its place.
An Interim Heritage Order was instated in late July by the City of Sydney to safeguard the hotel from redevelopment for six months while the council investigate its heritage significance and consider a permanent listing.
“While the order is in force, the City’s consent is required to demolish, develop, damage, or alter the building and its land,” a City of Sydney spokeswoman said.
However, Mr Aveling voiced concern that the order could be struck down in the Land and Environment Court, following an appeal from the developer on August 14 to revoke it.
Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong told City Hub the council’s support was promising and that she had asked the state Heritage Minister to also recognise the site’s heritage.
“Having a venue like the Alex is crucial to allow those community activities, those family celebrations and sporting celebrations to occur. It’s not just about protecting the building itself, but also protecting those kind of spaces,” Ms Leong said.
“Those are things that we need to be protecting to make sure we preserve them, not just as a moment in time but as something that the community can continue to enjoy,” she said.
The hotel’s former lessee Harry McAsey said that local residents treat the Alexandria Hotel as their “loungeroom, their garden and their meeting place.”
“I am overwhelmed by the support that people have shown to save the hotel, it’s been astonishing. There’s tens of thousands of people on the Facebook page and nearly 500 objections to council,” he said.
The conciliation meeting will be held at the Alexandria Hotel on September 30 at 9:30 am.
City of Sydney Council will also be holding a meeting to provide information on the legal process and how residents can contribute at Alexandria Town Hall on September 21 at 5 pm.