Today, 4th August 2016 an on-site meeting of the Land and Environment Court was scheduled to hear residents’ objections in relation to the proposed seven-storey development for the beer garden of the Alexandria Hotel.
This latest tilt at windmills by the proponents aims to retain the hotel and the small beer garden on the western edge and to subdivide the land into two lots – one for the pub and the other for a seven-storey residential tower fronting Garden Street in the east, and a wider frontage to Vice Chancellors Oval to the west.
There has been a couple of simple problems to this development all along.
The Alexandria Hotel was being assessed for an interim Heritage Order – since granted by the City of Sydney. The proponents’ first development application was to raze the entire site.
The second problem is quite fundamental – the beer garden is on the easement of the Illawarra Railway Line. Twin tunnels run from Redfern Station (platforms 11 and 12) under the hotel beer garden and surface near Erskineville Station.
These railway tunnels pass just three metres below the beer garden – barely ten feet.
Transport for NSW has been quiet on the issue of building over their easement – until today. It is believed that approvals had been hinted at to the proponents, subject to certain conditions.
However, today TfNSW has sought to join the court proceedings as an interested party (what took them so long!!??) and the outcome of discussions with the proponents is uncertain.
Will TfNSW allow development over their easement and if so, what conditions, if any, will be imposed? Will TfNSW deny building on their easement? Will applications be sought (probably to the NSW Supreme Court) to have the easement amended in some way to allow a building to proceed?
All of this still does not address how one would go about building a three-, four- or even seven-storey building over the railway tunnels, on what is basically sandy soils.
In what we believe to be a first, thanks to the on-going actions of Alexandria residents, this is the first time that the Land and Environment Court has met on a site twice, and on both occasions had the proceeding adjourned.
Well done one and all!!
To celebrate – well, more coincidence really – Broadsheet Sydney is planning a pop-up kitchen to be run from the Alex during September and October.
Further details can be found at their website here where you can subscribe to their newsletter. To quote their website:
Next month we’re opening a huge outdoor bar and kitchen in Alexandria, with a menu by your favourite restaurants and bars.
We’ve always thought Sydney’s restaurants and bars were something to celebrate. Now, we’re working with them to take that celebration off the screen and into the city.
For two months this spring, Broadsheet is unveiling a new kind of outdoor dining experience, with help from Sydney’s most exciting chefs, bartenders and creatives.
Running from day into night on weekends in September and October, the Broadsheet Open-Air Kitchen will transform the legendary Alexandria Hotel.
A host of your favourite restaurants are creating new dishes they’ve never served before, and drinks will be curated by some of our favourite bartenders.
Broadsheet‘s team of collaborators is working to showcase the best of Sydney in one place, and from the music to the setting we’ll make sure there are a few surprises.