Rather than respond to the queries of Council planners, the owners of Kiama’s Grand Hotel in Manning St deemed the process a refusal and chose to go to the Land & Environment Court to seek approval for their DA.
Subsequent to this action, Council has formally refused the development, citing a number of reasons for this move.
The ambitious plans for the $7.5 million redevelopment, outlined in The Bugle last October, would see the accommodation move to a new four storey block at the rear of the old building and the old hotel’s verandahs restored as part of a reorganisation which would result in new bars, a bistro, function rooms and the like.
Amongst other things, Council has concerns about breaches of the height limit and the floor space ratio, negative affects on the building’s heritage value, the number of car spaces, and lack of sufficient information to ensure compliance with a number of planning requirements.
Council’s report on the DA says that both the designs for the old hotel and the new accommodation building need to lose a floor to meet planning and heritage requirements.
It notes that the consolidated site has a floor space ratio of 2.2:1 compared to the 1.5:1 allowed, and that the new level on the old hotel would bring the height to 15.5 metres when only 12 metres is allowed.
“Due to the overall excessive bulk, scale and height of the proposed development it is not considered to be suitable for the site and therefore is considered to be inconsistent with the public interest,” the report said.
The existing Grand Hotel needs upgrading to comply with fire safety requirements.