THE controversial development of the Australasian Hotel is once again in the spotlight with a public meeting planned for Eden regarding the 108-year-old building.
With the next council meeting fast approaching, Bega Shire Residents and Ratepayers Association (BVSRRA) have called on Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC), to directly address community concerns expressed over the site’s development application.
In late December, local members of the community rallied together and asked the council to place the building on the Local Environment Plan to stop its demolition and also questioned the accuracy of the Economic Impact Statement (EIS) received from the developer.
BVSRRA secretary John Richardson said many ratepayers had grave concerns in regards to the site development.
Eden resident Peter Whiter said the petition put up in the local IGA supermarket has “gone off” and although he approves of the site’s development if it’s not carried out correctly it would be “grossly negative” to the town.
“Our town has two precincts as far as the community is concerned and that is the town centre and the wharf area,” Mr Whiter said.
“When I think about the old pub, I see it as part of our town’s history, which should be maintained and the development of a third supermarket in this area actually goes a long way towards disturbing that harmony.
“It would be easy to turn the pub back in to a grand, old building. Its contents are basically untouched and it’s an asset that is just sitting there.”
Mr Whiter said to knock the building down and replace it with a structure with no character or style is a step backwards.
“We don’t have a town hall and it would be a fabulous site as a function centre for the arts,” he said.
“Hopefully we receive some good information at the next council meeting and a decision can be made about what to do.
“There have been too many old buildings lost around here and I’m hoping for development that can be sympathetic towards that.”
BVSC was contacted on a number of occasions for comment, however no comment was received before press time.