A wedding reception venue at the historic ‚ÄòThe Priory‚Äô moved a step closer to reality on Monday night when Hunters Hill Council voted to give in principle support for the proposed terms and conditions of a lease.
The Priory was owned by the Marist Order in 1847 and served as an asylum in 1888 but the heritage listed building has stood empty in recent years at a cost of around $30,000 to ratepayers to maintain annually.
Councillors in principal support gives the green light to developer Trantor Vass Pty to lodge a development application on a 21 year lease and to pour almost $3 million into The Priory‚Äôs restoration.
Several neighbouring residents spoke against the Councils in principal support for the draft lease, particularly residents from the adjoining units; The Pinnacle.
These residents expressed ‚Äúsignificant misgivings‚Äù at the weekday trading hours until 10pm and the extended 11pm hours on weekends.
‚ÄúOur whole lifestyle and wellbeing will be adversely affected by the seven day a week lease and with traffic coming and going after midnight, I‚Äôm very nervous about this proposal,‚Äù‚Ä®neighbouring resident Valerie Flanagan said.
Other residents warned of excessive noise, inadequate security as well as revellers drinking and smoking in The Priory grounds.
Hunters Hill Community advocate Phil Jenkyn spoke in favour of giving in principle support and argued that Trantor Vass would not invest $3 million unless The Priory was commercially viable.
‚ÄúI support this as a function centre, but as one that actually works,‚Äù Mr Jenkyn said.
‚ÄúIt must be open until at least 11pm and unless they (Trantor Vass) do that you will not get a restoration of three million dollars.‚Äù
His argument convinced Clr Zac Miles who said there are few alternatives because there are few people willing to commit to this amount of money.
Acting Mayor Dr Meredith Sheil reassured residents that giving in principle approval to a proposed lease is not the same thing as granting development approval and that residents concerns will be considered when a development application is submitted.
Councillor Peter Astridge proposed a 12 month noise review if approval is given.
Courtesy of The Weekly Times