The Land and Environment Court has granted the Imperial Hotel a 12-month trial for more than 700 patrons on a Friday and Saturday night.
The ruling, handed down this morning (Wednesday), brings to an end a long-running court battle between Imperial owner Shadd Danesi and the City of Sydney.
Commissioner Brown approved an additional 236 patrons, increasing total patronage allowed into entertainment areas within the hotel to 778 for Friday and Saturday nights only as part of a 12-month trial. On other nights throughout the week the City’s ruling of 442 will apply to these areas.
The city had limited Danesi to a maximum 400-plus patrons at the refurbished Erskineville Rd hotel.
Danesi has already publicly stated he intends on opening the Imperial next month – with or without the increase in numbers.
A City of Sydney spokesperson said, “the City had previously approved 442 patrons in all entertainment areas in an attempt to limit the hotel’s impact on nearby residents. The City’s concerns were based on noise and anti-social behaviour.”
“The limit handed down by the court does not apply to the number of patrons in the Public Bar or the Gaming Room as they are not deemed to be entertainment areas under planning laws. Therefore the total patron numbers for the entire venue is up to 1500 people at any one time.”
As part of the approved 12-month trial, the Court imposed a Plan of Management which includes;
- progressive shutting down of bars to provide for staggered departures;
- discouraging large groups leaving at once;
- having security direct patrons to the taxi stand and bus pick-up point, with security guards at each of these points;
- and a reduction in queuing on the footpath and consequent reduction in potential noise impacts.
The City refused the application for increased patron numbers in entertainment areas in November 2008 and the owner appealed to the Court in June 2009.