The Imperial Hotel has won its second court battle against the City of Sydney, but still no opening date can be confirmed.
The Land and Environment Court again ruled against the city, which had appealed the Imperial Hotel’s allocation of patron numbers and other points.
Owner Shadd Danesi is still waiting for the council to respond to his application for an Occupation Certificate Report, the last hurdle he anticipates before setting an official opening date.
“We’re close. Once I get the certificate I’ll probably need another two weeks to advertise and get the behind the scenes stuff together,” Danesi told Sydney Star Observer.
He estimated the process has run-up costs that will extend into the millions.
“It’s cost $500,000 in legal fees alone. I’ve got to factor in interest on that, lost opportunities, the time and the energy spent fighting court cases — all costs that must be passed on eventually,” he said.
“I feel the hotel has been persecuted. I’d like to see an inquiry into council treatment of business Development Applications.
“The Australian Hotels Association should be pushing for fairer attitudes and holding the politicians and councils more accountable for what they’re doing.
“If this is about stopping alcohol-related violence then stop the crap and start doing something constructive. They know full well they’re not discouraging anything at the moment, it’s just a grab for money.”
A spokeswoman for the city said further appeals against the hotel would not be lodged.
“The City will treat the Imperial Hotel as it does any other business operating within the Local Government Area,” the statement read.
“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; 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 the queuing on the footpath and consequent reduction in potential noise impacts.”