Grand National Hotel, Paddington

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The Grand National Hotel has been operating for more than 100 years at No. 33 Elizabeth Street, Paddington. The sensitive location of the Hotel in the heart of a residential area provided the publican of the past 10 years incentive to introduce measures to ensure the Hotel operates in harmony with the surrounding residents. Such measures include converting the Hotel from a primarily “drinking” hotel to an “eating and drinking” hotel, the removal of poker machines and the introduction of security to reduce the noise levels outside the Hotel.

Over the past five years, GSA Planning has been heavily involved in the refurbishment of the Hotel. GSA Planning initially provided development advice and prepared a Statement of Environmental Effects, a Heritage Impact Assessment and Traffic and Parking Report to accompany a development application to Woollahra Council for alterations and additions to the Hotel. The development incorporated internal refurbishment of the ground and upper level and extension of the upper level at the rear. The development also included the conversion of the upper level from hotel accommodation to a restaurant and cocktail bar. Notwithstanding a favourable recommendation from Council officers, Council refused the application.

The matter went to the Land and Environment Court and GSA Planning provided advice and an expert witness in the case. In 2008, the Court granted approval to the application. In 2009, a Section 96 Application was lodged with Council to modify the consent. The modification included replacing the timber floors with fire rated concrete, which involved the removal and relocation of several walls. GSA Planning provided heritage advice and prepared a Heritage Impact Assessment for the application. The Grand National Hotel is a popular spot with locals and continues to operate in harmony with the surrounding residents.