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MTAG's Objections Reveal Devastating Impact of Proposed Hotel Development on Metro Minerva site

Image Shane Smithers

Our petition has the support of over 1,300 protestors; however we now ask your personal objection by emailing the City of Sydney.

Deadline: Friday 21 April

It is important for our case we outline the detail on why we object, not just an 'in principle'

The reasons we object are based on these points, pick a one, a few or all of them and submit your own objection by emailing :

FAO Matt Girvan

Re: Objection to Amended DA Minerva Theatre D/2021/893

Address: 28-30 Orwell Street, Potts Point, NSW, 2011

Our objections are:

1. An increase of hotel rooms from 61 to 63 could be just the beginning of spacial creep. The structural base for the hotel building is strong enough to support additional rooms in the future.

2. The Statement of Environmental Effects has not been amended to reflect this new proposal.

3. The Heritage Impact Statement has not been amended to reflect this new proposal. The site is both City fo Sydney and State heritage listed, and also listed on the Register of the National Estate, listed by the National Trust (NSW), the Register of Significant Buildings and the Architects Association of NSW. The building has gained all of these heritage merits because of it clean lines, proportions and art deco elements including the ceiling and entrance foyer. This development only destroys and/or detracts from the reasons why the building has such heritage significance.

4. The Archaeology Report does not adequately address the issue of the historical remains of Orwell House, their removal, storage and future access. The proposal by the developer to display them in the theatre is highly improbable due to lack of space and incongruity.

5. Noise has not been addressed as the proposed cabaret operator Paris Society, an affiliate of hotel operator Accor, shows that performances will be until 3.00am with levels of up to 110dB. This noise level is likely to impact on local residences.

6. Proposed cabaret operator Paris Society have no connection to Australian culture and it is more than likely that a Gallic flavoured program would add up to a little more than a Bull and Bush experience of the worst kind. Australian audiences are very fickle and are unlikely to buy into this French Disney experience and it will leave us with an empty venue at the cost of a working theatre. There does not appear to be adequate storage space for props, costumes, or a bio box.

7. Decreased capacity of venue. 440 seats dropped to 250 seats, continuation of special creep as in point 1 and would adversely affect the financial viability of the venue as in point 6.

8. Demolition: The amount of demolition and excavation required for the development is enormous and includes the car park basement, and the possible removal of the roof to protect the ceiling increases the likelihood of damage to important heritage elements, especially the ceiling.

9. Overshadowing: Springfield Gardens is a much used space for local residents and any diminution of their public amenity should not be permitted.

10. Height: There can be no justification for an increase in height. Views to the Opera House and harbour are already impacted.

11. The computer generated images of the development contain the usual distortions of scale and bulk and are misleading.

12. Bulk. The bulk of the proposed roof structures totally destroy the clean lines of the original building, leaving nothing more than a hint of its original proportions and lines. This will destroy the artistic and architectural values one of the world’s last great streamline moderne buildings forever.

13. Loss of heritage in the area. Potts Point is one of the world’s great art deco precincts, and it is only in recent times that we have come to appreciate and admire the great work that so many Australian architects did working in the art deco style. In recent years Potts Point has lost much of its late 19th century and early 20th century architectural gems and to remove the Metro Minerva contravenes the Burra Charter guidelines that state a respect for existing fabric, use, associations and meanings. The original use and meaning of this building is as a 1,000 seat live theatre.

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