No DA luck for Hurley Hotel Group

26 July, 2017 by Vanessa Cavasinni

By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

In the space of a week, Hurley Hotel Group has had two DAs rejected by two Adelaide local councils.

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First, Mitcham Council rejected an application to remove a River Red Gum from the back of the Torrens Arms Hotel’s property. The operators of the pub had deemed the tree a safety hazard as the roots of the tree have lifted the surrounding asphalt. However, because the tree is in a state of good health, Council did not approve the removal, instead suggesting that planting was made in the raised area, to ensure that the space was not used as a thoroughfare.

Sam McInnes, general manager of Hurley Hotel Group is currently working with Mitcham Council on an outcome, and declined to comment on the situation.

Uproar? Only against live music

Meanwhile, a St Peters Council panel denied the Kensington Hotel the opportunity for bands and DJs to play amplified music in the venue. Currently the hotel can only have unaccompanied soloists and background music playing.

“This means no DJ on New Years Eve, no two-piece band playing modern hits,” explained McInnes.

On this matter McInnes is much more vocal, as he said the venue has gone to great lengths to fulfil Council and nearby resident requirements, and that the residents were still unsatisfied with their efforts and argued for the DA to be rejected.

“Through the process we were badgered by neighbours and council to get an acoustic test. We had one done, it set acceptable limits, and now council and the residents don’t want to adopt those recommendations.

“It seems we jump through a hoop, and then another hoop is put up.”

Most bewildering is that the pub is not asking to put on extremely loud concerts – there simply isn’t the space for that kind of thing. All there is room for is a two-piece band with an amp, to liven up weekends and holidays.

The Council panel recommended noise limiters would need to be installed, but McInnes stated that the recommendation is not practical for the small offering of live music they wanted to include. A conservative estimate for a new sound system was placed at $5000.

“It is a huge sledgehammer to a very small nut.”