The State government is reviewing an application to transform the hotel into a high rise 5-star hotel, and residential apartments. The site is owned by boutique builder Ashington, and is one of several projects in the group’s national portfolio.
Former NSW Liberal leader Peter Debnam told the Australian Financial Review "It’s a test for this government. If they approve this one then they will approve any high rise in any suburb because this one is totally wrong. The bottom line is clearly it shouldn’t be approved."
The redevelopment is on public exhibition until June 5.
Mr Debnam was one of about 2000 protesting the development. Others in the crowd included Macquarie Group chairman David Clarke, independent politician Peter King, former NSW premier Neville Wran’s wife Jill Hickson, and actor Sam Neill.
Ashington’s proposal is for two 52-metre high buildings, which would be taller than buildings in Bondi Junction.
The Planning Assessment Commission is independently reviewing the proposal, after Ashington declared a political donation to the Liberal Party in 2007.