The Botany View Hotel could inherit residential neighbours if a four-storey apartment development proposal goes ahead, which could pose a problem for the recently relaunched live-music venue.
The hotel is the quiet end of south King Street, and currently only has second-hand shops, small grocers and laundromats for company. Known for hosting a rotating bill of up-and-coming musicians, it could be forced to turn the volume down if future residents complain about noise.
Matt Rule, the owner of gig-booking company The Music and Booze Co, who looks after the line-up, is not impressed. “The danger is not so much the development doing up, it’s the fact that people moving in there have every right to make life very difficult and ultimately very expensive for the business,” he says. “Until there are measures put in place, councils shouldn’t allow developers [to place residential buildings] on the border with a pub.”
A petition was launched yesterday in protest against the development. “Our town does not need yet another threat to its entertainment family,” the petition states. So far, around 1500 people have signed.
Does Rule think it will go ahead? “It really depends on whose bank account is bigger. If the public outcry is great enough, and enough pressure is put on the local council and politicians … [If it were approved it would start] a disturbing trend,” he says.
“Newtown is championing live music – so many pubs are putting live music on. If we start seeing apartments being put up in such a wonderful, eclectic entertainment precinct like Newtown, the onset of this is that live music could potentially stop. It would send a shiver through the rest of the businesses that it may happen to them.”
With additional reporting by Madeleine Bentley.