Earlier this year, we told you about the campaign to save The Village Inn, the 133-year-old pub that sits in the heart of Paddington’s fancy shopping precinct The Intersection.
Upon hearing that the adored venue was at risk of being shuttered and transformed into yet another high-end fashion outlet, Paddington locals were quick to mobilise. They hosted a rally, added their names to a Change.org petition (which amassed 6725 signatures), lodged 230 written objections with council, pinned posters to telegraph poles and hung pink corflutes from terraces all over town. But eventually, all they could do was wait patiently with a pint in hand.
After weeks of anxious waiting, there’s finally some news. The development application (243/2023) – lodged by Bowie Ferris Investments on behalf of Alemais, the business that purchased the pub in January with the hopes of gutting the interior to house its flagship retail store – has been reviewed by Woollahra Council’s planning officers. And they recommended it be refused.
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So, have we saved The Village Inn? According to Paddington Ward councillor Harriet Price, “not quite but it’s a tremendously positive step”.
In terms of what’s next, Price tells Broadsheet that “the recommendation will be considered by the Woollahra Local Planning Panel on Thursday October 5. The panel will consider the report, hear from objectors and listen to our concerns. The recommendation to refuse the DA, together with the panel’s determination, will then be considered by the Court, the ultimate decision-maker.”
Price shares that a sit-in is planned for October 5, where supporters can watch a livestream of the panel’s deliberations while sinking a pint. “It won’t quite rival watching the Matildas [at The Village Inn], but it will create further community connections in our efforts to save the pub.”
Beyond having a superb Sunday roast and arguably the suburb’s sunniest balcony, The Village Inn is believed to be Paddington’s oldest watering hole. It’s been operating exclusively as a pub since pulling its first pint in 1890 – previously under the names Rose & Crown Hotel and Durty Nelly’s.