Topics:  jamie mackenzie, renovation, southern downs regional council, sovereign hotel

Pub to be given flash makeover

Cr Jamie Mackenzie opposes plans to upgrade the Sovereign Hotel, saying it's out of character with the area.
Cr Jamie Mackenzie opposes plans to upgrade the Sovereign Hotel, saying it's out of character with the area. Contributed

EXPANSION plans for the Sovereign Hotel have been given the green light by the Southern Downs Regional Council but not everyone is happy with the upgrade.

The hotel was built during the 1940s and currently has a bar, entertainment area, kitchen and six accommodation rooms.

The expansion is set to include an indoor and outdoor restaurant area with the ability to seat up to 48 people, a pizza oven and refurbished kitchens.

Hotel owner Sarah Worth said she was happy with the council's decision.

"We are pleased council accepted the proposal but it will be some time before we start developments," she said.

"In the meantime we will be renovating the bar."

Cr Jamie Mackenzie was the only councillor against the decision.

"It is out of character with the area," Cr Mackenzie said.

"I would be prepared to approve it if it was in the CBD but it is a residential area."

Mayor Peter Blundell said the upgrade would benefit the community.

"Someone expanding what it is already existing is quite exciting," he said.

"I find it is in keeping with what already exists on the site."

The hotel owners will need to have acoustic testing done.

If the noise carries too far the outdoor area may need to be enclosed.

A neighbouring resident was strongly against the project.

"The extension to the hotel is not appropriate for several reasons," the resident, who did not wish to be named, told the Daily News.

"The surrounding area is zoned residential and this is a non-residential use.

"It would be appropriate in the CBD, but not in our quiet residential neighbourhood."

The resident said she had spoken to many people in the street and the majority were not happy with the plans.

However the council only received four formal objections from the community, with the main concerns raised being noise levels, traffic and car parking.

Les Driver has lived opposite the hotel for 50 years.

"I haven't had a problem with it so far," he said.

"It doesn't affect us as much on this side of the street."



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