A HOTEL planned for a block owned by Albany business identity Paul Lionetti across Toll Place from his Due South tavern has been recommended for State approval.
The City of Albany recommendation will be considered at a meeting of a State-convened panel in Perth on December 18.
In October, The Weekender revealed details of the 108-room, five-floor hotel that Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said Mr Lionetti wanted to build by Easter 2020 (‘Marina hotel ‘by 2020’’, 11 October).
The revelation followed a confession by State Lands Minister Rita Saffioti that not one developer had expressed interest in erecting a hotel at Middleton Beach where the Esplanade Hotel was demolished in 2007.
That means the new hotel, designed to the specifications of Hilton’s Garden Inn brand and overlooking Princess Royal Harbour, is Albany’s best chance of getting an international inn any time soon.
Southern Ports, which objected to an earlier bid to convert some of the hotel’s rooms to apartments, has supported many aspects of the cur- rent hotel-only plan, but argues the building must be attenuated against port noise.
Albany City Motors Director Scott Leary, one of 18 submitters on the plans, supports the hotel.
“It would appear that the development on the foreshore would be amenable to the area and provide a great windbreak to make the area immediately in from … the building more user friendly for the public,” he argues.
“The building has a style that complements the area and is progressive for Albany.”
One-time Albany resident Harmen Mulder “wholeheartedly” supports the project.
“In order to create a sense of atmosphere down at the waterfront, this hotel would be instrumental in forging a bustling social and commercial district,” he submits.
“I don’t know the guy personally, but Paul Lionetti should be applauded for his faith and commitment to this town.”
However, Penelope Moir of Gnowellen, northeast of Albany, considers the project “most inappropriate”.
“Tourists and port traffic should not be mixed,” she submits.
“World standard access to the Port of Albany is crucial for both Albany and the surrounding shires.”
Philip, Kathryn and Christina Rogerson, who operate the Albany Foreshore Guest House, submit the hotel’s scale will spoil harbour views for all heritage-listed buildings on Stirling Terrace.
“The development should be no more than two storeys, in keeping with all heritage-listed buildings on Stirling Terrace,” they assert.
The Rogersons also submit that if the hotel’s planned restaurant and bar reach licence application stage, they will lodge a complaint to State liquor licensing officials.
“Evidence can be provided to confirm the serious existing problem with noise from intoxicated patrons leaving the liquor outlets on Stirling Terrace and engaging in antisocial behaviour in the area late on Friday and Saturday nights,” they argue.
The only locally elected officials on the State-convened panel will be Mr Wellington and Councillor Paul Terry, slated to appear via teleconference.
Cr Terry previously disclosed a financial interest on a matter related to the project because one of his sons worked for a company associated with the proponent. But his son recently resigned, clearing the way for the Breaksea Ward councillor to vote on the plans.
Image: The planned hotel, by Hodge Collard Preston Architects from development application lodged by Planning Solutions.