Protecting heritage and character in Kings Cross
The character and significance
of one of Sydney’s most renowned streets is to be protected following Council approval
to heritage list three sites on Darlinghurst Road.
The façade of the Bourbon,
the Kingsley Hall building and the site of the Empire Hotel will be preserved to
protect the area’s significant social, cultural and historical value.
The site of the Empire Hotel
is listed for its social significance as the former Les Girls nightclub. The
planning controls allow the building to be replaced provided its history is
The proposals follow
detailed urban design and heritage studies and extensive consultation with the
local community after concerns over a planning application that would have
demolished most of the Bourbon and Empire hotels to make way for 83 residential
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said
the new controls would ensure Darlinghurst Road remains a lively and exciting
place for residents and visitors while striking the right balance between
commercial activity and residential development.
“I’m happy we’re taking
important steps to retain the area’s history and we will continue to do
whatever we can to ensure Darlinghurst Road retains its spirit,” the Lord Mayor
“Darlinghurst Road has a
long history as an internationally recognised late-night precinct, but the NSW
Government’s lockout laws have had a significant impact on the area and
resulted in growing interest from residential developers.
“The new controls will
ensure proposed developments will build on the area’s individuality and
architectural diversity, complemented with a mix of retail, commercial and
“We’ve proposed heritage
listing the façade of the Bourbon building, the entire Kingsley Hall building
and the site of the Empire building for its social significance.
“Any redevelopment of the
Empire building would need to reinterpret the social and historical
significance of the site through an architectural interpretation of the
building. We’ve also included planning controls to encourage food and drink or
entertainment uses at the ground and first floor.
“Buildings are not only
valuable because of their physical character but also because of their social
significance. I’m happy that we’re taking important steps to retain the area’s
consultation with the community we have heard from residents, businesses and
landowners who want more restaurants and cafes, live music venues, small bars,
nightclubs, specialist shops, food shops and corner stores, as well as hotels
and residential development.”
The heritage listings are
the latest move by the City to protect the unique character of Kings Cross,
following adoption of the Darlinghurst Road development control plan by Council
These new planning controls
will ensure new developments respect the area’s history and support retail,
business activities and residential apartments.
The City consulted widely
with the community on the new planning controls, including residents,
businesses and landowners.
Community feedback strongly
indicated the need for more restaurants and cafes, live music venues, small
bars, nightclubs, specialist shops, food shops and corner stores, as well as
hotels and residential development.
Darlinghurst Road is in the
Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay heritage conservation area, which extends from
the Garden Island naval depot in the north to Kings Cross Road in the south,
and from Victoria Street in the west to Ward Avenue in the east.
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For media inquiries contact City of Sydney Senior Media Advisor Elaine Kelly. Phone 0477 362 550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore contact Julia Lenton. Phone 0410 748 039 or email email@example.com