A community group determined to stop the Regent Theatre being turned into a hotel and restore its former glory says it has been given a second chance by changes to the theatre’s development application.
Revive The Regent co-ordinator Simone Sheridan said her group were pleased to have another opportunity to voice their concerns.
Submissions for the new-look DA closed on Friday and members of Revive The Regent had been heavily involved in providing feedback.
“We’re very happy we got another chance. We thought it was over before Christmas but with the changes to the DA it has given us another chance,” Ms Sheridan said.
“Everybody had a break over Christmas and now they are ready to renew the fight. We’ve had another 200 people join the group and had residents from some of the nearby small towns such as Hargraves get involved.”
The revised DA has reduced the number of rooms from 84 to 62 and increased the amount of parking available from 33 to 74 spaces.
Despite the changes, Ms Sheridan said there were still significant concerns about the impact the hotel would have on the Regent Theatre building and the surrounding area.
“The developer has tried to stick to the argument that the they are saving the facade but they are planning to add six more windows into that facade which will spoil the art deco look,” she said.
“We are still finding issues. There is something called car stacking that is being used to increase the number of parks and that seems like something that should be in Sydney, not in Mudgee.
“They are also leasing land from the Anglican Church to add 20 parks on that side of street and we are concerned that will mean extra traffic.”
The National Trust has also expressed its concern about the changes to the historic building.
Ms Sheridan said the hotel wouldn’t have the “right footprint” for the location it was slated for, and suggested there were other locations, including the vacant government building at 90 Market Street, where it would be more suited.
Ms Sheridan said Revive the Regent was just about ensuring the theatre was utilised in the right way, without dictating what should happen.
She said members of the group and other ratepayers had made it clear they wanted it used for some sort of public use such as a live music venue or community centre.
“That’s not for us to decide but it’s great to see that is what the community wants.”