City council urged to support threatened Crown & Anchor

Adelaide City councillors have been urged to support the Crown & Anchor hotel against a proposed apartments tower, with the council’s official advice to a planning panel limited to design codes and the historic building’s facade.

Apr 08, 2024, updated Apr 08, 2024
Photo: Liam Jenkins/InDaily

Photo: Liam Jenkins/InDaily

Deputy Lord Mayor Keiran Snape will urge the council to acknowledge the significance of the Crown & Anchor at tomorrow night’s meeting, asking the Lord Mayor to write to the Premier expressing concern about development on the site. 

It comes after Singapore-based Wee Hur Holdings last month lodged a development application to build multi-level student housing at the East End site.

Established in 1853, the Crown & Anchor is one of Adelaide’s oldest pubs and a live music stalwart for decades. It was awarded local heritage listing in 1991. 

The Grenfell St pub and surrounding land is owned by Adelaide developer Gerry Karidis’ Karidis Corporation, which bought the site in 2016. 

The development threat prompted calls for city planning law reform, with the creative industries sector arguing cultural value should be taken into account when considering planning that will impact venues like the Crown & Anchor. 

Snape’s motion requests that the council recognise that if an apartment block in an area zoned up to 15 storeys is approved, it “will result in the loss of a significant historic building in our city” and hurt the “lively and thriving East End.”

It also requests the City of Adelaide and the State Government work together to consider options that will provide greater protection for venues like the Crown & Anchor, which have a significant cultural impact. 

Deputy Lord Mayor Keiran Snape chatting with CityMag journalists at the Crown & Anchor in 2022. This picture: Johnny Von Einem

The State Commission Assessment Panel will assess the development application. While the Adelaide City Council doesn’t have control over the outcome, it has been asked to provide comments to the panel. 

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The council’s official advice to the assessment panel isn’t yet finalised but the agenda note prepared for tomorrow night’s meeting reveals it does not  reference the Crown & Anchor’s use or live music at all. 

The council will focus on the building facade and how  plans measure up against the planning and design code. Currently, there is nothing in the code which emphasises preserving buildings for arts and cultural heritage reasons. 

The council’s initial advice is that “the proposal will not be significantly over height, will have a bulk and scale expected in this part of the city, and will retain the heritage façade”. 

The council can only comment on the topics of infrastructure, traffic, waste management, stormwater, public open space and impact on local heritage places in their submission. 

As part of the development application process, members of the public can submit a response to the State Commission Assessment Panel. The timeframe for when the application will go out to community consultation is yet to be confirmed. 

The Crown & Anchor has hosted live music for 30 years and presents acts nearly every night. This picture: Liam Jenkins

Both Snape and Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith have shared their support of the Crown & Anchor on social media, encouraging people to submit their concerns to the State Commission Assessment Panel when public submissions open. 

In a video posted to her social media on Friday, Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith said when the Crown & Anchor earned its local heritage status, it was for its cultural and historic value to the city.

“What we don’t want with heritage listing is the technicality of the listing being reduced to only protecting the façade, like the neighbouring East End Carpark,” Lomax-Smith said. 

A community campaign to ‘Save the Cranker’ has been mobilising musicians and pub-goers on social media to create a video campaign. They’ve also created a website to host more information about their campaign.

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