Heritage push for Four In Hand

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Residents oppose the sale of the iconic Paddington pub that could be snapped up for redevelopment.

Woollahra Council will consider a motion to heritage list the historic Four In Hand as a people power movement, including many famous faces, gathers momentum to save the beloved Paddo pub.

Residents First councillors Luise Elsing and Harriet Price will put forward a motion at the May 21 meeting requesting staff prepare and submit a report including a heritage assessment and a draft heritage inventory sheet.

Mayor Peter Cavanagh, who met with representatives of the grassroots lobby group, says he will support the motion.

“I believe there is merit to the Four In Hand remaining as a pub – in my opinion a potential change in the property’s usage would be deeply regrettable and a great loss to Paddington,” Cr Cavanagh says.

This will facilitate the pub’s inclusion in the Woollahra Local Environmental Plan (WLEP) as a heritage item and its listing as a heritage item of state significance on the NSW State Heritage Register. The iconic Paddington hotel is for sale with the owner of the business and the building, Mitchell Waugh, planning to transfer his liquor and gaming licences elsewhere, meaning the pub will likely be snapped up by a developer and turned into a residential site.

Although some property experts say a heritage listing would only preserve the facade of the building and not ensure it remains a pub, Cr Price says it is their best course of action.

“What a heritage listing will do is ensure the controls on the site are as strict as possible,” she says.

“Paddington’s heritage is precious. It has to be respected and preserved.

“I think pubs are essential to the character of Paddington, just as much as our iconic terrace houses.”

Other local pubs already included in the WLEP are the Royal Hotel, the Lord Dudley Hotel, the Village Inn, Golden Sheaf and the Rose Bay Hotel.

Media executive John Hartigan and former The Daily Telegraph and New York Post editor Col Allan are among the prominent Paddington locals to pledge their support for the Save The Four campaign.

House Husbands star Rhys Muldoon, who lived in and owned a two-bedroom Art Deco apartment in Paddington for many years, has also joined the chorus.

“Australians pride ourselves on being egalitarian and equal but that’s actually true at The Four, where you can met CEOs of massive companies as well as the guy who cleans the local school,” he says. “It’s that little bubble of egalitarianism in an otherwise wealthy suburb.”

A petition to save the pub has already attracted more than 6000 signatures.

Follow the campaign at savethefour.com.au

It’s that little bubble of egalitarianism in an otherwise wealthy suburb
Actor Rhys Muldoon