Council statements on pub's heritage misleading
COUNCIL has downplayed the heritage significance of Murphy's Town Pub with repeated comments about just the facade being protected.
Apart from rear and side extensions built in 1988, the entire 1910-built two-storey building is protected under Stage 2 - Character Places - of the Ipswich Planning Scheme.
A listing under the Ipswich Heritage Study 1991 Inventory includes the whole allotment of the Murphy's Town Pub in Union Place, plus the adjoining footpath and all established trees.
Council's Planning chairman Paul Tully, who is also the chairman of Ipswich City Properties (ICP) which acquired Murphy's Town Pub in November 2014, has repeatedly stated that only the facade of the building was heritage protected.
Cr Tully made the statement when the council announced the acquisition in 2014, and again when the QT questioned lack of progress on renovations to the site in August.
An unnamed "spokesman" for Ipswich City Properties last week also stated that the facade of the hotel was heritage listed.
The spokesman said "the announcement last month of epc.Pacific as the shopping centre development partner had redrawn the timeline for redevelopment of the hotel site with the facade preserved".
He said the hotel was closed as the building was certified as unsafe and repair estimates were upwards of $750,000.
ICP acquired Murphy's Hotel as part of an insurance settlement. An ongoing dispute between the previous hotel owners and the shopping centre alleged the 1980s Kern Corporation redevelopment undermined the hotel building.
Division 7 candidate Jim McKee raised concerns last week on the lack of action at the site.
He said Ipswich City Council approved the development that allegedly caused structural problems to the hotel building in the 1980s and the current council had a duty to fix it.