The Royal Oak Hotel, established in 1813, has been removed to enable the construction and operation of the Parramatta Light Rail. Transport for NSW aims to minimise impacts on property wherever possible and acknowledges the local significance of the Hotel. As part of the project, the heritage Cobb & Co Stables at the rear of the building has been retained.
Why has the Royal Oak Hotel on Church Street been removed?
Transport for NSW makes every possible effort to avoid the need to acquire private property and will only do this when it has exhausted all other avenues. While the majority of businesses on Church Street have a larger setback from the street, the Royal Oak Hotel was located much closer to the street’s edge. The removal of the Royal Oak Hotel was necessary to provide sufficient space for two light rail tracks, one traffic lane on either side of the light rail, and a footpath on either side of the road. Both traffic lanes need to be wide enough to accommodate buses and trucks.
How will heritage impacts be managed?
The Royal Oak Hotel does not meet the criteria to be considered of State Heritage significance. However, Transport for NSW recognises that the Royal Oak Hotel and Stables is considered an item of local heritage value. The former Cobb & Co Stables, located at the rear of the property, forms an important part of the local government heritage listing for the Royal Oak Hotel, and was retained and protected during the removal of the hotel.
Transport for NSW completed archival photographic recording and salvaged identified historic materials before the Hotel’s removal. Our Contractor, Parramatta Connect, has consulted with the City of Parramatta Council and determined a suitable repository for each of the identified historic materials salvaged.
Were alternative options considered to avoid impacting the Royal Oak Hotel?
Yes. Transport for NSW looked at several options to avoid or minimise impacts to the Royal Oak Hotel, including alternative routes, taking land from the other side of Church Street and reducing traffic lanes.
Alternative routes were found to have a greater number of disadvantages compared to the route along Church Street. In the end, other options were not feasible due to the adverse impacts these would have created for the area’s road network and for multiple private properties. Church Street was chosen in order to provide direct access to the “Eat Street” restaurant and café precinct, and to serve new residents and workers along Church Street and neighbouring streets.
We believe it is in the long-term interests of the Greater Parramatta region to have frequent, reliable light rail services and that the Church Street route is the best possible solution to deliver this outcome.
What will happen to the site?
The NSW Government, in consultation with the City of Parramatta Council and the community, will explore options for the future use of any residual land resulting from the removal of the Royal Oak Hotel.