Emu Hall set to be given new life

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An artist’s impression of the future function centre at Emu Hall, Emu Plains

Weddings on the banks of the iconic Nepean River could soon be a reality, with a brand new riverfront function centre proposed for Emu Hall.

Emu Hall was built in 1852 by a vibrant local character, Tobias Ryan, a jack-of-all-trades who ended up representing Nepean in the Legislative Assembly.

The Emu Plains location is now owned by local Paul McDonald, who bought the site in February 2015 and became its fourth owner in its 164 year history.

Its potential was too endless to ignore for Mr McDonald, who immediately saw it as a place where people can come together and celebrate special events.

“The location is pretty obvious for something great on the river,” he said.

“Penrith Council have indicated they wanted to do something with River Road and Regatta Park, and the Green Bridge is going right next to us at Punt Road, so there is a lot of opportunity for people to show interest in this part of the world.”

Mr McDonald has spent countless hours working with planners and architects, to balance the build of a new centre to hold up to 260 people, while protecting the existing building’s heritage.

The Development Application for the refurbishment of Emu Hall was lodged to Council on September 23 by Stimson and Baker Planning, and is under assessment.

It proposes a commercial kitchen to cater for both a newly built riverfront function hall, plus the existing heritage building that will be available to be booked as a restaurant for private functions.

Warwick Stimson said the objective is to use the existing heritage item’s characteristics and setting to produce a high quality function venue on the Nepean River.

“The restaurant will be a fantastic addition to emerging uses along the river, and the function centre will be a welcome option for venues in Penrith, particularly overlooking the river,” he said.

Mr Stimson said the proposal is consistent with the Regatta Park Plan of Management and land uses identified in Council’s ‘Our River Master Plan’.

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