Is this the last chance for Bulli’s Denmark Hotel?

An artist impression of the re-adapted Denmark Hotel at Bulli. The owner plans to transform the heritage building into three apartments, with entry via the Wollongong City Council owned miners’ cottage to its north.

A DEVELOPMENT application lodged with Wollongong City Council by the owner of Bulli’s much-loved Denmark Hotel may be the last chance to save the heritage building.

The redevelopment proposals for the former coaching inn has been entangled in red tape for over a decade with the building falling into disrepair in recent years.

The current owner of ‘The Denmark’, has a development application to Council to transform the heritage listed building into residential apartments – one on the second storey, and two at ground level.

A plan, originally lodged with Council by different owners in 2002 for a re-adaptive use of the building as a restaurant with bar, accommodation and retail outlet, was caught-up in similar red tape and failed to eventuate.

The current owner, Sean Hannon bought the building over a decade ago, and has had an ongoing battle with bureaucracy to have the building readapted as residential apartments. One of the main problems for Mr Hannon arose from gaining government approval for access from the busy Princes Highway.

Council in December 2015 approved in principle the establishment of a ‘right of carriageway’ over the Bulli Miner’s Cottage to the Denmark Hotel, with a car park stretching over the two sites, servicing both properties.

The proposal will allow access to a rear car park for three residential apartments provided through a drive way on the north of the miner’s cottage site.

The Denmark Hotel, built by Danish immigrant, Jens Peter Orvad, was established in 1877, with parts of the original timber slab inn remaining to the rear of the property. The two-storey brick frontage was built by Orvad in 1886 to cater for increased business with the opening of the South Coast Railway.

The building ceased operating as a pub in 1907 and became a boarding house for many years before a private residence.

The unusual cockatoo window on the roof, architecturally known as belvedere, was built by Orvad to watch for steamers mooring at Bulli Jetty, and for coaches descending Bulli Pass.

For more on the history of the Denmark Hotel and Jens Peter Orvad visit the Looking Back website story: The Little House on the Hill: Bulli’s Old Denmark Hotel

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


One thought on “Is this the last chance for Bulli’s Denmark Hotel?

  1. also the problem has not been to do with the building or access (which was solved many years ago) but Councils insistence on requiring landscaping to be as per that of any other residential development which is at odds with the existing site development and the original heritage character of the site


    Posted by graham neaves | October 4, 2022, 6:46 pm

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