Walker Corporation has announced its plans to restore the Old Appin Inn to its original state with work to begin in three months.
The developer has committed to upgrading the historic icon regardless of whether its planning proposal for Macquariedale Road is approved.
The estimated cost of the restoration is $1.2 million.
Walker Corporation’s development manager Tim Solan said the external facade of the building and surrounding landscape would get a face lift.
“The walls are falling down because there are no footings or foundations so we will sure up the building and make it safe,” Mr Solan said.
“The roof will come off and be totally replaced. The walls will be repainted and the stained glass windows and timbre work will be replaced. The ornate window work will be restored and repainted in the original design.
“The exterior will look like its original state as much as possible.”
Mr Solan said some interior walls would be demolished and it would have a modern and contemporary feel suitable for different uses.
Landscape architect Sally Brown said the gardening around the inn would depend on what the inn would be used for in the future.
“The car park will be at the rear of the inn to provide flexibility and the front garden will be formal and the back garden will be in formal in order to keep within the character of the time the inn was built,” she said.
Walker Corporation has commissioned the services of archaeologist and cultural heritage professional Lance Syme who said he had conducted extensive archival work and would be look for any historical artefacts.
Walker Corporation has said the inn would be used as a sales office but are open to allowing community groups to use it in the future.
Appin Historical Society member Ray Slee said the society and the Appin community were committed to working with the Walker Corporation on the restoration project and looked forward to the day when it was completed.
“The inn is a landmark building not only for this community but nationally,” Mr Slee said.
“The restoration of the inn is an important step in maintaining the unique fabric of Appin and while we may quibble about the length of time it has taken to get to this point, we do want to thank Mr Lang and his team for making the decision to restore the inn.”
Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell said the state of Appin Road was concerning.
“What we keep reading about is deaths and the quality of Appin Road,” he said
“The NSW government has invested about $8 million in Appin Road yet the deaths still occur. What we need is a duplication of that road and not just a resurface.
“The only way you get a new road is by having good quality development which is what we are hearing from Walker Corporation.
‘”I encourage everybody in the Appin community to have a conversation with me, Walker Corporation and Wollondilly Council because we have a unique opportunity where we can set the tone of our community but if we don’t we will get left behind.”
Walker Corporation founder and executive chairman Lang Walker said the inn was significant and symbolic for Appin residents.
“The inn has a long history and it has been a shame to see it go to wrack and ruin,” he said.