Modern design for old site

Artistic impression: The old milk factory could be converted into a restaurant precinct if it is approved by Camden Council.
Artistic impression: The old milk factory could be converted into a restaurant precinct if it is approved by Camden Council.

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak is pleased a developer wants to transform the old milk factory in Camden into a contemporary restaurant precinct.

.She does not favour faux heritage looks and has praised the modern design.

“New construction is supposed to look new so it doesn’t compete with heritage buildings,” she said.

 “It should be clear what buildings are historical and which ones are new and those can be developed in a sympathetic way, such as Camden Library.”

Developer Costa Meitanis lodged an application in February to turn the historic site into a restaurant precinct with five eateries.

The existing milk depot on the corner of Argyle and Edward streets will be altered and a two storey building will be constructed with an adjoining above ground car park, if the development is approved.

The contemporary design of the new restaurant precinct will include timber and steel walls and a metal roof.

Cr Symkowiak said the proposed boutique wine bars and restaurants would complement the town.

“Camden is slowly becoming a mecca dining experience and this development will add to that vibe,” she said.

Camden is slowly becoming a mecca dining experience and this development will add to that vibe.

Mayor Lara Symkowiak

Camden Community Alliance vice president Lorraine Iddon said alliance members were alarmed the new contemporary development would be at the entrance to the town.

“The restaurant precinct will look like something out of Darling Harbour,” she said. “It doesn’t set the theme of the historical centre of Camden.

“If buildings are designed to be in a fake heritage style then they will look fake but if the development is designed with more contemporary style then it should be done in a more sympathetic way.”

Ms Iddon agreed the site should not sit idle, however, she said development should improve on what was good about the historical site.

“The building will not be enhanced it will be reconstructed into something different,” she said. “At the alliance, we are not against change. We just want developers to keep the charm and character in mind.

The council has received 19 submissions and the application will be voted on at a future council meeting. The cost of the project is more than $8 million.