The $50 million Oscar Seppeltsfield hotel is one step closer to reality after the Environment, Resources and Development Court ruled in its favour.
The court said yesterday the Light Regional Council was correct to classify Oscar as a category two development – not category three.
This now means that only close neighbours can object to the 12-storey hotel and they have no appeal rights.
The project still needs development and planning approval from the council to go ahead.
The six-star hotel has polarised the community with local identities Maggie Beer, Robert O’Callaghan, James Lindner and Margaret Lehmann among those who have spoken out against it.
“Justice has been heard and served,” Seppeltsfield owner Warren Randall said.
Project spokesman Toby Yap said, “ We have been overwhelmed by the public and industry support for this iconic tourism development and we are extremely confident that this destination will be a gamechanger for Australian regional tourism.
“The new six-star accommodation will attract new markets to the region and drive growth in the domestic and international visitor economy, while creating an additional 363 construction jobs and 350 ongoing jobs for the region once operational.
“The Oscar Barossa at Seppeltsfield is expected to bring an additional $90 million in tourism expenditure to the region over the first five years, the team have been in talks with leading intranational hoteliers and look forward to announcing the operator soon.
“We are 100 percent committed to this $50 million investment in South Australia.
“The Barossa is famous for its wine, food and spectacular sights, but what it needs is an iconic luxury hotel to cater to local and international guests that visit the region.
“South Australian Tourism Commission research has shown a real gap in the marketplace for high-end travellers, with only 28 out of 161 accommodation options being rated at four stars or above.
“We are confident that the Oscar will fill this gap and set the global standard for luxury regional travel.”
Mr Randal said he planned to reach out to the Barossa community to try to convince them of Oscar’s merits.
The hotel, funded by businesspeople including former Adelaide Crows captain Mark Ricciuto and hotelier Peter Hurley, has been ridiculed and called many names including “The Slug.”
Mr Randall had threatened to take the development elsewhere if the Barossa didn’t want it.
He said the height of the building had been lowered by 10 metres since the original concept plans were released.
Mr Randall has said all along that he knew the architecture would polarise people and that he wanted an international talking point.