- Written by Teela Griffin Penrith City Council (02) 4732 7777 (02) 4732 7958 firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au 601 High St Penrith NSW 2750 Australia
The historic Police Cottage at Emu Plains is set to become a vibrant dining destination, following an adaptive reuse of the site into a restaurant, to enhance our connection to the Nepean River.
Thanks to an innovative idea by Penrith City Council, the century-long history of the building will be open to the public in 2023 for the first time, ensuring this important local heritage feature is celebrated, conserved, and enjoyed for generations to come.
Originally built in 1908, the Police Cottage was sensitively restored by Penrith City Council to blend heritage and modern dining to deliver a café and restaurant, with outside seating and stunning views of the Nepean River.
The refurbishment of the Police Cottage was proudly funded by the NSW Government and Penrith City Council, with $1.5 million contributed from the NSW Government and a further $1 million from Council.
Located adjacent to the Yandhai Nepean Crossing, the Police Cottage will provide the crucial link to the new Regatta Park precinct enhancing the area as a rejuvenated recreation, dining and entertainment destination.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Completion of construction, including upgrades to services, roof and verandas, and outdoor privy, as well as the enhancement of internal spaces, was achieved in November 2022. Penrith City Council marked the occasion with an official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, attended by members of State and Federal Government, as well as project partners and former tenants.
The ceremony was opened by a traditional Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country, followed by an official ribbon cutting moment by Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen and Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith.
The restoration works of the Police Cottage stands as an example of great adaptive reuse of a beautiful heritage building within Penrith that will foster opportunities for the public to experience a taste of history while enjoying a coffee or a meal on the banks of the Nepean.
Scheduled to open to the public in March 2023, the event signified the handing over of the Police Cottage to food and beverage operators, Shane and Belinda Simpson, with fit-out works on track to reach completion by the end of 2022.
The Police Cottage is located at 4 Punt Road, Emu Plains.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Gallery
What is happening at the Police Cottage site?
Council’s vision is to bring the Police Cottage back to life, through an adaptive reuse of the site into a café and restaurant, with outside seating that offers diners magnificent views of the Nepean River.
The historic building was sensitively refurbished with the restoration of the façade, replacement works to the verandas and roof, services upgrades, internal enhancements and the upgrade of the outdoor privy. An extension of the deck was also proposed to create a 133 sqm outdoor dining area, shaded by a row of mature Jacaranda trees with views of the iconic Yandhai Nepean Crossing and the Nepean River.
The restoration of the Police Cottage is a key project in the ‘Our River’ Nepean River master plan to create a rejuvenated recreation, dining and entertainment precinct with improved access to the river.
This project will not only attract more visitors to the Nepean River, but also celebrate and conserve this important heritage building for generations to come.
Where is the site located?
The Police Cottage is located at 4 Punt Road Emu Plains.
What is the history of the Police Cottage?
The Police Cottage is a local heritage building, as the purpose-built police station and residence for Emu Plains from 1908 to 1921. It was then used as a residence for Penrith Police officers until the 1950s, and then rented as a private home before becoming vacant in 2015. It forms part of the historical development of the locality of Emu Plains and was designed by the Government Architects Branch.
How will the site’s history be preserved?
Council is committed to preserving the history of the site for generations to come. A Conservation Management Plan was prepared which will help guide Council in the care and management of the site. A Statement of Heritage Impact was also prepared to guide the development to ensure that the proposed alterations and additions involve relatively minor changes to the existing fabric of the building. Council worked closely with the NSW Police Memorial & Historical Society Inc to share information regarding the history of the site and its association with NSW Police, as well as ensuring any artefacts were preserved.
Has the Development Application been approved?
The Development Application (DA) for the refurbishment of the Police Cottage was approved in June 2021. The Public Exhibition for the DA proposal has now closed. You can view the DA via Council’s online DA tracker by searching for DA 20/0628 here
When will work begin on site?
Council partnered with AMA Projects Pty Ltd to deliver the adaptive reuse of the historic Police Cottage. AMA Projects were chosen following a competitive tender process where they demonstrated expertise in heritage refurbishments.
Construction on the refurbishment of the Police Cottage at Emu Plains has now reached completion, following an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on 18 November 2022.
Who will operate the café and restaurant?
In June 2021, Council conducted a formal Request for Tender for a hospitality operator for the Police Cottage.
In October 2021, renowned retailer 2773 Café Glenbrook (2773) was announced as the food and beverage operator for the Police Cottage.
Owners of 2773, Shane and Belinda Simpson were chosen as they share Council’s vision for the site and their passion for the local community shone through in their application. They also demonstrated an appreciation for preserving the history of the building as well as having extensive experience running multiple successful venues in the local area.
The menu will be modern Australian with a focus on local and sustainable produce delivering casual dining as well as quick service takeaway. Set to open in late January 2023, Tthe Police Cottage will be the ideal place for family, friends, and visitors to eat, meet and relax while soaking up the magnificent views of the river.
When will the café and restaurant open?
The café and restaurant are anticipated to open in late January 2023.
Will access to the Great River Walk or Yandhai Nepean Crossing be impacted?
Council will ensure The Great River Walk and Yandhai Nepean Crossing will remain accessible during the refurbishment of the Police Cottage.
How can I get more information?