Wed, Nov 28, 2:53pm by Staff Writer
Crown Resorts has produced a new report suggesting that a development near its new Sydney casino would block harbour views to more levels than anticipated.
In early November, only a small proportion of hotel rooms and no apartments at Crown’s A$2 billion casino tower at Barangaroo in Sydney would have their Opera House and Harbour Bridge views obstructed by a neighbouring development.
Crown and infrastructure giant Lendlease are suing the New South Wales government in a bid to protect “sight lines” at the southern end of Barangaroo, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.
In a report release on November 11, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority showed to the New South Wales Supreme Court that concessions had already been made to ensure that only small sections of Crown’s tower would be affected by developments in the area.
Crown’s own report prepared in September said that Harbour Bridge views would be blocked only from level three to seven at it’s 71-storey development or approximately 15 metres of a 275-metre tower.
A new report prepared for Crown by architectural modeler Grant Kolln shower that views to the north-west tip of the Opera House would be affected for only a fraction of Crown’s hotel rooms on the southern side of the tower.
The report by Mr Kolln showed that the site would hinder views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge roughly from level three to 15 of the tower and a small slice of rooms from levels 16 to 24.
Harbour views at Lendlease and Crown towers were not "promised" https://t.co/rGdZIpOdLh
— Matthew Cranston (@mcranston1) November 25, 2018
Crown’s vice president of design and construction Lee Monfort was asked by Tony Bannon SC if he had been “worried about the appearance of the impact from that first report.”
Mr Monfort replied that the image in the first report had been incorrect as it was “taken from the wrong location on the bridge” and said the company had discussed the matter with its lawyers.
Mr Monfort understood that Crown wanted to retain not only sight lines of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, but also across Central Barangaroo to Observatory Hill and nearby terrace house.
Crown and Lendlease are arguing that clauses in their 2015 development contracts stipulated they should have been progressively consulted on the development plans for Central Barangaroo.
The Barangaroo Development Authority is arguing that relevant clauses in the contract were focused on good faith negotiations, which balanced the desire to optimise development at the site and did not guarantee that “sight lines” would be retained.
The views from Lendlease’s development will be significantly more affected than Crown’s casino hotel and residential complex, which is due to be completed in 2021.
The case returns to court this week.
Casinos and residential complexes in Australia are nearly always subject to controversy between developers, owners and the government.
In 2016 the northern Victorian town of Mildura was earmarked to be the sight of the second Victorian casino after a developer planned an A$300 million convention centre and casino for the town.
Australia Cove Limited released plans for the development known as ‘The Mildura’.
The proposal included a five-star hotel and a casino and was one of a number of attempts to get the project going after it failed to gain a license from the state government in 2011.
The State Government has said it had no plans to issue a second casino license for Victoria, but that didn’t stop Australia Cove.
The Mildura Development Corporation, Mildura Tourism, Mildura City Heart and representatives from the Mildura airport have all thrown their support behind the project.
Australia Cove chief executive Bob McIver said the project needed public support to get off the ground.
The social impact of gambling is one of the main obstacles to gaining a second license, with local businesses and tourism experts applauding the plans.
As it stands, a lack of political support has halted plans, with a presentation from the consortium not even viewed by the government.
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