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Hotel and casino issues lead to change in rules

Mon, Oct 7, 8:57pm by Charlotte Lee

The publication of a Greater Sydney Commission precinct review has led to the NSW Government confirming it will take action.

According to 10 Daily, the state government has confirmed they will now seek to amend planning controls in the Pyrmont area.

Following the rejection of the construction of the proposed Ritz Carlton tower in Pyrmont, a 66-storey luxury hotel with a height of 237 metres, the government released the findings of The Greater Sydney Commission’s report.

The proposed Ritz Carlton tower would house 220 hotel rooms and 204 residential apartments, creating 754 jobs after construction.

The findings included that the review of Pyrmont encouraged a ‘place-based approach’ to develop this inner-city hub.

The development of The Star’s proposed Ritz Carlton tower would ‘appear isolated and overly prominent’ which would be detrimental to the local and wider views.

The position asserted in the report was also supported at the time by NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes.

Complex rules to be changed

The report also found that the area’s planning controls have “become increasingly complex and difficult to understand”.

It’s recommendations included:

  • the government better align Pyrmont planning controls with its 2018 Greater Sydney Region Plan, where growth and infrastructure are paired with the focus on the area’s unique characteristics.
  • they develop a fresh Pyrmont precinct masterplan, including a revised economic strategy and simplified planning process.

On Saturday, the government confirmed that they are seeking to transform the precinct into a jobs centre and economic hub as well that fast-tracking studies into the construction of a Pyrmont metro station.

In relation to planning controls, “we can support larger-scale development and maintain the unique heritage nature of Pyrmont – it’s not an ‘either/or’ choice” Stokes said.

In addition, he stated the government would aim to better coordinate Pyrmont projects such as the expansion of the Sydney Fish Market and University of Technology.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said her government would treat the area as a gateway to the Sydney CBD. “We have successfully transformed Barangaroo into a spectacular waterfront precinct and are in the midst of revitalising Central. Pyrmont is the next frontier,” she said.

“Today we are sending a clear message that Pyrmont is open for business and ready to be taken to the next level,” she said.

The Star appear willing to accept a reduced 213m tower for the Ritz-Carlton development however would very much prefer the original 237m proposal.

In August, Matt Bekier, Chief Executive of The Star told The Daily Telegraph “the department at no point during the four-year process raised height as a concern…“If it had we would have welcomed the opportunity to engage with them and find an acceptable solution.”

Berejiklian stated in related to the development “With Ritz-Carlton, of course all of us want to see that proceed but we want to see it proceed in a timely way and in an appropriate way and I’m relieved in fact that the proponents have actually changed what they’re proposing that they’ve reduced the height.”

City of Sydney’s lord mayor Clover Moore said she welcomed a place-based approach over the “site-by-site ad hoc planning” that has been previously adopted within the city.

“We need real place-making that takes into account transport, public space, solar access and, importantly, community consultation, like we’ve done across the city,” she said.

“The City of Sydney stands ready to lead this process, but such a collaboration will require the state government to be more transparent about its intentions for development of sites it owns, such as The Star casino, Fish Markets and the Powerhouse Museum sites.”


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