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Planning review after Pyrmont planning controversy

Fri, Aug 23, 8:17am by Staff Writer

The New South Wales government has directed the Greater Sydney Commission to immediately review planning rules for Pyrmont and the Western Harbour “to ensure they are consistent with the government’s vision for its future.”

The move follows a planning recommendation that proposed $530 million Star Casino hotel and residential tower in Pyrmont, be rejected, Architecture Au reports.

In a press release announcing the review circulated on Monday, August 19 titled “Pyrmont set for a facelift”, New South Wales state premier Gladys Berejiklian is quoted as saying that there is a unique opportunity before the government to transform Pyrmont and the Western Harbour precinct into an iconic destination.

“I am sending a strong message that Pyrmont is open for business and ready to be taken to the next level,” she said.

“While individual applications will continue to be determined on their merits, this review sends a clear signal that our government believes the Pyrmont area has a bright and exciting future as part of the New South Wales visitor economy.”

The press release does not mention the planned Star Casino tower as a reason for the review, but opponents of the proposal have expressed their skepticism.

In a mayoral minute moved at a City of Sydney council meeting on Monday night, Mayor Clover Moore said, “This is a point of vital importance to maintaining public faith in the credibility of the planning system.”

“It appears that the certainty that the City of Sydney’s earlier planning process gave to residents in Pyrmont, which influenced their decisions to live there, is under threat.

“It is an astounding betrayal of public trust.”

Moore noted that since the planning department’s rejection of the proposal there has been a sustained campaign from sections of the media against.

She noted that The Daily Telegraph has run 27 articles critical of the recommendation, including four front-page articles, three editorials and four op-eds.

The state’s treasurer Dominic Perrottet came out in favour of the proposal in July, telling 2GB that the 237-metre-tall tower would make a “real difference to tourism in our city and state and our country.”

In its recommendation to axe the proposal, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment deemed the tower to be “unduly prominent”, “over assertive” and “not in the public interest”.

During a period of public engagement, the department received 144 submissions on the proposal, including 117 from the public, 88 of which were objections.

Having received more than 25 objecting submissions, the proposal has been referred to the Independent Planning Commission for final determination.

The commission is holding a public meeting on the proposal on 27 August.

The Greater Sydney Commission commenced its review of the planning rules last week, and their report is due to be completed by the end of September.

Sydney council not happy with Crown’s apartment increase

Sydney City Council labeled plans by Crown Casino to increase the number of apartments at its Barangaroo site on Sydney’s foreshore as “outrageous”.

The ABC reported in June that Crown Casino submitted an application to increase the number of luxury apartments in the tower, known as 1 Barangaroo, from 66 to 87, with decreased visitor spaces to allow for more valet parking.

The application said the increase is due to “market feedback”.

The apartments are in Crown’s Barangaroo skyscraper, which is due to be completed in 2021 and will also include a luxury casino and hotel.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Council had no authority over Barangaroo developments, and any approved increase would be another erosion in public trust for the site.

“The people of Australia should be outraged that the precious public land along the foreshore of the global city has been sacrificed so private interests can profit from selling apartments to millionaires,” she said.

“Both NSW Government and Opposition supported the proposal to build this tower, cannibalizing planned parkland and continuous harbour foreshore.

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