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Sydney council not happy with Crown’s apartment increase

Mon, Jun 17, 9:36pm by Staff Writer

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

The ABC reports 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.

“This remains an outrageous betrayal of the community’s trust, an abuse of power that places private ahead of the public interest.”

The Barangaroo Delivery Authority said the application by Crown for 21 additional apartments and other modifications including the internal layout of the casino’s hotel is with the NSW Department of Planning for assessment.

It said the proposals were available online and available for public submissions.

Phillip Thalis is a City of Sydney councillor and an architect who worked on the original Barangaroo design.

He said the initial plans for the site had half the area as parkland.

“The whole thing is a catastrophe from beginning to end,” he said.

“Sydney is the real loser here.”

Councillor Thalis, who has decades of experience in urban design, said his original blueprint had been eroded.

“The size of the buildings is just enormous and they are just encroaching on the foreshore so that the foreshore is basically commercial space,” Mr Thalis said.

Mr Thalis claimed there had been a compound failure of seven NSW Governments to realize the original vision for Barangaroo.

In a statement, Crown told the ABC it would be “inappropriate to comment” as a planning application had been lodged.

The community is being encouraged to give feedback on the modification plan, a spokesperson for the Department of Planning and Environment said in a statement.

“The modification request does not seek to change the already approved total gross floor area of the building, the area allocated to the casino or the height of the building,” the statement said.

Crown Barangaroo on track for 2021 completion

Crown Resorts’ latest project in Sydney is on course to meet its completion in the first half of 2021, The Urban Developer reports.

Following 14 months of construction, the hotel and casino development stands almost 120 metres above the harbour, with the first level of residences on level 33 scheduled to be poured in July.

In December, Crown and developer Lendlease won its fight against the New South Wales government to retain Sydney’s billion dollar harbour views at the Barangaroo project in a decision handed down by the Supreme Court.

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 successfully sued the New South Wales government in a bid to protect “sight lines” at the southern end of Barangaroo.

In a report released 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 and Lendlease argued 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 unsuccessfully argued that relevant clauses in thecontract 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.

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