NSW Govt To Change Pyrmont Planning Rules Amid Hotel And Casino Dispute
The NSW government has confirmed it will seek to amend Pyrmont planning controls after the publication of a Greater Sydney Commission precinct review.
The NSW government will seek to amend planning controls around Sydney's Pyrmont after a review of the area encouraged a "place-based approach" to development in the inner-city precinct.
The government on Saturday released the findings of the Greater Sydney Commission's report, requested after the NSW planning department rejected the construction of a 66-storey luxury Pyrmont hotel.
The department in August found The Star's multi-million dollar plan for the 237-metre high Ritz Carlton tower would "appear isolated and overly prominent" to the "detriment of local and wider views" - a position supported at the time by NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes.
But the GSC report found the area's planning controls have "become increasingly complex and difficult to understand".
It recommended the government better align Pyrmont planning controls with its 2018 Greater Sydney Region Plan, pairing growth with infrastructure and focusing on the area's unique characteristics.
Without mentioning the Ritz Carlton, the report said a number of major projects in the area "are disconnected from each other."
It recommended the government develop a fresh Pyrmont precinct masterplan, economic strategy and simplified planning process. The government on Saturday said they would seek to transform the precinct into a jobs centre and economic hub, and would fast-track studies into the construction of a Pyrmont metro station.
Stokes confirmed Pyrmont's planning controls would change.
It is unclear if those changes will impact on the Independent Planning Commission's verdict on the submitted Ritz Carlton plan.
"We can support larger-scale development and maintain the unique heritage nature of Pyrmont - it's not an 'either/or' choice," Stokes said in a statement.
He also said the government would aim to better coordinate Pyrmont projects such as Sydney Fish Market and University of Technology expansion. Premier Gladys Berejiklian labelled Pyrmont "the next frontier" and said her government would treat the area as a CBD gateway.
"Today we are sending a clear message that Pyrmont is open for business and ready to be taken to the next level," Ms Berejiklian said.
The Ritz Carlton, as submitted, would house 220 hotel rooms and 204 residential apartments and create 754 jobs after construction.
The boss of Star in August said a lack of five-star hotels was depriving Sydney businesses of high-end Chinese tourism income.
However Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has strongly criticised the tower plan, saying it provides little public benefit on public land.