Sydney tower approved despite shadow fears

It’s all systems go for the $649 million redevelopment of Sydney’s Cockle Bay Wharf despite critics saying another skyscraper will overshadow the proposed Town Hall Square nearby.

The NSW Independent Planning Commission on Monday announced it had approved the project – which includes shops, bars, restaurants and a commercial office tower up to 183 metres – despite objections from the City of Sydney council and members of the public.

“Giving the green light to developers to overshadow Town Hall Square is a great pity and can never be reversed,” one person told the commission in March.

The council has for many years been acquiring properties around Town Hall for a new public square.

The City of Sydney argues the project, on the southeastern side of Darling Harbour, will overshadow the square and create wind impacts while being inconsistent with the draft central Sydney planning strategy.

But the commission on Monday found any additional overshadowing of the square would be “outside of the time the space will experience peak utilisation such as lunchtime”.

The height of the commercial office tower has been reduced to a maximum 183m, the commission said, and the building envelope has been reconfigured to limit overshadowing.

“A result of these amendments has been the reduction of overshadowing days, and on days where an impact is anticipated, this would be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes on two days of the year, between 4pm and 4.30pm,” the commission said in a statement.

The revitalised wharf would also have reasonable and acceptable impacts on view loss and overshadowing for the Astoria Tower and Millennium Tower on nearby Sussex Street.

Additional open space and improved connectivity between the eastern side of Darling Harbour and the CBD are among the project’s foreseen benefits, the commission said.

The concept proposal – by DPT Operator and DPPT Operator – includes the demolition of some existing buildings and pedestrian bridges and the addition of new shops, bars, restaurants and publicly accessible open space of between 5500 and 12,000 square metres.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the commission risks setting “a shocking precedent”.

“I am shocked and appalled by the … decision to approve a development in Cockle Bay that will overshadow future Town Hall Square after 4pm,” she told AAP in a statement.

Planning for the new civic space began more than three decades ago when developers abided by height and draft sun access controls, she said.

But a delay in the public exhibition of the draft central Sydney planning strategy – a long-running project with a focus on protecting access to sunlight – meant commissioners were not guided by revised planning controls.

The lord mayor called on the newly-appointed Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes to consider the impacts of the Cockle Bay Wharf plan on the public domain and “intervene” in stage-two of the application.

Ms Moore said the NSW government has failed to protect valuable and important future city public spaces.

loading...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *