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Update on Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy, Harbourside Darling Harbour  and Blackwattle Bay



Update on Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy, Harbourside Darling Harbour and Blackwattle Bay

  • 10 Dec 2020
  • Pyrmont



Following the rejection of The Star’s Concept DA for its 61-storey Ritz-Carlton tower on it casino site in Pyrmont, the NSW Premier launched a Review of Pyrmont Peninsula’s planning parameters.  The rushed Review was conducted by the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC).  Pyrmont Action’s submission and its report can be found on our website.

 The NSW Department of Planning Infrastructure (DPIE) has been commissioned to develop the Strategy in line with the Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy.  It released its 10 Directions for the Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy for public comment in March 2020 and Pyrmont Action’s submission is located under a separate news.

 The draft Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy was released for public comment in July 2020.  Pyrmont Action’s submission can be found under a separate news.

 On release of the draft Strategy, major Pyrmont and Ultimo developers and landowners, as well as many members of the community, lodged submissions which sought inclusion in the final Strategy of even higher building  heights for sites located in Sub-Precincts.  Pyrmont Action made a further submission, commenting on key submissions

 Pyrmont Action has been represented by Convenor, Elizabeth Elenius, on its Bounce Group Community Reference Group which has met virtually on 5 occasions, members receiving reports on progress, and providing comments.


In October 2020 Mirvac submitted its latest Response to Submissions Concept proposal for a 166m residential tower on top of a 6-7 storey office and retail podium on the Harbourside site at Darling Harbour.  The proposal includes a 1500 sq m rooftop Guardian Square adjacent Pyrmont Bridge and apartment buildings at 50- Murray Street, Pyrmont.  Pyrmont Action’s submission can be found under separate news. Pyrmont Action continued to seek modifications around build form, tower location and impact against Pyrmont Bridge.  The Independent Planning Commission -IPC has now made their determination and can be found under IPC Harbourside.


 Pyrmont Action has been involved in consultations regarding the future of lands and waters in and around what is now known as the Bays Precinct since 2004.  We participated in consultations with NSW Maritime Services Board, community groups, passive boating users and commercial marina users which resulted in the then Government determining that the Bank Street Public Recreation Area would be set aside for public parkland and passive boating activities.  This was formalised in the approval of the Bank Street Master Plan by the then Planning Minister, Frank Sartor, in 2006. 

 In 2010, Pyrmont Action was represented on the first Bays Precinct Community Reference Group (CRG) which reported to the then Labor Government on planning principles recommended to govern future planning in the Bays area.  However, the incoming Coalition Government cancelled all Master Plans covering Blackwattle Bay, Rozelle Bay on coming to office, establishing a new Bays Precinct CRG to provide an avenue for consultation between Urban Growth and community representatives.  Urban Growth initiated extensive opportunities for people to have a say on the future of the Bays and even splashed out on an International Summit of planning experts from around the world to guide government thinking.  The outcome was the release of the planning blueprint for the Bays Precinct – The Transformation Plan – in October, 2015.  Also in 2015, Urban Growth issued The Call for Great Ideas for priority Destinations in the Bays Precinct inviting “locals, Sydneysiders and interested people from across Australia and overseas to imagine the Precinct’s future and sought to apply some of the world’s most innovative thinking for 21st Century cities to the Precinct’s transformation”.  An Independent Assessment Panel considered more than 200 ideas of which Pyrmont Action’s Great Idea for the future use of Council-owned depot site on the corner of Fig and Wattle St Pyrmont.  We also participated in the development of a Great Idea for the Bank Street Public Recreation Area.  A selection of ideas, The Call for Great Ideas Compendium was published by Urban Growth in October, 2015.


In the period between 2015 and 2020, there have been many changes, with the disbanding of Urban Growth, the transfer of responsibility for the Bays Precinct planning to Infrastructure NSW (INSW), and the planning of development restricted to public lands bounded by Blackwattle Bay, including the former party boat operations and Hansons concrete batching plant at the headwaters of the bay, and the existing Sydney Fish Markets (SFM) site in Pyrmont.  Construction of the new Sydney Fish Markets commenced mid-2020 which was not opposed by Pyrmont Action although we stressed our concern about unresolved traffic and transport issues.  In May 2020 INSW released Revitalising Blackwattle Bay seeking comment on 3 development scenarios for the current SFM site.  Pyrmont Action’s submission on these scenarios can be  located under separate news.  Whilst the scenarios described development with differing combinations of residential, commercial and open space developments, they depicted basically the same building form:  ~45-storey residential towers on top of office/retail podiums.

 INSW is now reported to be working with the PPPS planning team to come up with a Master Plan that addresses the submissions on the scenarios.  This will be reflected in the final Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy which was due to be released at the beginning of November, 2020.

The INSW has now released its Blackwattle Bay Redevelopment strategy which is currently on display and PA intends to provide a comprehensive submission shortly. 


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