Central Barangaroo Development

Central Barangaroo is a key development for the people of Sydney in creating a new commercial, retail, transport and recreational hub. Located to the west of the historic and State Heritage listed Millers Point Heritage Precinct, it is essential that it provides a cohesive and sensitive connection between Central Barangaroo and historic Millers Point. The development will include a new Metro Station.

 

The NSW State Government via their department, Infrastructure NSW and their development partner Aqualand are entering the final stages of a preliminary consultation process before they reveal their new Master Plan via their State Significant Development Application to the NSW Department of Planning (another NSW State Government department). The Millers Point Community Resident Action Group has not been contacted by INSW to discuss their proposed Master Plan. Aqualand presented to the community in June 2021 with some broad content (see summary below).

image001.jpg

Central Barangaroo Development

In June 2021, Rod McCoy of Aqualand presented to the community. This was our take of what Rod said at that meeting:

  • 52% of the Central Barangaroo land will be devoted to “open space” – this will be a combination of open grassed parkland, pavilions, roads, walkways, etc. This is a good thing.  The 52% number has always been the target – what we need to be conscious of down the track is how INSW may wish to “commercialize” the open space to the detriment of public access. This open space will be to the west of the CB buildings.

  • The built element will be a combination of commercial and residential above ground and retail below ground, with a close link to the Sydney Metro station. In Rod’s view this will ensure the area is more lively and people-friendly.

  • Rod spoke very highly of the owners of Aqualand who seek to build a community connection wherever they do business. At the appropriate time, we will offer an invitation to the Lin family to visit Millers Point and help them understand our neighbourhood and for them to meet some of their future neighbours.

  • There will be eight buildings of varying heights (so as to avoid the "pancake effect").  Rod characterized the architectural style of the commercial buildings to be more in line with the timber building in Barangaroo South (occupied by Accenture). The heights of the buildings are to be revealed in the near future.

  • The residential component will have 100 apartments at the northern end of CB.

  • It was apparent from Rod’s comments that he thinks the architectural standards of CB will be higher than that at Barangaroo South, with architectural elements including articulation and spaces between buildings a key feature.

  • There will be a bridge connecting High St (at the southern end) over Hickson Rd to CB.

  • The Dalgety Wool Store building at Munn St (adjacent to the Palisade Hotel) is also owned by Aqualand and will be developed into a flash hotel. This will be a separate approval process to CB but it is clear that Aqualand will want its design to fit nicely with CB.

  • Heights and bulk of CB buildings will be a key issue as viewed from High St, Kent St, and critically Observatory Hill – iconic views to the west including Balmain East and Goat Island must be protected.

  • The retail element underground (35,000 sqm – mid-size shopping centre) will be a combination of cafes, restaurants, delis, Woolworths, homewares, etc.  It will be operated by Scentre Group.

  • There will be a substantial amount of excavation for the project, not dissimilar to the Sydney Metro hole in the ground.  Waste material will exit the area via Hickson Rd and trucks will not come into Walsh Bay or Millers Point. We highlighted the importance of ensuring any artifacts/relics are ideally represented/featured in any future development.

  • There will be 400 car spaces, mainly for apartment residents and maybe for the commercial and retail buildings (service vehicles, etc). There will be no parking available for shoppers.

  • Finally, we raised with Rod the opportunity that CB represents in connecting with the CBD – a connection that was envisaged in the Harbour Village North Study of 2012 – direct (pedestrian tunnel) access between CB and the CBD. He sees the inherent benefit in that, but acknowledged that is a NSW Government responsibility.

Image by Sincerely Media

Based on the report in the Sydney Morning Herald on 12 November 2021 (see article here) with details of building heights etc, we believe the images below accurately reflect the major adverse impact on historic views to and from Observatory Hill.  There will also considerable overshadowing of the proposed new Central Barangaroo public park on the western foreshore in the morning and on the western edge of Millers Point in the afternoon - the overshadowing is from both the proposed 21 story residential tower and the Hickson Rd commercial buildings.    

 

An image from the last proposed Master Plan put to the NSW State Government is also included below (from the major US planning and design firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) circa 2015 - https://www.som.com/projects/central-barangaroo/).

We are grateful for the support of Jim Wilson, Radio 2GB Drive, on this issue with his comments - click here

The Millers Point Community Resident Action Group will oppose this overdevelopment due to its bulk, scale, excessive height, overshadowing, adverse impact on the historic context of Sydney's Old Town, Millers Point, and on the views to and from Observatory Hill.

From Ballaraat Park, Pyrmont "Before"
From Ballaarat Park, Pyrmont “After”
From Darling Island, Pyrmont “Before”
From Darling Island, Pyrmont “After”
From Darling Island, Pyrmont Before & “After”
From Darling St Wharf, Balmain “Before”
From Darling St Wharf, Balmain “After”
From Darling St Wharf, Balmain “Before & After”
From Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont “Before”
From Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont “After”
From Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont “Before & After”
Looking East to Observatory Hill, early 1900s
From Peacock Point, Balmain East “Before”
From Peacock Point, Balmain East “After”
From Peacock Point, Balmain East “Before & After”
Aerial view looking south-east towards Millers Point 1933
Looking south-east towards The Observatory and High St and Kent St terraces circa 1920's
Munn St Reserve, Millers Point “Before”
Munn St Reserve, Millers Point “After”
Munn St Reserve, Millers Point “Before & After”
Munn St, Millers Point “Before”
Munn St, Millers Point "After"
Munn St, Millers Point “Before & After”
Observatory Hill “Before”
Observatory Hill “After”
Observatory Hill “Before & After”
Observatory Hill “Before”
Observatory Hill “After”
Observatory Hill “Before & After”
Photo from The Observatory, circa 1888 by H. C. Russell
Observatory Hill “Before”
Observatory Hill “After”
Observatory Hill “Before & After”
Looking north-west to Goat Is from Observatory Hill - the ships are the new residential tower
Observatory Hill “Before”
Observatory Hill “After”
Observatory Hill “Before & After”
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Proposed Master Plan looking south-east circa 2015

Please click on the images above to understand the destruction of the historic vistas from and to Millers Point and Observatory Hill.