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Sydney outlines future planning strategy that will transform city skyline

While responding to Covid-19 remains the priority, the city’s lord mayor said the plan will contribute to the post-coronavirus recovery and future livelihoods.

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Sydney's lord mayor said the planning review is based on three years of deep research
Sydney's lord mayor said the planning review is based on three years of deep research

Citizens in Sydney can have their say on a plan that will transform the city skyline and help kickstart Sydney’s post Covid-19 economic recovery.

 

The draft Central Sydney Planning Strategy outlines a vision for buildings more than 300m tall as well as more office space and enhanced public spaces. Lord mayor Clover Moore describes the plan as a “blueprint for planning done well”.

 

Aiding recovery

 

The lord mayor said while responding to Covid-19 remained the city’s top priority, continuing the process to enact the Central Sydney Planning Strategy would contribute to the recovery and future livelihoods.

 

“The Central Sydney Planning Strategy is the most detailed planning review of the city centre in more than four decades. It was the product of three years of deep research, block by block, carefully examining the way our city works and where sunlight falls,” said Moore.

 

She added: “This is our blueprint for planning done well – allowing the city to grow with new skyscrapers that protect employment space, while making sure sunlight continues to shine through to treasured public spaces including Hyde Park, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Martin Place and Wynyard Park.

 

“We can build tall towers in the city, we can see our skyline rise with iconic, sustainable buildings, by following deep, evidence-based work that considers the current and future needs of our city.

“The Central Sydney Planning Strategy was the product of three years of deep research, block by block, carefully examining the way our city works and where sunlight falls.”

“Our community, businesses, landowners and industry have the opportunity to contribute to plans for the future of our city. Now more than ever, it’s important to plan and lay the foundations for the road to recovery and our future.”

 

Proposed changes aim to provide additional growth opportunities in suitable locations, incentivise employment and enterprise land uses and ensure central Sydney continues to attract people, business and investment through an improved public realm. These changes provide greater certainty, efficiency and transparency in realising the growth opportunities in central Sydney.

 

“If we want Sydney to maintain its status as a global city and economic powerhouse, it’s vital that we safeguard economic floor space whilst allowing residential development to continue in the city centre,” said Moore.

The proposed planning controls, contributions plan and draft Central Sydney Planning Strategy will be on public exhibition for two months.

 

The 10 key elements of the strategy include:

  • Prioritising employment growth and increasing capacity for employment in central Sydney;
  • Ensuring tower sites consider wind, sunlight, public views and setbacks to deliver a better experience for the public on city streets;
  • Enabling employment growth throughout the central business district, particularly in new tower clusters that are positioned to protect key public spaces from overshadowing and deliver design excellence;
  • Ensuring transport and local infrastructure keeps pace with growth and that Sydney is inclusive of all members of society;
  • Moving towards zero net energy for all buildings accessing growth opportunities in the tower clusters and elsewhere in central Sydney;
  • Protecting, enhancing and expanding central Sydney’s heritage, public places and spaces. This includes progressing plans for three new squares along George Street – at Circular Quay, Town Hall and near Railway Square – to provide precincts that improve the liveability of the city centre;
  • Strengthening of public open space, accessibility and connections to make moving around the city easier and more enjoyable for workers, residents and visitors;
  • Promoting design excellence by requiring all towers and major development to go through the well-regarded design competition process;
  • Monitoring outcomes and responding to issues that arise to ensure central Sydney’s ongoing success;
  • The simplification and unification of central Sydney to reabsorb The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Ultimo (The Goods Line, Central Park and UTS) and Central Railway to Cleveland Street. Having a single consent authority and framework will make planning more consistent and reduce red tape, uncertainty and hurdles.

The strategy will be on exhibition for an extended 10-week period, due to the challenges presented by Covid-19.

 

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