Sydney Mayor Slams Blackwattle Bay as ‘Terrible’ Proposal


City of Sydney Mayor Clover Moore has come out swinging over the proposed state significant development of the former Sydney Fish Market area at Pyrmont.

The plans for the 10.4-hectare Blackwattle Bay precinct are on exhibition until August 20 and Moore has slammed the “wall of towers”, which she claimed would cast excessive shadow over the public domain.

The plan allows for the redevelopment of 12 sites, with towers of up to 45 storeys.

New South Wales minister for planning and public spaces Rob Stokes said the proposed plan would create 1550 new dwellings, create 5600 jobs, and deliver a new entertainment and cultural hub.

“These plans are part of the broader Pyrmont Place Strategy to revitalise what is the western gateway to the CBD and accommodate future growth,” Stokes said.

But Moore said it was a “terrible proposal” that was lacking in public benefit.

“[I am] directing City staff to undertake a design review that identifies possible improvements to this terrible proposal,” Moore said.

“Any development on our precious harbour foreshore should prioritise public space and benefit, not developer profit.

“Pyrmont is already a densely-populated area … any new development should be sensitive, enhance its existing character and prioritise employment growth.”

▲ An artist's impression of the proposed Blackwattle Bay Precinct. Image: NSW Government
▲ An artist's impression of the proposed Blackwattle Bay Precinct. Image: NSW Government

Moore said she was concerned Infrastructure NSW was calling for a public authority precinct, similar to Barangaroo and Darling Harbour, which meant the State Government was responsible for design and delivery, outside of normal planning processes.

It would also require the relaxation or change of multiple state environment planning policies (SEPPs).

The project at Blackwattle Bay, formerly known as Bays Market District, has been deemed a state significant development to create a more accessible and attractive harbour foreshore.

The rezoning would also allow for future community events at the public space, which, according to planning documents, was integral to the redevelopment of Blackwattle Bay as an entertainment and cultural precinct.

Building heights would range between 21m and 156m, depending on the developable parcel of land.

Moore requested an extension to the public consultation period to September to allow for more time for community consultation, but it was extended two weeks to August 20.

Moore said there were “significant concerns about the scale of the proposal and resultant amenity impacts on the existing character of Pyrmont” and encouraged Sydney residents to have their say on the proposal.

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