Many Glebe Society members will have seen a media report (SMH, 10.4/.2015) about the massive advertising billboard which sits atop the heritage-listed silos at Glebe Island. The billboard was erected in the 1990s to help promote the Olympics. The owner of the billboard is Sydney Ports. The lessee of the billboard, Eye Drive, has sought approval (from the Department of Planning) to extend the timeframes for the approved advertising signage from three to 10 years.
Media quoted the City of Sydney’s Planning Director, Graham Jahn, as stating that the billboard should be torn down as it was ‘a permanent blight on a state-significant heritage item.’ Unhappily, one would also have to assume that the revenue raised for government coffers from the billboard lease is also state-significant …”
The Glebe Society also lodged a submission on this matter with the Department of Planning. We noted, inter alia, that the Silos dominate the Bays Precinct and the attempt by Eye Drive to lock in a long-term approval mechanism was pre-emptive, given the major changes which will take place in the future as a result of the Bays Urban Renewal Project.
The Glebe Society suggested that the community around the bays should be able to comment in a timely way on issues which affect it. To provide such an opportunity once every 10 years does not suggest a genuine, consultative and responsive approach to community engagement.