The NSW Government has announced a preferred developer for two of the three sites on Blackwattle Bay between the Sydney Fish Market and Glebe.  Information available publicly at the moment suggests the proposed development will contravene one of the major design principles for the site.

The site comprises the old coal bunker adjacent to the Fish Market and the wharves up the the concrete batch plant next to the Sydney Secondary College Blackwattle campus site.

The artist’s impression of All Occasion Cruises Pty Ltd proposal published in the local press shows a building stretching almost the length of site along Bridge Road.

Blackwattle Cove Coalition secretary, Elizabeth Elenius, commented:   "…the clear desire of the community was for maximisation of views of the harbour from Wentworth Park.  What we have now is a wall of buildings almost completely blocking the vista from the park.

"The Master Plan in outlining the design principles which should apply states:  ‘Built form must not present a wall of development to the public domain’; and ‘Maintain existing views to landmarks to reinforce the diverse visual quality of the area.’

"The approved Stage 1 DA for these sites conformed both to the Master Plan, and the community’s desire for view corridors from Wentworth Park.  The current design clearly does not.  The future of this important area of foreshore must be considered as part of an integrated Master Plan for the four Bays.  It is totally inappropriate for ministerially favoured commercial developments to be fast tracked outside the Bays Precinct Task Force process."

A second important aspect of the site’s redevelopment included in the masterplan and apparently supported by NSW Maritime was a continuation of the foreshore walk from Glebe to Pyrmont via the Fish Market.  It is not clear how this will be achieved under All Occasion Cruises’s proposal.

One positive development on this site is that Sydney City Council is moving rectify the encroachment onto the already narrow footpath along Bridge Road by the current leaseholder of the wharves.

First posted on 22 August, 2009