An artist's impression of the new plans for Barangaroo: the southern cove, looking north. Photo: Supplied
Buildings will be reduced in size or dumped altogether and an ornamental water feature is expected to be scrapped to make room for James Packer's towering luxury hotel-casino resort at Barangaroo.
Also, plans released on Thursday show new details of the streets and public areas at Barangaroo's southern commercial end – elements that will greatly influence how well the community interacts with the controversial redevelopment.
Images seen by Fairfax Media show how a large, man-made cove will be reduced in size. The deep end of the triangular inlet has been retained, but the shallow, pointed end, which was to form an ornamental water feature, has been erased.
An artist's impression of the Wynyard Walk. Photo: Supplied
As a trade-off, a public park will be enlarged to 9000 square metres. However, that park has been moved away from the waterfront towards Hickson Road to grant the $1.3 billion casino-hotel prime harbourside billing.
The changes will form part of an application to the Planning Department in coming months.
Barangaroo South will also comprise three office towers and other commercial and residential buildings. Lend Lease will apply to increase the overall allowable floor space by 9 per cent – to 535,000 square metres - to accommodate Crown's resort. It has also shrunk the size of residential buildings and scrapped a commercial building to free up more floor space for the casino project.
Another view of the planned development. Photo: Supplied
Under public domain plans released today, streets, laneways and a 30-metre wide, tree-lined waterfront promenade will thread through the 7.5-hectare precinct. They will be fringed by upmarket restaurants, bars and shops.
Two five-metre-long structures for outdoor dining will be built over the public promenade, which Lend Lease says will provide a transition between the waterfront and ground floor cafes.
Lend Lease's Barangaroo south managing director, Andrew Wilson, said the public domain contained far more green space than the original Darling Harbour redevelopment, adding there were "a lot of trees, a lot of resting places, a great place to promenade for people. For office workers, I think this park will be very popular."
Retail shops in Lime Street. Photo: Supplied
The cove and park will be dealt with in a future application to planning authorities. Mr Wilson said the new proposals were “far superior” to previous blueprints.
“It creates a lot better public space, we are very pleased to defend the increase in size because we think it's a far better outcome for Sydney,” he told Fairfax Media.
Asked whether relegating the park from the waterfront to a site surrounded by tall buildings and a road was a good outcome for Sydneysiders, he said: “We think the Crown hotel will be fabulous for Sydney, so we stand behind what we are creating here. But to accommodate that, we've made accommodations in the rest of the scheme.”
Lend Lease says green space has been enlarged and the new park better connects Hickson Road to the promenade and waterfront.
The plans indicate the style of public domain to be built around the casino development, where there have long been fears that the towering resort will dominate the civic areas. Those plans will be lodged separately.
Barangaroo occupies the last substantial tract of harbourfront land that can be developed, and has attracted persistent criticism that public access to state-owned land is being sacrificed for private gain.
The City of Sydney says proposed buildings have more than doubled in size since the original design brief was issued, including the extra floor space proposed at Barangaroo south. It wants fresh public input into the project.
Mr Wilson said Barangaroo was “the most significant [urban development] to happen in Sydney for 100 years” and had attracted “a diversity of thought”.
“It's very healthy to have that debate. The big test is, will Sydneysiders adopt it as their own – and we think they will,” he said.