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20 Aug 2021

Court Considers $700m Mixed-use Complex in Sydney

Court Considers $700m Mixed-use Complex in Sydney

Amended designs for a $700 million Sydney mixed-use complex have been put on display as the developer pursues an appeal against the City of Sydney's rejection of the proposal in the NSW Land and Environment Court.

The One Sydney Park project, designed by MHN Design Union, Silvester Fuller, and Sue Barnsley Design, was originally planned to accommodate 390 apartments and a variety of commercial, cultural, and other uses over eight buildings on the outskirts of Alexandria's Sydney Park, on former industrial land.

The project's concept plans were accepted by the state government's Central Sydney Planning Committee in 2017, however the design was rejected by the City of Sydney in 2020 due to the project's impact on Sydney Park and the fact that the detailed plans deviated substantially from the initial concept.

The number of units has been reduced to 356 in the newest iteration of the project, which has been filed to both the NSW Land and Environment Court and the City of Sydney. With vegetation concealing the upper level, the building mass is pushed back from the park, and the perceived overall height of the buildings is reduced. The upper stories of each park-side building have a “greatly increased” setback, with the maximum setback attained in the northernmost Parkside building “where visual sensitivity is at its highest.”

The architects' objective, as stated in the planning documents, is to create a space that resonates with and extends the ecology of the adjacent parkland. “A blurring of the boundary between built form and the park landscape is achieved by dissolving the built edges of the apartment buildings fronting the park,” the architects note. “Where adjacent to the parklands, or visible above the existing trees, the building form takes on a deliberately de-materialised quality. The mass of the building is intentionally blurred, emulating the character of the surrounding tree canopies.”

Community group Friends of Erskineville has been fighting the proposal since the beginning, and is now advocating for the site to be rezoned as open parkland in order to "preserve and extend the beautiful natural environment of Sydney Park."

The amended plans are on public exhibition until 27 August.