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    Architects appointed to assess modified Barangaroo Casino; public hearing ruled out

    Nathan Johnson

    There will be no public hearing into a proposal to modify Sydney’s Barangaroo development, which will accommodate James Packer’s $1.5 billion Crown Casino designed by London’s Wilkinson Eyre Architects.

    Instead, the assessment of the modifications, dubbed Modification 8 (Mod 8), will be carried out by a new independent design advisory panel that was appointed by New South Wales (NSW) Planning Minister Rob Stokes on 20 May.

    Stokes appointed Peter Poulet, NSW Government Architect, architect Shelley Penn, former Australian Institute of Architects National President and co-author of the original independent review into Barangaroo in 2011, and Meredith Sussex, who also co-authored the 2011 Barangaroo review.

    In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald Stokes notes that he was confident that the new independent design advisory panel would provide adequate scrutiny to Mod 8 before it was sent to the commission for determination and that a public hearing was not necessary.

    "I am confident that between the two separate independent panels we have sufficient expert advice and oversight of the modification application," says Stokes.

    The news comes following the release of a 42-page submission from The City of Sydney to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, which slammed MOD 8 for its lack of public consideration.

    “MOD 8 is not in the public interest,” reads the Council submission.

    “MOD 8 reduces the quality and quantity of public open space (by manipulating what is classed as public open space).”

    “The increased development yield does not correspond with any increased public amenity or public benefit commensurate with private gain to the proponents.”

    The development yield the Council refers to is the increase in residential development by 54 per cent, hospitality floor space by 79 per cent, and retail by 18 per cent. The Council says the increase in public benefit is zero and that MOD 8 is not an evolution of the original plan, such as the past modifications, but a complete change.

    “The impact assessment of the requested changes in the Proponent’s submission is limited to the matters being modified, rather than the cumulative development that has evolved since the development was approved,” says the submission.

    “A new planning proposal process should be required, including a series of consent authority resolutions, strategic community consultation, independent analysis and third-party appeal rights.”

    MODIFICATION 8 IN DETAIL

    CITY OF SYDNEY SUBMISSION

     

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