Sydney’s inner west, namely the untapped harbour that surrounds the abandoned White Bay Power Station site, is set for a major overhaul, with the creation of a mixed-use precinct in the heart of the harbour city, dubbed Bays West.
Coupled with the NSW Government placing a Metro station on the site, the precinct will be triple the size of Barangaroo and will now undergo a $14 million government funded investigation into the structural integrity and safety of the power station, as well as a program of critical repair and remediation works to begin later this year.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes says the project is centred around harnessing Sydney’s ‘blue infrastructure’, and creating another destination around the harbour.
“Bays West is so central and historically significant to Sydney that it is time to revitalise the area and make it a desirable place for people to live, work and visit,” he says.
“We have the chance to explore so many possibilities for this incredible location, such as extending the Sydney Harbour foreshore walk, creating a great new public space and repurposing the White Bay Power Station.
“With the vision of this strategy we can unlock the potential of this area as part of the innovation corridor, drawing new business and entertainment and cultural opportunities.
The drafted vision consists of six opportunities, which include repurposing White Bay Power Station as a focal point, investigating a crossing from Bays West to Pyrmont, connecting community to water while supporting the working harbour, delivering a significant new waterfront park within the precinct, capitalising on opportunities presented by a new Metro Station and creating a harbour foreshore walk.
The restoration of the power station is imperative to the project and its outcomes. Placemaking NSW Chief Executive Anita Mitchell says the building required urgent maintenance as the first of three stages expected to be completed in 2024.
“The initial scoping we did last month will establish what works are needed to restore the site to a state that preserves the building and makes it safe for access.”
Community consultation in the form of online seminars, face-to-face information sessions in the area and communication via advertising and letter-box drops will take place in the near future. The draft Bays West Place Strategy is on exhibition from 22 March to 29 April, 2021. To find out more, head to planningportal.nsw.gov.au/bays-west.