Sydney Metro is seeking approval for building a 42-storey commercial tower above the Victoria Cross metro station in North Sydney.
However, these plans are being opposed vehemently by the local community as well as the North Sydney Council amidst concerns that the proposed tower will compromise any opportunity to create a public space in the area with direct access to sunlight.
The state government’s decision to assign a dual role to Sydney Metro – combining construction of a rail line with property development – has also upset locals who fear that public spaces will be compromised and the streetscape will be damaged.
The state-owned Sydney Metro has been assigned two main objectives under the Transport Administration Amendment (Sydney Metro) Act 2018: to deliver safe and reliable passenger services, and facilitate and carry out the ‘orderly and efficient development of land in the locality of metro stations’.
The metro rail line from Chatswood to Sydenham will have seven stations including the Victoria Cross station. The proposed tower is expected to raise funds for the metro line as part of the NSW government’s integrated station development process.
Interestingly, even the NSW governments architect’s office has expressed concerns that the towering building could overshadow existing footpaths.