City of Sydney is at odds with the State Government over plans for a 183-metre tower that threatens to overshadow Sydney’s long-planned public domain at Town Hall.  

Part of the $650 million redevelopment of Cockle Bay Wharf, the State Government is in support of a 183-metre tower planned for the eastern edge of Darling Harbour. However, City of Sydney has concerns that the tower will overshadow the future Town Hall Square (THS), for which the council has been acquiring properties to transform the area into public open space.

Town hall square cockle bay wharf developmentAn artist's impression of the future Town Hall Square. Image credit: Tony Caro Architecture

Town hall square cockle bay wharf development

Studies have shown that the proposed tower could increase shadowing on the future THS for up to 15 minutes in the late afternoon in autumn and spring.

This has been dismissed by the NSW Department of Planning, which in a recent report has declared it “unreasonable to protect solar access to the future THS after 4:00pm”.

City of Sydney lord mayor, Clover Moore responded that this was a “shocking admission about one of the most important future public spaces in the global city of Australia – especially in light of the NSW government’s recent announcement about the introduction of a ‘Minister for Public Spaces’”, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In a draft strategy previously released by the City of Sydney, the council agreed to allow taller developments in the CBD on the condition that sunlight in a number of open spaces would be protected. One of these spaces was the future THS.

With more than 25 objections to the tower, the proposal has now been referred to the Independent Planning Commission, which will meet over the issue in March.

Feature image: An artist's impression of the Cockle Bay Wharf redevelopment. Credit: Brookfield