Skyscrapers in Sydney CBD will soon reach 350-metre heights following the NSW Government’s in-principle support for new planning proposals that will remove the 40-year cap on building heights. Chifley Tower is currently the tallest building in Sydney at 244 metres.

First proposed by the City of Sydney in 2016 as part of their draft 20-year Central Sydney Planning Strategy, these changes will allow CBD developments dedicated entirely to commercial use to be built up to 350 metres, and also permit up to 50 per cent more floor area in the four precincts of Barangaroo, Circular Quay, Central and Town Hall.

The draft strategy, which prioritises office space over residential housing, seeks the removal of a residential accommodation bonus. Also included is a development contributions plan to fund the delivery of new public infrastructure.

NSW planning minister Rob Stokes, who announced the government’s in-principle approval of the draft strategy, says that the proposed changes will add almost three million square metres of new office space to Sydney CBD, ensuring that it will remain Australia’s commercial hub.

“Sydney CBD is Australia's economic gateway to the world, generating nearly $110 billion each year,” Stokes noted.

“If we want Sydney to maintain its status as a global city and economic powerhouse, it’s vital that we balance the need for commercial floor space with residential development in the city centre,” Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore says.

“Central Sydney’s residents, workers and visitors are best served by collaboration between the city and the state government. This plan strikes a balance between fostering new businesses and growth while protecting and enhancing the great public spaces that make our city unique.”

The draft strategy also includes the expansion of Central Sydney to include The Rocks, Darling Harbour, and areas around Ultimo, the University of Technology Sydney and Central.

The draft strategy will be placed on public exhibition early next year.

Image: Pintrest