North Sydney fails the ‘World City’ test

14 December 2007

North Sydneys council is treating its central business district like an Adelaide suburb ignoring the areas importance to Sydneys status as a world city, according to the NSW Urban Taskforce.

Aaron Gadiel, the Taskforces Chief Executive, says the councils latest plan shows the council does not have the ticker to safeguard North Sydneys commercial future.


Without renewal and growth, North Sydneys centre will fall short of the goals set for it by the State Government, Mr Gadiel said.


The NSW Governments metropolitan strategy says North Sydney, together with the Sydney CBD, makes up Global Sydney. It is supposed to be a focus for world class business, tourism, cultural, health, education and entertainment activities.


The latest council only aims for an extra 250,000 square metres of additional commercial floor space, Mr Gadiel said.


The plan is so inadequate; its unlikely to even meet this modest target.

The target was first set four years ago, and pre-dates: ¢ the 2005 identification of North Sydney as part of Global Sydney;.


  • the announcement of the 2017 delivery of new CBD Rail Link which is expected to provide additional rail capacity through the CBD, with a second north south harbour crossing and a new railway station at Victoria Cross; and.
  • the 2006 identification of a possible metro line along the Global Economic Corridor from Macquarie Park through the CBD to Port Botany and Airport..


The plan is a sham relying on redevelopment on five particular sites to meet its target, but failing to acknowledge that redevelopment of three of the sites is not viable, Mr Gadiel said.


The plan prohibits further residential development within the centre.


It also fails to encourage the replacement or redevelopment of older buildings because it requires the buildings to be kept within the existing footprints.


Shadowing rules mean even the slightest increase in the height or shape of a building could lead to the refusal of a development application.


This plan means one thing: there will be very little new non-residential floor space in the North Sydney centre.


We urge the State Government to reject this plan and give planning responsibility for North Sydney to the Central Sydney Planning Committee.


In any new plan, the boundaries of the centre need to be expanded and the proposed height and floor space ratio controls need to be relaxed.


The plan was approved by North Sydney Council earlier this week and is now before the State Government. The NSW Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing NSWs most prominent and important developers, builders and property financiers.


The NSW development industrys annual turnover is $35 billion and employs 180,000 people, accounting for six percent of the States total employment. It is the fifth largest contributor to the State economy.

Media Enquires:
Aaron Gadiel,
Chief Executive Officer,
Phone: 0417 477 904  or (02) 9238 3955

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