Star Casino’s plans for Pyrmont hotel rejected

Plans for a new 60-storey Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residential Tower were rejected today.
Plans for a new 60-storey Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residential Tower were rejected today.

The Independent Planning Commission has rejected The Star Casino’s plans for a hotel tower in Pyrmont – a proposal which caused a storm in government after the planning department recommended rejection earlier this year.

In a statement the IPC said on Wednesday: “Plans for a new luxury hotel and apartment tower at The Star casino complex in inner-Sydney have been rejected by the state’s Independent Planning Commission.

“Star Entertainment Group Limited (the Applicant) sought planning approval to demolish part of the The Star complex at Pyrmont and construct a new RL 237-metre tower and podium, comprising a 220-room, six-star Ritz-Carlton hotel and 204 residential apartments, basement carparking and a neighbourhood centre.”

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The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s whole-of-government assessment concluded the $529 million proposal should be refused because it is “inconsistent with current strategic planning for the site and locality and fails to promote the orderly use and development of land”.

It added the new tower form would be “inconsistent with its immediate context” and “result in unacceptable visual impacts due to its scale, isolation and visual dominance of the existing Pyrmont character and fails to promote good design and amenity of the built environment.

The modification application was referred to the Commission for determination due to objections from City of Sydney Council and the community.

The plans have been rejected with the Indepedent Planning Commission citing “unacceptable visual impacts” and “visual dominance” on the existing Pyrmont character.

Commissioners Dianne Leeson (Panel chair), Stephen O’Connor and Adrian Pilton were appointed to consider the merits of the application and make a final decision.

The Commission said concerns were raised at a public meeting and in written submissions to the Commission around the bulk and scale of the proposal,

Supporters of the proposed development cited its high-quality design and positive economic impacts, including job creation and its contribution to the tourism industry, as reasons it should be approved.

“After considering all the evidence and weighing the community’s views, the Commission has today (Wednesday 20 November 2019) determined to refuse the modification application – agreeing with the Department’s assessment that “on balance the public benefits do not outweigh the impacts associated with the Application,” the statement said.

Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson criticised the decision.

“This decision is disappointing as Sydney really needs new six-star hotels to attract the luxury traveler to keep our status as a global city,” Johnson says.

“This is a lost opportunity, especially in the midst of the revitalization of the Sydney CBD with light rail and the proposed removal of the lockouts.”

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