Mulpha gets green light for $203m Sydney InterContinental revamp

Mulpha gets green light for $203m Sydney InterContinental revamp

A $203 million proposal to redevelop Sydney's InterContinental Hotel has been approved by the state Independent Planning Commission despite opposition from the City of Sydney Council.

Mulpha Australia plans extensions to the building such as a grand ballroom and a new plant room enclosure, as well as internal upgrades to heritage parts of the hotel, including a grand ballroom.

The council raised concerns the grand ballroom would disrupt views in the historic Macquarie Street precinct, while public submissions also centred around heritage as well as built form/design issues and amenities. 

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment completed its whole-of-government assessment in September, but opposition from the council meant a state significant development (SSD) application was brought before the commission.

Commissioners Chris Wilson (Panel Chair) and Soo-Tee Cheong were appointed to consider the application, and after meeting with stakeholders have concluded the site is suitable for redevelopment and the application is in the public interest.

This approval does not allow Mulpha to start building however, as consent for physical works will need to be sought through a separate application.

The commission states the redevelopment would not have unacceptable impacts on views, and its "overshadowing impacts to the Royal Botanic Gardens are minor in nature".

In addition, the commission does not believe the alterations will have a an unacceptable impact on the potential future redevelopment of the Stamford Hotel site.

However, the approval does come with a few conditions including a "high level of protection" for the NSW Treasury Building which forms part of the existing hotel complex; this means Mulpha will not be able to create a building envelope above or cantilevering Treasury buildings.

The commission has deemed a proposed Transport House building envelope as acceptable with a 20m setback, so long as it is only visually associated with that building.

"The conditions recommended by the Commission require the Transport House building envelope to provide appropriate physical and visual building separation to the Treasury Buildings and to be located behind the existing Transport House lift tower," the commission said in a summary.

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