NSW Planning knocks back "incongruous" Star luxury tower

NSW Planning knocks back "incongruous" Star luxury tower

Planning authorities in New South Wales have rejected Star Entertainment Group's (ASX: SRG) plans to build a 61-story Ritz-Carlton hotel in Sydney, describing it as "contextually inappropriate" with an unacceptable height.

In a report, the NSW Department of Planning concluded the proposed $500 million development was inconsistent with surrounding buildings in height and form and "would not contribute positively to the skyline".

"The Department considers that from the identified views the proposed tower would appear incongruous and incompatible with its surrounding built form context, overly dominant and would adversely affect the established character of Pyrmont and wider views and vistas from a large number of public vantage points as identified above," the report said.

An independent design advisor said the tower would be "unduly prominent", and its "substantial visual bulk" seen against the sky would be "be oppressive from many viewpoints".

The department also argued there was no strategic justification for a tower in the Pyrmont location given its significant distance from established clusters of taller buildings within Barangaroo, the CBD and Darling Harbour.

"While numerous taller buildings are situated within Darling Harbour and Barangaroo, these form part of cohesive clusters of high-density buildings, associated with strategically identified precincts," the report said.

"Those development precincts are planned to accommodate increased scale of built form to deliver significant growth with a mix of uses, including tourism, employment, entertainment, civic uses and public domain all supported by a variety of public transport options.

"The same context does not apply to the Star site," the report noted.

The department also noted potential impacts on views of heritage sites in the area, as well as operational noise, wind and lighting impacts.

"The Department has made a thorough and rigorous assessment of the proposal and found on balance the public impacts outweigh the benefits," the department concluded in a statement.

"The assessment carefully considered issues raised in submissions, the proponent's response to these issues and the expert advice of the Department's independent design advisor."

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