Crown Resorts has filed a lawsuit to stop the NSW government from approving developments that obstruct views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge from its new Barangaroo hotel and casino.
The casino operator has filed a lawsuit against the Barangaroo Delivery Authority seeking an order that it comply with a contract that requires consultation on any development that could affect views from Crown’s $2 billion development.
The contract obligations call for negotiations to “ensure that sight lines from the Harbour Bridge to the Sydney Opera House are retained for the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort”, Crown said in a statement as it released its full-year results on Thursday.
At issue is the yet-to-be built Central Barangaroo complex – the final part of the redevelopment of the former Sydney docks area.
It is understood Central Barangaroo was intended to be low density and low rise but is now likely to be more than four stories high, potentially threatening views from some hotel rooms, as well as views from a neighbouring Lendlease apartment complex.
Lendlease said it had also launched legal action seeking an injunction.
“Legal proceedings are never our preferred course of action and we remain hopeful of reaching an agreement with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority through negotiation,” a spokesman for the developer said.
“However, we need to act in the best interests of our customers, our investors and our people and in this case, that required us to seek an injunction.”
Lendlease is also building Crown’s Sydney casino.
The Barangaroo Delivery Authority said it was prepared to “defend its position in court”.
“(We have) been negotiating with Crown and Lendlease about their sightlines over Central Barangaroo for 28 months,” a spokesperson said.
“At all times the authority has acted in good faith and in accordance with its contractual obligations.”
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she had full confidence in the authority to “negotiate on behalf of the NSW Government and protect the public interest”.
In 2016, Crown defeated a legal challenge from a community group which objected to the construction of the casino on land previously reserved for parklands.
Crown Sydney remains on schedule for completion in the first half of 2021.