New South Wales is developing a 2050 vision for Sydney’s iconic Darling Harbour precinct as a massive 50-storey commercial and residential development gets the go-ahead to proceed.

The New South Wales Government has announced that Mirvac’s application to build its proposed $764.5 million Harbourside development has been approved.

Set to deliver an iconic addition to Sydney’s waterfront, the project will see the demolition of the original Harbourside building to make way for a 50-storey mixed-use development that will provide retail and commercial space along with up to 265 new homes.

As part of the project, Mirvac has agreed to a $5.2 million contribution to generate affordable housing, including in the surrounding Pyrmont area.

The project has been approved under the State Significant Development assessment regime.

This regime applies to developments which are of significant economic, social or environmental impact. Such developments are assessed at a state level by the Department of Planning and Environment rather than being assessed at a local council level.

(new Harbourside building artist impression)

The approval comes as other works are progressing in and around the precinct.

Major workers are underway in respect of the restoration of the Pyrmont Bridge, expansion of the Chinese Garden, a new stage in Tumbalong Park, the opening of the new W Hotel and the IMAX redevelopment.

(Tumbalong Park)

Meanwhile, the Department is currently assessing separate plans for the design of Harbourside’s public domain.

These include upgrades to the waterfront promenade with seating, greenery, heritage interpretation (storytelling of the area’s history) and public art.

Chinese Garden of Friendship (artist impression)

Meanwhile, in a separate announcement, the government says it is developing a Darling Harbour 2050 Vision with community consultation.

The vision will provide a big picture for the community and will enable the precinct to evolve over time whilst keeping its original character.

As part of the vision’s development, more than 1,100 participants have engaging in an online survey, pop up stalls and focus groups.

According to the Government, feedback from these sessions highlighted opportunities to connect to the water, a need for more trees as well as more open space and green space.

Aboriginal community engagement is currently underway.

The Vision will deliver a planning framework to shape Darling Harbour into a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable waterfront precinct.

A draft is expected to be exhibited for feedback mid-next year.

(Darling Harbour Playground)

Paul Scully, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, welcomed the latest developments.

“Darling Harbour is the third most visited destination in NSW and so many of us have celebrated big moments there,” Scully said.

“The NSW Government is focussed on continuing to rejuvenate this iconic part of Sydney’s harbour foreshore, and to drive more housing in well-connected locations.

“This major SSD approval will support the Darling Harbour of tomorrow and create hundreds of new homes close to transport and services.

“The 2050 Vision will also guide future decision-making and secure Darling Harbour as a world-famous destination for generations to come.”


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