A 30-metre wide walkway along Sydney Harbour which is set to form a crucial part of the public space associated with the multi-billion dollar Barangaroo development has received the go-ahead for construction, the New South Wales government says.

In a joint statement last week, state Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Brad Hazzard said planning approval had been granted for the 300-metre  long pedestrian promenade, which is designed to create a quality connection between Hedland Park and Barangaroo South on the western fringe of Sydney’s CBD.

The area will feature a tree-lined sandstone walkway with a lowered boardwalk that will give the public access to the water’s edge, while a pontoon in the Northern Cove will provide a small boat drop‐off access point for pleasure craft and water taxis. The stone work is set to mimic the 1860s sandstone walling already in the area.

The approval also includes an option for a temporary public domain area on the east of the site available for casual sports, picnicking and hosting public events.

The new promenade, which will run the length of Barangaroo Central and provide complete pedestrian and cyclist access along the harbour, is edged between the proposed commercial and residential precinct at Barangaroo and the foreshore reserve Hedland Park. It is set to become a key feature of the Barangaroo Central precinct – itself one of three central elements of the $6 billion-plus Barangaroo development designed to create a spectacular waterfront area on the western edge of Sydney’s CBD.

Describing the new walkway as the ‘next step’ in creating a ‘missing link’ in a continuous 14-kilometre harbourside walkway from Woolloomooloo to Anzac Bridge, O’Farrell said the area is a critical element of the Barangaroo development and that ‘returning this part of Sydney Harbour to the public’ was one of the central benefits of the overall precinct.

“The harbour will play a vital role in the overall redevelopment of Barangaroo and the central precinct is set to be a hub for public open space and enjoyment of the waterfront,” he said.

Hazzard said the new path will enhance Sydney’s reputation as a city with quality public spaces.

“It is easy to imagine just how popular the boardwalk will be on a sunny weekend, as people enjoy this increased access to our wonderful harbour,” he said, noting an existing temporary walkway is attracting 21,000 visitors per month.

Set to begin next year, construction is expected to be complete by 2015 to coincide with the opening of Hedland Park and the first commercial buildings at Barangaroo South.

The project is expected to cost $27 million.