PLANS have been unveiled to turn Glebe Island and White Bay into a new waterfront residential and commercial precinct, with towers of 20 and even 60 storeys high.
The Urban Taskforce chief executive, Chris Johnson, commissioned three architects to develop schemes for what he described as ”lazy assets”.
One of these is the heritage-listed White Bay Power Station, which has ”remained empty and decaying” since shutting down on Christmas Day in 1983.
”The conservation management plan seems to require the retention of everything, including the rusted finish to the cladding,” Mr Johnston said. ”It also prohibits any new buildings that would obstruct views of the power station from Observatory Hill and even from the Harbour Bridge.”
Mr Johnson said these heritage controls needed to be less restrictive for the site to be viable and Marchese Partners architects’ plan turns it into a commercial hub with a series of eight-storey buildings around it.
However, it is the Fender Katsalidis Mirams scheme for eight 20-storey residential towers along White Bay and Innovarchi’s 60-storey ”lighthouse” for Glebe Island point that is even more adventurous.
Fender Katsalidis Mirams’s director, Rob Mirams, dismissed comparisons with the Harry Seidler scheme for Lavender Bay in the 1950s – which would have seen the waterfront lined with buildings similar to Blues Point Tower – saying it would be more like Melbourne’s Docklands. ”This sort of intervention is a perfect scenario, we think,” Mr Mirams said.
”Australians and Sydneysiders are addicted to water edges and this provides a lot of it right in the heart of the city.”
Mr Johnson said the government’s port property along Sydney Harbour should have a ”rigorous analysis”.
His research indicated that dry bulk facilities could be consolidated in one area – the Glebe Island wharf – with the rest of the port land developed.
”We can’t just let bits of land sit around the place not being used fully,” Mr Johnson said.
”We need another 600,000 housing units in the next 20 years. We are undersupplying dramatically at the moment.”
The Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard, is overseas and unavailable for comment.
However, a spokesman confirmed that a report from the Bays Precinct Taskforce about the future of the area was ”under consideration by the government”.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.