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Lend Lease cuts back: size is everything for $6b Sydney Harbour plan

16 Jun

MATTHEW MOORE, June 16, 2010. SMH

An artist’s impression of the revised plan for the hotel, as seen from Darling Harbour.

Designers of the $6 billion Sydney Harbour development at Barangaroo have slashed the height and size of the “landmark” hotel they want to build out into the water.

After months of criticism of the scale of the buildings in Sydney’s biggest redevelopment project, the company in charge of the project, Lend Lease, has unveiled new plans.

The hotel’s height will fall from 213 metres to 159 metres.

..And the pier bearing the hotel out into the harbour will be trimmed from 150 metres to 90 metres.

One of the smaller of four office towers has also been removed from the plan to improve sight lines of the harbour from the CBD. But the tallest tower, proposed at 180 metres, will make it the seventh highest building in Sydney and above the existing height limit for the site.

About 100 new apartments have also been added, many of them in six- and eight-storey buildings to be placed in front of the office towers with uninterrupted views of the harbour.

Like nearby King Street Wharf, these buildings will have ground-floor restaurants and cafes.

Chief executive of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, John Tabart, said the changes showed “Lend Lease has listened to the public”.

“We said they had to improve the design to further activate the public domain … they have done that.”

Despite the loss of one of the commercial towers, the project still has 496,000 square metres of space, about 15 per cent above that allowed in the current concept plan.

Lend Lease plans to submit the new concept plan to the Department of Planning next month, seeking approval for its changes.

Lend Lease’s group head of development, David Hutton, released a statement headed, “Sydney, We’ve Heard You”, and said the changes reflected the “feedback received from Sydneysiders, including local residents, interest groups and from the wider business and Sydney communities”.


$6 billion worth of controversy for Barangaroo development
By Vikki Campion From: The Daily Telegraph June 17, 2010

THE $6 billion revamp of Barangaroo will be shorter and slimmer – but Sydney is divided on whether it is better.
A team of consultants was engaged to pare down developer Lend Lease’s plan for the old cargo site on the western side of the Harbour, described as a monstrosity when made public six months ago.

Barangaroo Delivery Authority CEO John Tabart said “substantial” changes had been made to include parkland, waterfront tourism and a financial headquarters for the South-East Asia region.

Under the final plan, which went on public exhibition yesterday, the hotel on West Quay will shrink from 213m tall to 159m, with its footprint nearly halved to stop shading of Darling Harbour.

The pier has been shortened to 85m from 150m.

The number of commercial towers will be cut from four to three. One will exceed the 180m height limit to be Sydney’s seventh highest building, at 198m.

The towers have been placed so as to allow views from the CBD to the water.

The big end of town has praised the changes, which allow more residential and retail areas and wide paths but residents groups have vowed to fight the plans, which they claim will be a blight on the Harbour.

Head of Lend Lease development David Hutton said: “We are confident these design refinements will ensure Barangaroo South is an iconic new place for Sydney.”

Sydney Business Chamber executive director Patricia Forsythe said Barangaroo was a once in a lifetime redevelopment that would complete Sydney’s CBD and replace unused Harbour foreshore with offices, homes, public space and parks and create a western gateway to the CBD.

Barangaroo Action Group chairman Ian Campbell called for an independent review of the contract between Lend Lease and the State Government and foreshadowed protests from June 26.



Green light for Newtown RSL redevelopment

1 Apr

CentralMag, 01 Apr 10 by Marie Sansom
NEWTOWN RSL Club has been given the go-ahead to demolish its Enmore Rd site and build a five-storey, 63-room hotel.

Artist’s impression of Newtown RSL plans.

The Eastern Joint Regional Planning Panel decided last week to approve the development, which also includes a licensed club, shop, cafe and 17 basement parking spots plus the hotel on four levels.

The RSL club will stay but its premises will be reduced in size by 84 per cent.

Marrickville Greens councillor Cathy Peters said council officers previously recommended refusal because of the project’s bulk and scale. Councillors and residents were concerned about traffic and parking.

“There’s a significant under allocation of parking – 17 spaces is way below what it should be,” Cr Peters said.

The Greens made an independent submission to the panel on the potential heritage impacts of the plans, which they said clashed with the buildings around it.

“Our feeling was that this design, in particular, did not comply with any aspects of the development control plan,’’ she said.

“It’s a completely modern building and it doesn’t have any of the architectural features or the scale or mass that would relate to the streetscape. It’s a lot of metal and glass on three floors.

“The community should be concerned at the quality of decision making from these panels.”


Hundreds protest Windsor redevelopment in Melbourne

28 Mar

AAP   MELISSA JENKINS  March 25, 2010

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has vowed to take the protest against the redevelopment of Melbourne’s historic Windsor Hotel to federal parliament.

Senator Bob Brown said the historical buildings in Melbourne’s parliamentary precinct should be protected.

“This is one of the most important and beautiful precincts in this whole nation,” he said.

“It’s part of our federation history, it is part of this nation’s democratic history as one of the world’s four oldest continuous democracies.”

Senator Brown joined hundreds of demonstrators outside the Victorian parliament on Thursday to protest the state government’s approval of the controversial multi-million-dollar redevelopment.

He says protecting the heritage-listed hotel was important to people across Australia.

“This isn’t just Melbourne, it’s Australia’s heritage,” he told the crowd, some of whom carried signs reading “Hands off the Windsor” and “Money Speaks, Minister Listens”.

“I can tell you now that this gathering has the support of not just so many Victorians but millions of Australians who will not want the bulldozers moved in on this marvellous Windsor Hotel, which belongs to Melbourne and the whole of this nation.

“I will take the message of this rally to Capital Hill in Canberra.”

Planning Minister Justin Madden last week gave the green light to the $260 million redevelopment, which will involve demolishing the rear section of the 1883 building, which faces Parliament House, to make way for a 91-metre high, 26-storey tower.

It follows a leaked email scandal sparked by a document created by a media adviser – who has since been dumped from Mr Madden’s office – advocating a fake public consultation process.

The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) is considering its options, which could include taking legal action.

Chief executive Martin Purslow criticised statutory authority Heritage Victoria for its support of the project and called for an overhaul of the planning system.

“Our inability to challenge Heritage Victoria’s decision except in the Supreme Court points to a problem with the system,” he said.

Planning Backlash convenor Mary Drost said Oscar-winning Australian actor Geoffrey Rush, who sent his apologies for not attending the rally, compared the redevelopment to the destruction of the German city of Dresden which was razed by British bombers in 1945.

“He said that old historic city of Dresden was bombed out during a war,” Ms Drost said.

“We don’t need a war to bomb out our city. We’ve got a government who is bombing it out for us.”

Protectors of Public Lands Victoria president and the Greens’ Melbourne candidate, Brian Walters SC, said the planning process was corrupt.

“Give us planning that values our heritage and give us a process that values the community,” he said.

Premier John Brumby said Mr Madden’s decision was based on recommendations from his department, an independent panel, Heritage Victoria, Melbourne City Council and the Victorian government architect, Geoffrey London.

“People who are passionate about heritage, people who are passionate about the environment – people have strong views,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

“The bigger question is how do you best maintain and restore a beautiful building into the future.”

The state opposition is in broad support of the proposed redevelopment but is critical of the planning process.

“The planning processes in this state today are a sham,” opposition planning spokesman Matthew Guy said.


2010 “Save the Windsor” rally on the steps of Parliament House

The Hotel Windsor is a 5 Star luxury hotel in Melbourne. The Windsor is Australia’s only surviving grand 19th century city hotel and only official “grand” Victorian era hotel.

The hotel has a significant role in the History of Australia as the place where the Constitution of Australia was drafted in 1898.

For much of its 20th Century life the hotel, dubbed the Duchess of Spring Street, was one of the most favoured and luxurious hotels in Melbourne. It has hosted many notable national and international guests including Margaret Thatcher, Meryl Streep, Anthony Hopkins, Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Katharine Hepburn, Muhammad Ali, Basil Rathbone and Lauren Bacall as well as Australian prime ministers Sir Robert Menzies, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and John Howard.

The Windsor is situated on Bourke Hill in the Parliament Precinct and is a Melbourne landmark of high Victorian architecture.

The original Grand Hotel in 1883 from Treasury PlaceThe hotel was built in two stages by shipping magnate George Nipper, both designed by Charles Webb in a broadly Renaissance Revival style. Originally named the Grand Hotel, the first section (the southern half) was completed in 1884.

The northern half, which included the distinctive twin mansard roofed towers in the Second Empire style, was completed in 1888, just in time to host visitors to the Centennial Exhibition in the Royal Exhibition Building. A notable feature is the stone sculpture, attributed to John Simpson Mackennal, over the main entrance with male female figures known as ‘Peace and Plenty’ reclining over the English and Australian Coat of Arms.[5] The extension was undertaken by a new owner, temperance movement leader James Munro, who burnt the liquor licence in public and operated the hotel as a coffee palace, renamed the “Grand Coffee Palace”.

Grand Hotel and Spring Street in 1906Re-licenced in 1897, it became the Grand Hotel and in 1898 the Constitution of Australia was drafted in the hotel.

The present name dates from 1920, when the hotel was sold and refurbished, and honours the British Royal Family.

For much of its 20th Century life, the hotel dubbed the Duchess of Spring Street was one of the most favoured and luxurious hotels in Melbourne, hosting many notable national and international guests.