The Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, has criticised the powerful special interests supporting the proposed luxury hotel and residential tower project of Star Casino in Pyrmont. Ms Moore is currently preparing a renewed plea for the Independent Planning Commission to suspend the project.
Last month, the planning department of the state said no to the Star Casino’s plan to build a 237-metre-high Ritz Carlton tower in Pyrmont. The proposed tower which according to Star’s plans would house 204 residential apartments and 220 hotel rooms, however, is eight times bigger than the established height limit. The project is currently subject to examination that is being held by the planning commission.
Today, Sydney Lord Mayor slammed some media hubs for criticising the department’s recommendations under the idea that Sydney urgently needs more high-end hotel venues to maintain its status as a preferred tourist destination. She described these implications as “misinterpretations” and insisted they need to be corrected as soon as possible.
Apart from that, Ms Moore called for the planning commission to turn down Star Casino’s proposal, explaining that it would undermine the existing planning system and added that it provides little to none public benefit. The Lord Mayor also insisted that the local community is not taking the proposal well.
Potential Economic Benefits of Star Casino’s Tower Project Remain Controversial
Star’s Chief Executive Officer, Matt Bekier, rejected Ms Moore’s claims that the project has faced opposition from the New South Wales’ community. He explained that only 80 of the over 5,000 individuals who have viewed the proposal had actually lodged objections against it. Mr Bekier further insisted that the company has been engaged with the community’s prosperity more than anybody else and dismissed concerns that the tower would eventually ruin the area’s amenity.
The planning commission is the body which has the power and responsibility to give its approval or reject the proposal. It could also roll out some conditions under the project would be given the green light.
Last week, premier Gladys Berejiklian unveiled a separate review provided by the Greater Sydney Commission which was aimed to obstruct the development of the Ritz Carlton tower.
Today, a senior official of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment commented on the issue, saying that the economic benefits which could potentially be delivered by the establishment of the Star Casino’s luxury hotel and apartment tower in Pyrmont would not prevent the planning commission from reviewing the project closely. David McNamara, who heads the Key Sites Assessments Department, confirmed the planning commission’s view that the proposal should not be given the green light because the tower did not fit into the medium-rise surrounds of Pyrmont. He further reminded that the tower project has so far did not find support in any of the strategies of the state government.