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Star Casino’s rejected 51-storey tower has been resurrected with the publication of a draft 20-year strategy for the development of Pyrmont, says Sydney mayor Clover Moore.

The NSW government released its draft planning strategy for the area on Thursday 30 July, heralding it as a vision for Pyrmont “as a home for innovation, employment and entertainment” that would still retain its unique character.

The strategy would allow for buildings up to 180 metres tall on the site of The Star, along with a potential new metro station as part of the Sydney Metro West project, a new indoor sports and entertainment venue “like our own Madison Square Garden” (an indoor arena in New York City), and more public spaces, including the return of Wentworth Park as local parkland.

In a statement, Moore said that while the council shared the state government’s goal of shaping the Pyrmont peninsular as an innovation hub, the controversial Star tower must not be able to proceed.

“We will take our time to consider the government’s proposed strategy for the future of the Pyrmont Peninsula, but it is deeply disappointing to see The Star’s zombie tower rise from the dead,” she said.

The proposed $530 million hotel and residential tower, designed by FJMT, was recommended for rejection by the planning department and was ultimately axed by the Independent Planning Commission.

Concerns were raised that the government was looking for ways to get around the ruling when it announced the review into planning rules as part of this 20-year strategy.

“The Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy must not become an exercise in retrofitting controls to justify the Star Casino’s inappropriate tower,” Moore said.

NSW treasurer Dom Perrottet said the strategy would provide for up to 800,000 square metres of new commercial and office space that would support a mix of hi-tech, tourism, media and information industries.

“Great cities evolve, grow and continue to improve all the time, and our vision is to ensure Pyrmont leads Sydney as a home for innovation, employment and entertainment as well as retaining its unique character,” he said.

The revitalization efforts will focus on key sites such as the existing Sydney Fish Market site at Blackwattle Bay, The Star site at Darling Island, the Harbourside Shopping Centre, and the UTS Haymarket campus.

“These sites have been identified for revitalization over the next 20 years and we are keen to ensure that parks, public spaces and the unique character of Pyrmont is protected,” said planning minister Rob Stokes.

“Delivering public benefit is also vitally important which is why part of our vision is to return Wentworth Park to the people as beautiful, high-quality green open space.”

The Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy and Economic Development Strategy are on public exhibition until 13 September.



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