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Harbour Views For All

98 Harbour Views For All99 Harbour Views For All

Prime real estate acquired- tick, community consultation undertaken- tick, development approved- tick. Sydney City council have been busy indeed. After the $11 million acquisition in 2006 of a Darling Island site from Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA), council are putting into action plans to add yet another open space to the newly revamped Pyrmont area.

It is after ongoing negotiation and consultation with the Pyrmont community that the site, formerly the depot of the water police, is to see a major redevelopment for public use. Council have approved an application which envisions the 1.8 hectare block’s transformation into land-scaped parkland.

Thus far, the work tender includes the reconstruction of 300 metres of Pirrama Road between Harris Street and Pyrmont Park, new landscaping and the planting of trees, a new children’s playground with a water play feature, barbeque facilities as well as reconstruction of the partially collapsed wharf and seawall. The park is also planned to make up part of a continuous promenade, handy for walkers and providing increased access to Darling Harbour, as well as the bars, restaurants and attractions scattered around the harbour and King Street Wharf.

It is a redevelopment that resounds with the collective sigh of relief from Pyrmont locals and environmentalists: those who have fought for the preservation of the former water police site as publicly owned land. The new parkland and sheltered bay should be welcomed by the public in lieu of potentially awkward and irksome residential developments.

For Council, the developments are yet another piece in the master plan to overhaul Pyrmont, from grubby industrial outpost to vibrant inner city suburb. The parkland should provide the balance between open space, commercial and retail spaces, as well as considering historic Pyrmont. The development plans propose to take into account historic shorelines, rock shelves and previous structures and to retain the existing seawall, part of the wharf’s concrete encased piles as well as the sandstone wall and embankment below Pirrama Road.

Construction will be ongoing through 2008, with the current Pyrmont playground closed for sanitary and safety reasons from around mid-year. In the meantime however, I suggest investing in a good picnic rug, because sometime in the near future the crisply clothed table of a posh restaurant won’t be the only spot for a harbour-side dining experience.

100 Harbour Views For All129 Harbour Views For All

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