Barangaroo changes a better heritage outcome, but with a long way to go

Revised designs for the last stage of Barangaroo’s waterfront revamp have been released. While the changes are encouraging, the proposed development still poses a threat to historic public views from Observatory Hill. Have your say about the designs and make a submission before 21 February.

Height limits at Barangaroo have been igniting intense community debate since the project’s planning stages.

In 2022, following objections from the National Trust (NSW) and wider community, former NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that the proposal for a 73m tower on the site was refused and that new designs were required.

The National Trust has long held the view that there should be no high-rise development north of the line which effectively divides Central and South Barangaroo.

Towers along this stretch will block the historic views to and from Observatory Hill which has forever been an important viewing point for the harbour, including for Aboriginal people before European settlement.

The current public views of the harbour from Sydney’s Observatory Hill.

Millers Point and The Rocks precinct make up one of Australia’s most important heritage landscapes, and its water views are incredibly significant to the area’s charm and character.

Revised plans for Modification 9 of the Barangaroo development show a more conservative development, however the overall bulk and scale of the development continues to obscure the historic views to the west.

Lowering the building heights is the only acceptable outcome, and the National Trust reiterates that the loss of public views from Observatory Hill is not an acceptable outcome.

The National Trust is reviewing the application and will continue to advocate that this final stage of Barangaroo can be complementary to its neighbouring heritage precinct.

If you’d like to have your say about the revised designs, make a submission here before 21 February 2024.

Find out more

The National Trust (NSW) has been campaigning to protect NSW’s built, cultural and natural heritage for over 75 years. Find out more about our advocacy work.

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NSW Editor


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  1. There should be no further blocking of sight lines from Observatory Hill- especially not blocking further the scope of views for Sydney observatory telescopes, which are an important science education facility, and also important historical facility for adults and students interested in science education. The telescopes need views to the horizon skies (not just straight up into the sky above) to track stars, planets, etc. as they move across night sky in orbits and paths. Many interested in astronomy feel strongly about this.

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