NEW SYDNEY SKYCRAPERS RAISE SKYLINE 100 METRES
New high-rise rules will allow city skyscrapers in Barangaroo, Central Station, Circular Quay and Town Hall to rise up to 330 metres.
Building heights in the city were capped for decades to stay below the Sydney Tower, which stands at 309 metres.
The new laws - that remove the 235-metre maximum tower height - prevents future high-rise buildings from overshadowing important public spaces.
Meanwhile city administrators intend to triple the levy on new constructions to 3 per cent under the plan to raise more than $40 million a year for public infrastructure.
The reason cited by the city’s administration for allowing a skyline 100 metres higher than currently permitted is to spur building projects to accommodate an expected rise in population.
Two million people are likely to be travelling through the CBD on a daily basis by 2036.
Tom Forrest from Urban Taskforce said an arbitrary cap was legislated when the Centrepoint Tower was first built, and all of central Sydney had a restricted height.
He said Sydney, as a major international city, should be able to match the tallest buildings in the world.
“The arbitrary cap that was placed in the 1980s has held back Sydney.”
The city’s comprehensive high-rise buildings plan is designed to balance the need for growth while preserving the natural lighting and harbour views.
The high-rise levy is comparable with Liverpool, Newcastle, Chatswood and Parramatta.
The City of Sydney has sold heritage floor space to private developers to fund building conservation efforts.
Sydney Living Museum paid $20 million “air rights” for the 200-year-old heritage-listed Hyde Park Barracks near NSW Parliament House.
Private developers, including Lendlease which owns Quay Tower, purchased more than 12,000 square metres of the barracks’ heritage space for up to $1,500 per square metre.
The city’s building administration intends selling off the remaining 38,000 square metres of heritage space - which includes Qantas House in Hunter Street - and use the revenue to fund the conservation of the historical sites.
Such a purchase allows developers to bank the space reserved for the heritage sites, where development is forbidden, to expand properties elsewhere.
Transferring air rights was mostly unheard of in Australia outside of Sydney.
For a developer, a $20 million purchase of what is essentially air is worth more than the price tag.
In New York City the now-US President Donald Trump legally stockpiled air rights from at least seven low-rise properties surrounding Trump World Tower, ensuring the views around it remained unimpeded.