New South Wales

Sydney's Walsh Bay Arts Precinct gets the green light

WALSH Bay's transformation to become a world-class arts precinct is one step closer after approvals were received for the two state significant planning applications and the local residents and owners' approval, the NSW Government announced last week.

The Walsh Bay Arts Precinct will see the rejuvenation and activation of Pier 2/3, Shore 4/5 and Wharf 4/5, in a unique heritage setting. The redevelopment aims to create a thriving arts precinct for performing arts companies on Sydney's famous waterfront.

Artist's impression of the proposed Walsh Bay Arts Precinct
Above: Artist's impression of the proposed Walsh Bay Arts Precinct / Create NSW.

Minister for the Arts, Don Harwin, described the Walsh Bay redevelopment as a major step forward for the Government's pioneering vision to create a world-class arts precinct.

The redevelopment will transform Pier 2/3 with the addition of new rehearsal, event and performance venues, while Shore and Wharf 4/5 will be refurbished to enable existing resident arts companies to maximise the production and showcasing of their work.

"It's important we continue to support Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Dance Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Australian Theatre for Young People, Gondwana Choir, Sydney Philharmonia Choir and The Song Company who will return to refurbished spaces where they can continue to produce, rehearse and showcase their work," Mr Harwin said.

"I am also thrilled that Pier 2/3, the last remaining undeveloped wharf in Sydney, will become the new home of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Bell Shakespeare who will be our newest resident companies in the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct."

The refurbishment will reflect designs by architectural firm Tonkin Zulaikah Greer.

Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts said the project will attract thousands of new visitors every month and become a great tourist drawcard for the city.

"Walsh Bay has a rich industrial history on the edge of our city's waterfront. This project will ensure the precinct has a modern use whilst ensuring the area's iconic heritage is preserved," Mr Roberts said.

Sydney Theatre Company and Infrastructure NSW's proposals were publicly exhibited during late 2016 and late 2017.

The Department of Planning and Environment received 24 submissions for the Sydney Theatre Company proposal while Infrastructure NSW attracted 66 submissions with no public authorities objecting to the proposal.

The Department of Planning and Environment has also recommended a condition requiring the preparation of a Green Travel Plan to service the local precinct.

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