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16 October 2014 Posted by 


Low flying aricraft concerns in CBD

By Red Dwyer

HOUSTON, Parramatta has a problem. A proposed high-rise building in the Parramatta CBD is a potential hazard to low flying aircraft.

Parramatta City Council’s aspiration to have one of the tallest buildings in Australia has been thwarted by aviation authorities.

And building heights have become an issue in the never-ending competition between Sydney and Melbourne.

The aviation authorities said the 306-metre tower would “infringe on the protected airspace” for the take-off and landing of planes at Mascot and Bankstown airports.

The 90-storey Aspire Tower, a major element of council’s $2 billion Parramatta Square redevelopment project, has been substantially downsized.

The site is a key location within the Parramatta CBD at the southern gateway to Church Street Mall and as the future western gateway to Parramatta Square, formerly known as Civic Place.

The project, on the site of the former Hungry Jack’s outlet, on the corner of Darcy Street and the mall, was destined to include 700 apartments, a 150-room hotel and a 360 degree viewing platform with views across Sydney.

Council CEO, Greg Dyer, said, subsequently, a maximum height had not been set in the revised plans.

“Rather, we have set a minimum height of 243 metres which equates to between 60 and 80 storeys,” he said.

The revised planning proposal also sought to remove original plans for the 1500-square-metre viewing platform.

Council has forwarded the revised plans to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for gateway determination.

The Urban Taskforce, a non-profit organisation which represents local property developers and financiers, has criticised the aviation authorities for their lack of support for the proposed tower.

The intervention by Australian aviation authorities to reduce the proposed tower by up to 30 stories could be replicated across all of Sydney, said the taskforce.

“The aviation authorities need to work with Sydney as a 21st-century city and not against aspirations for taller buildings,” the taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson, said

The Urban Taskforce expressed the need for Sydney to keep up with Melbourne and other international cities when designing and building skyscrapers.

“The NSW Department of Planning and Environment must assert the importance of growth in Parramatta, the Sydney central business district, and other centres so that height is not overly constrained.” Mr Johnson said.

“State and federal governments must work together for a solution that balances aviation needs and the future growth of cities.”

Council has engaged CBRE to market the tower and two projects totalling 140,000 square metres of office space in the redevelopment precinct.


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