Edward Mandla
Increasing Building Heights

Published On: 25/07/2016

I’m very delighted with these draft guidelines to grow Sydney and to increase building heights. I can’t wait to see the input from industry and I hope we can really absorb the feedback.

Sydney is our global city and during my term as Councillor, I have been very concerned that Sydney is slipping behind and degrading to being merely a nice city. It matters for business and it matters for public confidence that Sydney leads and not follows.

As at today, we only have one building in the top 20 of the Country and that’s Chiefly Tower at number 14. With the current proposals around the Country, Chiefly Tower will drop off that list and Parramatta will have the 5th largest building. Fortunately, the Crown Sydney Hotel and Resort will debut in at number 12 but it’s not where Sydney needs to be.

I’ve often been worried that in Sydney we kind of build a sort of “LegoLand” where a developer may be confined to 50 floors so that try and squeeze in as much as they can into a “block”.

I’ve often wondered what would happen if we said to the developer, you can have the same floor to space ratio but go to 70 or 80 floors. This would encourage artistic super tall and thin landmark structures adding much needed slenderness to our city.

I worry about value capture and worry that it encourages big floor plates that could corrupt the planning system and by pass the community getting a say.

However, on balance we are headed in the right direction albeit behind the pack and I hope we can speed things up to increase supply and to cement ourselves as a “must see” City that matters globally.

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