Sydney skyline set to rise following planning review

Sydney skyline set to rise following planning review

SYDNEY, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Urban planners are looking to raising Sydney's skyline after concerns the city's existing 235- meter height limit cannot accommodate future growth, local media reported Monday.

The height limit has not changed in 40 years, and experts say Sydney could run out of office space within 10 years, the Daily Telegraph reported.

New South Wales Planning Minister Pru Goward said the government would look at changing height restrictions in order for the city to cope with future demand.

"If we want to keep Sydney moving for the next 40 years and beyond, we have to look at all the options on the table," she said.

"Another option the government is actively pursuing is the revitalisation and expansion of the CBD southward through the Central to Eveleigh precinct. This alone could add significantly to the capacity for the city to accommodate more office jobs and residential accommodation.

"With the NSW economy booming, there is clearly high demand for office space ... we need to look at all options to ensure Sydney, Australia's only global city, remains competitive."

City of Sydney Council is now reviewing its zoning, building height and floor space ratio for the CBD, the first since 1988, and is expected to finalize its report next month.

A City of Sydney spokeswoman said developers wanted higher buildings so they could increase their profits.

"But a building's height needs to be balanced against the livability of a city on street level, including how it impacts shade, important public spaces like Hyde Park," she said.

NSW Treasury has noted that the height of the City One development for Wynyard was reduced by about a third because "the rationale has been to meet planning requirements that prevent overshadowing of the GPO building in Martin Place for about an hour a day for 8 weeks during winter".

Property Council of Australia NSW executive director Glen Byres welcomed the review of height restrictions. "We know we will grow by 100,000 extra jobs in 20 years, we need to provide a platform for that growth,"he said.