There is no active DA which has been submitted to North Sydney Council. However, in late 2016 the proponent, Berrys Bay Marina company, foreshadowed a new DA, the key features of which were understood to cover:
- Onshore development similar to that proposed in DA260/15.
- On-water development which varied from DA260/15 in that:
o There would be no inclusion of the dolphin wharf area in the development
o The three arms of the proposed marina would be in similar locations to DA260/15, but have different lengths (some longer), and with a different mix of vessel sizes.
Given the absence of a firm proposal, it is not appropriate at this time to make firm statements about the proposal overall, except to note that the JRPP, in rejecting the previous DA 260/15, called for fewer and smaller boats covering less of the western arm of Berrys Bay whereas the foreshadowed design has more and larger boats covering more area. The SaveBerrysBay committee is therefore of the view that if the DA is submitted as foreshadowed, there will be valid opposition to it. Further, the following principles have been developed and given to RMS and others, outlining the constraints and opportunities for the Bay as we see them.
Guiding principles adopted by Precinct
Waverton Precinct Committee at its 6 September 2016 public meeting adopted the following in-principle requirements to guide its response to any new DA:
- Any development to be appropriate in character and scale to the special values of this iconic Bay on Sydney Harbour foreshore with its beautiful surrounding bushland and public open space setting and rich maritime industrial heritage.
- Development to meet the letter and spirit of the principles of Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005:
i. Sydney Harbour is to be recognised as a public resource, owned by the public, to be protected for the public good,
ii. the public good has precedence over the private good whenever and whatever change is proposed for Sydney Harbour or its foreshores,
iii. protection of the natural assets of Sydney Harbour has precedence over all other interests.
- In accordance with the decision of the JRPP that the main section of the marina should be reduced and the size of boats further limited, the Water Area of the marina not to exceed the previous combined operational area of Woodleys and BP in the western bay, with all of the marina berthed vessels, moored vessels and on-water operations contained within that Water Area. Number, length and height conditions to be determined for vessels consistent with the amenity of the bay.
- The former BP land now proposed for public recreation to become part of Carradah Park within the Waverton Peninsula Reserve Trust under care and control of Council together with the access road and bushland west of the Woodleys site to preserve and optimise the foreshore walkway and connectivity.
- Marina operations not to impact on that public recreation land or inhibit establishment of public access to and from that land, including foreshore access and access to the water. Accordingly no access to marina pontoons from, and no vehicular access along, that public land.
- The marina design to leave an adequate access channel to the Quarantine Depot including for the possibility of future ferry services, weekend, hop-on/hop-off, or regular.
- No reduction in the number of private swing moorings in the Bay.
- The Woodleys Main Shed to remain as a heritage item, refurbished, and continue to be fully visible from land and water. No dry boat storage racks to be located outside the existing Woodleys boat shed.
- Car parking to be contained within the bund wall and preferably to be a public carpark operated by Council. No commercial uses over the bund wall-enclosed car park roof. Car park roof to be landscaped and be accessible to the public.
- Public kayak/dinghy launching facilities to be provided at no charge, and kayak/dinghy storage facilities to be provided at the same charges as currently applied by North Sydney Council elsewhere.
- Public café/restaurant to be provided on the site, with operating hours to be in accordance with Council zoning.
Until the situation becomes clearer, the reader is encouraged to view the history below of the previous DA and why the public fought so hard to have it rejected.
Developer’s summary of proposal in the DA 260/15:
The Development Application (DA) sought approval for the following elements:
- a maximum 84-berth marina with the capacity to berth vessels up to 45m in length in two zones – main marina that is within Berrys Bay and Dolphin Wharf as a secondary smaller area;
- vessel sewage pump-out facilities;
- a dry stack storage facility (adaptive reuse of the existing Woodley’s Shed) and new working hard stand area and boat stackers;
- adaptive reuse of existing two storey building and construction of two new buildings that together comprise:
- o a 106m2 caretakers apartment;
- o a 400m2 yacht club comprising an open plan seating area, back of house, storage and locker facilities for club members;
- o nine non-residential tenancies with a combined floor space of approximately 1,641m2;
- launch area for small craft such as canoes and kayaks, with storage space;
- parking for some 120 cars;
- landscaping (i.e. marina gardens), foreshore access and retention of the heritage components of the bund wall and existing original quay line/seawall;
- ancillary works and structures including roads, infrastructure, amenities, etc.
What was wrong with that proposal
We did not object in principle to a marina in Berrys Bay. However, this proposal was an unacceptable over-development, tipping the balance way too far in favour of the private interests of the marina operator and big boat owners, at the expense of natural and heritage values of the bay and the public enjoyment of the bay by all the residents of Sydney and visitors.
Proposed private uses of the bay
Berrys Bay – a parking lot for big boats?
Waverton Precinct’s Submission on the DA 260/15 in summary argued that:
- Berrys Bay is an icon within Sydney Harbour and must not be compromised.
- The beautiful reserve lands around the Bay have been gifted to the people of Sydney. The proposed development is inconsistent with the public use of these lands and would greatly diminish their public value.
- The proposal is incompatible with the objectives of the key legislation protecting the Harbour and its foreshores, the Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) (2005).
- The need for a marina of this size has not been established.
- The marina is excessive in size and the impact of its three arms within the western part of the Bay is overwhelming and unacceptable.
- The proposed development of the Dolphin Wharf in the eastern part of the Bay for very large vessels is excessive, impractical and inconsistent with the adjoining Carradah Park.
- There are significant and degrading visual impacts that have not been addressed and cannot be addressed while the development is of such a scale.
- The heritage significance of the old Woodleys Boatshed, as seen from the water, is lost.
- The artistic heritage of Berrys Bay has not been considered at all.
- The social impacts of the proposal have not been adequately addressed, particularly consideration of the wide range of people impacted.
- The proposed marina parkland, as designed would be of limited public value. It should be placed in Council’s care, control and management and incorporated into Carradah Park.
- Pedestrian access from Balls Head Road to Carradah Park is inadequate, very compromised and potentially dangerous.
- The details of the on-land buildings raise more questions than they answer. In particular the “Yacht Club” is an undefined entity.
- Car parking should be contained within the bund wall, the roof of the parking structure landscaped and made publicly accessible as a viewing/ picnic area.
- Traffic implications will need to be given close consideration in the overall context of the Waverton Peninsula.
You can view the Precinct’s submission at the following links:
- Main submission – report of our expert planners, Ann Pugh, Margaret Petrykowski and Kevin Alker:
- Visual Impact – report by the eminent architect and planner David Chesterman AM
We think they make a powerful case against the scale of the proposal. Do look at the photomontages of the visual impact at the conclusion of the Chesterman report.
The Design Excellence Panel of North Sydney Council reviewed the DA, was very critical of the proposal and concluded that the DA as presented could not be supported – see the Minutes of Design Excellence Panel Meeting at