Bays Precinct people’s campaign

30 November 2014 | Posted In: #123 Summer 2014/15, Civil Society Issues, Planning Campaigns,

The Bays Precinct locals have put together their own community planning principles that they want adopted for any redevelopment by UrbanGrowth NSW.

Bays map 2 no heading

In July 2014 the Premier announced the NSW Government would host an international summit on the 19th and 20th of November, to hear from world leading urban renewal experts about the best ways to revitalise the area in Sydney’s inner harbour known as The Bays Precinct. Locals, who have been working around the site for years, have put together their own Community Planning Principles that they want adopted for any redevelopment.

UrbanGrowth NSW, the government’s urban renewal authority, has the job of leading the revitalisation of The Bays Precinct. UrbanGrowth NSW also has responsibility for other urban renewal projects in the inner city including, Green Square, Central to Eveleigh and the Parramatta Road Urban Renewal Program.

The announcement said the “public and other stakeholders will also be asked to provide input as we develop plans to revitalise this area”. Resident groups were not initially invited to the international summit with a workshop proposed for Sydneysiders not set down until May 2015. Some groups have now been invited.

On the 4th August 2014 more than 200 community members met in Glebe Town Hall to consider proposals for a “People’s Campaign” to defend the public interest.

The community has been engaged with government and business in planning for the Bays Precinct over the past 10 years and has developed a set of core public interest principles.

The August meeting called on the government to ensure that the Bays Precinct Urban Renewal Project follows a democratic and open process. The process should enable public and private interests to come together creatively and imaginatively; to ensure that the outcome will be worthy of the site and of Sydney’s status as a global city; and to be properly protective of the public interest.


To achieve this, Bays Precinct planning processes MUST ensure that:

  1. Precedence is given to the public good as a driving overarching principle for the renewal of these publicly owned foreshores and bays;
  2. The community of Sydney is able to fully engage in all stages of the planning process
  3. Excellence in planning and design for all development proposals by designating clear, publicly endorsed planning principles developed by the Bays Precinct Community Reference Group and actively seeking local and international ideas for renewal;
  4. All unsolicited development proposals relating to any Bays Precinct public land or waters is subject to open competitive tenders and proper public scrutiny;
  5. There is no alienation of the Bays Precinct foreshores from public ownership by sale or long term lease;
  6. High priority is given to the inclusion of social and affordable housing as a significant element of any residential uses;
  7. Continuous public access to the harbour foreshore is a core principle for all development in the Bays Precinct;
  8. A significant proportion of the 80 plus hectares of publicly owned lands is retained for public uses including open space;
  9. Heritage items, such as the White Bay Power Station and the Glebe Island Bridge are creatively adapted and reused.

John Brooks, Pyrmont Action Inc; Dr Lesley Lynch, Glebe Society; Prof Jane Marceau, White Bay Joint Steering Committee; Carolyn Allen, The Balmain Association

To find out more and join the campaign visit – you can also see on this website the response from this group to the issues raised at the UG Forum. Another group has formed from some other resident and precinct groups as the Bays Community Coalition and you can read their response to the UG Forum here.

Information about the project from UrbanGrowth NSW can be found on