Neutral Bay potential rezoning



Building height limits in the Neutral Bay town centre could soar if North Sydney Council adopts recommendations made by a planning study of the Military Road corridor.

According to the planning study, the existing planning controls that restrict height limits in the Neutral Bay town centre to a maximum five storeys for commercial and mixed-use buildings will see 1,300 local jobs lost by 2036.

As such, the study’s discussion paper proposes four options to allow for population growth and target the issue of local job growth.

As the draft proposal currently stands, height limits in the area could increase from between six storeys north of Military Road and eight storeys to the south, to a towering 14 storeys at the intersection of Military Road and Wycombe Road and eight storeys across the majority of other sites.

Joseph Hill, the director of planning at North Sydney Council, says it is imperative Council plans to increase the population of Neutral Bay throughout the day to restore and foster vibrancy in the area.

“From a larger context, you do need to do something,” he tells North Shore Living.

“In a nutshell, it’s about jobs. You get jobs in there and you increase the vitality of the area during the day, then the residents come in later at night and on the weekend.

“I think it is the diversity that creates the ‘village feel’, and creating more jobs is central to creating that diversity.”

However, Christopher Holding, co-chair of the Brightmore Precinct, which is within the confines of the Neutral Bay town centre, says he thinks the proposal is contradictory to maintaining a “village feel” and doesn’t take into account the views of current residents.

“Once it has been decided an area is zoned for 8 or even 14 storey buildings - as in this proposal - that is what is built. The village atmosphere can be harder to imagine with 13 storeys above you,” he explains to North Shore Living.

“It’s entirely possible that, without making exceptions that reflect local communities, the Military Road corridor could itself become a homogenous line of buildings from Dee Why to North Sydney.”


Stephanie Aikins

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