Friday, 29 Sep 2023

Court saves North Sydney MLC building from demolition

The Land and Environment Court of New South Wales (NSWLEC) has quashed a developerís bid to demolish the first commercial skyscraper in North Sydney.


Court saves North Sydney MLC building from demolition

The Land and Environment Court of New South Wales (NSWLEC) has quashed a developer's bid to demolish the first commercial skyscraper in North Sydney.

In 2020, developer Investa Property Group submitted an application to North Sydney Council to demolish the former MLC building, which was designed by Bates Smart and McCutcheon, and replace it with a new office tower designed by Bates Smart.

The council refused to grant permission, and the developer appealed to NSWLEC to overturn North Sydney Council's decision.

The court ultimately dismissed the appeal and upheld the council's refusal.

In its decision, the court determined that "the complete demolition of the MLC will have significant, irreversible heritage impacts."

The former North Sydney MLC building, completed in 1956, was the first high-rise office block in North Sydney and the largest building of its type in Australia at the time of its construction. It is listed as an item of local heritage.

In 2021, NSW arts minister Don Harwin directed the item be listed on the state's heritage register on the recommendation of the Heritage Council; however, in 2022, NSWLEC ordered the NSW Heritage Council to remove the listing because the minister had failed to "consider mandatory considerations under the Heritage Act."

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