National

NSW to review after Sydney hotel rejected

By AAP Newswire

Sydney's lord mayor has accused the NSW premier of betraying the public's trust over a proposed luxury tower in Pyrmont after the government ordered a review of planning rules for the area.

The state's planning department in July rejected The Star's multi-million dollar plan for the 237-metre high Ritz Carlton tower.

It found the 66-storey development would "appear isolated and overly prominent" to the "detriment of local and wider views" - a position supported by NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes.

The tower, as submitted, would house 220 hotel rooms and 204 residential apartments and create an estimated 754 jobs after construction.

The proposal now goes to the Independent Planning Commission.

The premier on Monday announced a separate review by the Greater Sydney Commission of the planning rules hindering the tower's development.

Gladys Berejiklian said she wanted to send "a strong message that Pyrmont is open for business".

The review was also tasked to deliver recommendations for the different types of development needed in the mixed-use precinct.

"With a growing population, we know there will be more development in Pyrmont in the future," Ms Berejiklian said in a statement.

"With that will come opportunities to build more transport links including a potential metro station.

"This review sends a clear signal that our government believes the Pyrmont area has a bright and exciting future as a key part of the NSW visitor economy."

However, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Pyrmont didn't need a massive residential tower more than eight times higher than current planning controls allowed.

She said it was misleading to describe the proposed tower as a hotel because up to 35 storeys were for residential use.

"The Star should get rid of the residential floors and design a six-star hotel for the area," she said in a statement.

Ms Moore said that if the proposal went ahead it would undermine the public's faith in the planning system.

"You may as well tear up the rule book," she said.

"It appears that the certainty that the City of Sydney's earlier planning process gave to the residents for Pyrmont, which influenced their decision to live there, is under threat. It is an astounding betrayal of public trust."

Tourism Accommodation Australia welcomed news of the review, saying the Star's hotel development was needed in Sydney.

"You really need new six-star hotels to attract the high-end traveller and ensure Sydney keeps its status as Australia's gateway city," TAA NSW chief executive Michael Johnson said.

The Greater Sydney Commission - headed by Lucy Turnbull - will report to the government by the end of September.

The planning department's original decision pitted Mr Stokes and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet against each other, with the latter saying he wanted "common sense" to prevail and the proposal to proceed.

The boss of The Star this month said a lack of high-end hotels was depriving Sydney businesses of Chinese tourism income.