The promise of public parkland and affordable housing are now in doubt at Barangaroo. The NSW Court of Appeal has ruled against the NSW Government’s Barangaroo Development Authority in a dispute over developer contribution payments. Lend Lease, the developer, has also been awarded costs, leaving a big hole in the pockets of the Barangaroo Development Authority.
This blow comes after years of the developer and the Government chipping away at the public and community elements of the site and expanding the commercial floor space of the site.
The public interest also took a back seat earlier this month when it was revealed that Lend Lease is now backing away from its commitment to build affordable housing on the Barangaroo site. In the initial plans there was to be the City of Sydney target of 7.5% housing set aside as affordable housing to ensure that workers on lower incomes could also be a part of the Barangaroo community. Today this figure is now 2.3%, however, it could be 0% if Lend Lease is successful in its plans to build this ‘key worker housing’ offsite. This move would enable them to reap even higher profits by selling 100% of the residential floor space to private buyers. In a final insult to public housing tenants it is understood that Lend Lease have been exploring Millers Point as a potential alternative site for the affordable housing.