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The Bays Precinct

Bays Precinct AerialThe Bays Precinct generally comprises the areas known as White Bay, Glebe Island, Rozelle Bay and Blackwattle Bay and the former rail yards west of Glebe Island. The area falls within the Local Government Boundaries of both the City of Sydney and the former Leichhardt Municipal Council. Significant areas of the site are controlled by Sydney Ports and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.

What is the current situation?

In October 2015 Urban Growth released its pdf-new-icon.gifTranformation Plan for the Bays Precinct.

The plan outlines 7 Key Actions for the Bays Precinct as follows and shown in the plan below:

  • 1. Divide the Bays Precinct into eight distinct but linked Destinations
  • 2. Introduce the Bays Waterfront Promenade
  • 3. Recover and re-purpose the White Bay Power Station
  • 4. Create the Bays Market District incorporating a rejuvenated Sydney Fish Market
  • 5. Include Wentworth Park in the Program Area
  • 6. Work towards re-purposing the Glebe Island Bridge
  • 7. Introduce water quality initiatives in the Bays Waterways

The Bays Action Plan

Urban Growth also released its pdf-new-icon.gifCall for Great Idea Compendium in October 2015 which is a summary of the workshop outcomes from the July 2015 Call for Great Ideas Workshop.

In late 2016 Urban Growth sought RFPs for the White Bay Power Station site and a total of 13 proposals were received. Urban Growth is currently assessing the submissions and recommendations will be made to government in June 2016. Currently Urban Growth is seeking Request for Proposals for the White Bay Power Station. Find out more at the Urban Growth website

Council's Position

Leichhardt Council’s priorities for the Bays Precinct are:

  • World class public transport access;
  • Reopening of the Glebe Island Bridge to pedestrians and cyclists;
  • Public access to foreshore;
  • Up to 30 per cent of all new housing to be not for profit, as all the Government’s expert advisors have recommended;
  • New recreational facilities including an indoor sports centre and multiple outdoor sporting grounds

Read Leichhardt Council's Guiding Principles for the Bays Precinct for further details about Council's position of the Bays Precinct

What can I do?

You can write to the NSW Planning Minister, Rob Stokes on office@stokes.minister.nsw.gov.au or the NSW Premier, Mike Baird on manly@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Find out more at Urban Growth website

Upcoming Meetings

Will be posted here when available.

Additional Information

Urban Renewal Summit

The Government held a two day summit in Sydney to draw on the expertise of global, national and local urban renewal specialists to inform the renewal of The Bays Precinct. This will be an invitation-only event and was held on the 19 and 20 of November 2014.

Read the NSW Treasurer's Speaking Notes - Bays Summit

Council requested that the NSW Government provide the following information regarding the proposed Bays Precinct summit:

  • The terms of reference for the summit
  • Relevant details of all participants who will be invited to the summit
  • Details of how input might be made to the summit
  • Details of which areas and sites are to be discussed
  • The timetable for all discussions and any proposed consultation with
  • Council and the communities of the Bays Precinct area
  • Council will also request that a delegation - which includes nominated Councillors, Council staff and local community representatives - from the Leichhardt Municipality be invited to attend the summit.

After the Summit Urban Growth produced a Statement of Guiding Principles that was developed as a result of the summit.
pdf-new-icon.gifStatement of Guiding Principles Bay Precinct  (PDF 7.8MB)

NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance in his statement before the summit revealed plans for 16,000 new dwellings for the Bays Precinct. Council believes that the planning outcomes for this area were a done deal and that decisions had already been made behind closed doors without real consultation with the affected communities.

Sixteen thousand dwellings in the Bays Precinct would effectively turn Leichhardt Council into the most densely populated council area in Australia.

Council believed that:

  • any Master plan should be based on an open, transparent and evidence based approach; and
  • any Masterplan should:
    - acknowledge the importance, size, location and unique circumstances of the site
    - be climate positive by using decentralised energy and water cycle management
    - respond to existing geography including built form patterns, headlands, views and vistas
    - manage the transition from existing urban areas
    - address traffic, parking and transport
    - address integration of active and public transport
    - address opportunities to establish pedestrian and cyclist connections between suburbs
    - include integrated passive and active recreation spaces, including the need for foreshore access and access to water sports
    - consider both working/non-working harbour land uses
    - promote high quality public domain
    - provision of affordable housing for key workers and public housing
    - facilitate the adaptive reuse of heritage buildings including retention, restoration and utilisation of White Bay Power Station and Glebe Island Bridge
    - ensure that future land use reflect the need to protect the amenity of existing residential areas
    - improve biodiversity and protect and enhance indigenous heritage


Bays Precinct Urban Renewal Map - Corridors and Precincts

Investigation Reports

The City of Sydney has commissioned reports from Elton Consulting and SGS Economics Planning. These reports will be available to the community to assist in their broader understanding of the project.

The Elton Consulting Report will focus on summarising and articulating the strategic planning processes for the proposed project.

The SGS reports will document the planning principles, processes and governance arrangements that have led to best practice urban renewal outcomes including covering different scales and jurisdictions but also precincts where development is at least partially complete and ‘outcomes’ are evident. Examples could be Melbourne’s Docklands, Barangaroo, London’s Elephant and Castle, Hamburg’s Hafen City, London’s Kings Cross (Greater London Authority) and Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Bays Precinct Taskforce Report

The Bays Precinct Taskforce released the Bays Precinct Strategic Framework Report on 26 March 2013. It included:

Taskforce Report Key Findings

The key findings of the report were:

  • 1. There is a need to retain essential port shipping and maritime services in the Harbour.
  • 2. There is a need to retain publicly owned lands and waterways and manage the lease terms of operators to ensure long term flexibility of the assets.
  • 3. Given the location of the Precinct in relation to Sydney and wider metropolitan transport networks, the Rozelle Rail Yards have strategic potential to support the future M4 extension.
  • 4. Where findings 1 and 3 do not conflict, new development and adaptive re-use of vacant and underutilised sites (including White Bay Power Station and Rozelle Rail Yard) is supported.
  • 5. Improve the opportunity for public access to the foreshore areas, create shared access links and improved public domain within and around the Precinct. (The Government could consider opening the port and maritime lands for public access).
  • 6. Consolidate port and industrial type uses that are not commensurate with public access to Glebe Island for improved operation efficiencies and to open new development and access opportunities elsewhere within the Precinct.
  • 7. There is a need for certainty to future development with a management approach by Government with partnership with stakeholders.

More information about the Bays Precinct Taskforce Report is available here: http://www.shfa.nsw.gov.au/sydney-Our_places_and_projects-Our_projects-Bays_Precinct.htm  

Council's Position on the Taskforce Report

In April 2013 Council resolved the need for in relation to the Taskforce Report:

  • an independent cost benefit analysis for the retention of the Glebe Island Bridge
  • provision of open space and recreation areas, including sporting fields
  • at least 50% of any housing to be developed for affordable housing
  • separation of port traffic from other traffic
  • increased public transport, particularly light rail and new ferry stops
  • pedestrian and cycle access and across the Bays Precinct
  • access to the foreshore
  • a Masterplan for the entire Bays Precinct
  • consistency in decision making by government departments and authorities in relation to projects and land use in the Bays Precinct
  • Leichhardt Council representation on the Implementation Committee.

Meetings Held

Community Meetings about the Bays Precinct have been held as follows:

13 July 2015
Call for Great Ideas Workshop

16 and 17 May 2015
Bays Sydneysiders Summit
The Sydneysiders Summit was open to everyone, and held by Urban Growth to enable people from across the city to join other Sydneysiders in contributing to the transformation of The Bays Precinct.


19/20 November 2014
Bays Precinct International Summit
Invitation Only Event
Read the NSW Treasurer's Speaking Notes - Bays Summit

16 November 2014
Community meeting hosted by the City of Sydney - find out more information here.
3pm - 5pm
Glebe Town Hall, 160 St Johns Road, Glebe

The following documents, made available by the City of Sydney, provide background information about the planning process to date in relation to the Bays Precinct as well as a review of 'best practice' urban renewal projects:

pdf-new-icon.gifBays Precinct Urban Renewal Program: Planning Processes and Consultation Review Report (PDF 5.9MB)Open this document with ReadSpeaker docReader
pdf-new-icon.gifBays Precinct Urban Renewal Program: Planning Processes and Consultation Review Report Appendices (PDF 5MB)Open this document with ReadSpeaker docReader
pdf-new-icon.gifBest Practice Urban Renewal: Input in Bays Precinct Forum (PDF 3.5MB)Open this document with ReadSpeaker docReader
pdf-new-icon.gifMega Projects - Global review of best practice (PDF 1.8MB)Open this document with ReadSpeaker docReader

5 November 2014, 6.30pm
Leichhardt Council Public Meeting
Balmain Town Hall 
370 Darling Street, Balmain
Read the pdf-new-icon.gifMeeting Presentation from 5 November 2014 (PDF 2.6MB)Open this document with ReadSpeaker docReaderOpen this document with ReadSpeaker docReaderOpen this document with ReadSpeaker docReader

5 November 2014, 6.30pm
Festival of Urbanism Talk - The Future of the Bays Precinct with Professor Stephen Cairns on 'open city' design
Lower Town Hall, Sydney Town Hall,
483 George Street (entry via Druitt Street) Sydney 2000
Find out more about the Festival of Urbanism

5 August 2014 Glebe TownHall, to discuss the NSW July State Government Announcement.

Media Releases

3 November 2015 - Council Backs Spaces to Play in Bays Precinct

22 October 2015 - Bays Precinct - Chatswood By the Sea

11 March 2015 - Council Backs Bays Precinct Indoor Sports Facility

11 February 2015 - Council Backs Sports Alliance’s “Spaces to Play” Campaign for Bays Precinct

18 November 2014 - Mayor Declares Bays Precinct Summit a Sham

6 November 2014 - Leichhardt Mayor Calls for Transparency in Bays Precinct Planning

15 October 2014 - Leichhardt Council Media Release - Council to hold Public Meeting on Bays Precinct

28 August 2014 - NSW Goverment Media Release - New Vision for Sydney's Harbour 

17 July 2014 - Urban Growith Media Release - Transforming Sydney The Bays Precinct 

17 July - Leichhardt Council Media Release - Bays Precinct cannot be the next Barrangaroo