By Linda Daniele

Pyrmont residents are calling for community consultation on a plan to redevelop harbour front land in Bank Street for public recreation.

The Bank Street area, bounded by the Sydney Fish Market to the south and the old Glebe Island Bridge and Jackson’s Landing to the north, is made up of eight government and private owned sites that were the subject of a master plan prepared over two years ago.

Half of the Bank Street sites are government-owned, three by NSW Maritime and one recently acquired by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA). The NSW Maritime and SHFA-owned land is zoned for public recreation and open space.

Jean Stuart, president of the Pyrmont Community Group, said she was delighted the SHFA had purchased one of the sites. ‘It’s a very useful site and has lots of potential with the NSW Maritime land for public recreation,’ she said. ‘Why aren’t we getting on with it and deciding what we’ll do there”

The master plan for the main NSW Maritime site includes a foreshore promenade and non-exclusive boat ramp and pontoon, for use by dragon boats, kayaks, rowers and boat clubs. Potential ‘passive recreation’ facilities include a barbecue and picnic area, and children’s play equipment.

A lack of available dragon boat facilities around Sydney Harbour and the demand for activities for youths is also acknowledged in the master plan. ‘As a result of demand demonstrated for active facilities with an urban theme, potential for provision of an urban skate park would be investigated during the concept design stage,’ it reads. ‘Other potential facilities to be investigated include a graffiti wall and a basketball court for use of local residents.’

A spokesperson for NSW Maritime said that although the plans were endorsed by the NSW Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, in September 2006, ‘There has been no development described in the Master Plan as yet.’

*This article was first published in City Hub, May 12, 2008 and City News, May 17, 2008.