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Visual impact of views of the bay
The first issue with the Floating Dry Dock, which is of great concern to many members of our community is that from any vantage it is a massive structure completely at odds with the scale of the bay and the nature and scale of the existing relatively light marine industrial operation.
When raised with a substantial vessel the Floating Dry Dock will be an eyesore from Carradah Park, from John St, from Boatbuilders Walk, from across the bay on Balls Head, from Waverton Oval, from Commodore Crescent … from everywhere that it can be seen.
The FDD will have capacity to service vessels up to 1000 tonnes. Below is a scale representation of what the size of the FDD will be when servicing naval ships. When raised with a Huon Class Minehunter the FDD will have a combined structure taller than a 7 story building:
Loss of acoustic amenity
The second issue is that the operation of the FDD will be extremely noisy and will destroy the acoustic amenity of the area.
The Floating Dry Dock is a steel structure that will sit on the water. The industrial noise of grinding, sandblasting and other work done to steel boats will echo around the amphitheatre of the bay, completely changing the acoustic amenity of the area. The Environmental Impact Statement shows that if the development went ahead, nearby residents would be subjected to a 14 dBA increase in background noise. This increase is significantly higher than what industrial noise policy permits.
Noise increases on a curve. Roughly every 10 dBA is perceived as a doubling in loudness by the receiver.
A 14 dBA increase is massive. If the Floating Dry Dock goes ahead nearby residents will be subjected to a perceived increase of almost 300% in the level of background noise.
The Environmental Impact Statement suggests mitigation measures such as enclosing the ends of FDD, building a 3M structure on top, or enclosing it. However, no commitment is made in the DA about adopting the mitigation measures.
The visual impact statement and the drawings present the FDD without any of the structures required to mitigate the noise. It is therefore implied that either:
- The visual impact statement is misleading because the FDD will be a much larger structure and will block views through the FDD enclosure;
- The proposed acoustic mitigation measures are misleading, because they won’t be implemented as presented by the visual impact statement.
Incompatibility with principle of opening the harbour foreshore to the public
Sydney Harbour is a national treasure, and certainly NSW’s most valuable natural asset. Any development that occurs on the harbour for private benefit must also create significant public benefit. Any development that occurs on the harbour for private benefit that diminishes the public’s use of the harbour should be rejected outright.
Noakes’ Boatyard is one of only half a dozen privately held properties on the foreshore that prevents a continuous walk from Balls Head Reserve to Blues Point Reserve. It is the only privately held property that prevents a connection between Waverton Oval and Boatbuilders Walk. If the land occupied by Noakes Boatyard was open to the public it would be possible to continuously walk along the harbour from the Coal Loader to Ballshead Reserve, to the Waverton Peninsula Reserve, to Waverton Park, through the Noakes site, to Boatbuilders Walk and Sawmillers Reserve.
Noakes Boatyard sits in the middle of what would be an idyllic harbour side walk. On a daily basis international tourists and large walking groups are forced to walk up John Street and Dumbarton Street on poor pedestrian infrastructure because Noakes Boatyard prevents through access.
By preventing through access, Noakes Boatyard also creates access difficulties to the sporting facilities at Waverton Oval.
A private interest who infringes upon the public access to the Sydney Harbour foreshore should be prevented from extending its private use of the public’s asset.
The development application should be rejected in the interest of improving public access to the land along the harbour.
All Development Applications submitted for that parcel of land should be rejected until through access to the public to connect the foreshore walk is achieved.
Make your voice heard
Submit a response to DA 3/18 and let North Sydney Council know that you do not want the Floating Dry Dock!