The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), part of the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), received a proposal from Gap Bluff Hospitality to upgrade and adapt 6 properties in the Watsons Bay, Camp Cove and Green Point area of Sydney Harbour National Park. The proposal was received in response to a 2013 expression of interest.
The properties included:
- The Officers Mess, Armoury and Gap Bluff Cottage, in the Gap Bluff Centre, Watson Bay
- 33 Cliff Street and Constables Cottage in Camp Cove
- Green Point Cottage, Green Point.
The proposal was for the properties to be used as a function centre, and for accommodation and dining.
To consider the potential environmental impacts of the proposal, and in accordance with requirements under policy and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, NPWS requested Gap Bluff Hospitality prepare and put on public exhibition a review of environmental factors (REF).
The REF and an accompanying sustainability assessment were prepared by the proponent in accordance with guidelines published by the Office of Environment and Heritage.
The following documents for the proposed upgrade to the properties were also put on public exhibition:
- Detailed concept plans (PDF 21MB)
- Traffic Impact Assessment Report (PDF 1.7MB)
- Acoustic Report (PDF 1.7MB)
- Heritage Impact Statement (PDF 8.3MB)
- Aboriginal Heritage Due Diligence Assessment (PDF 4.2MB)
- Statement of Compliance Access for People with a Disability (PDF 658KB)
- Capability Statement (PDF 1.1MB)
- Operational Plan of Management (PDF 1.6MB)
- Construction Management Plan (PDF 2.1MB)
- Ecologically sustainable development (ESD) Report (PDF 2.8MB)
- Waste Management Plan (PDF 812KB)
- Sustainability Assessment (PDF 1.4KB)
- Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act Protected Matters Report (PDF 168KB)
- Flora and Fauna Impact Assessment (PDF 6.2MB)
NPWS sought community feedback on Gap Bluff Hospitality's proposal. The proposal, the REF and supporting documents were exhibited for public comment from 20 August until 10 November 2015. A total of 164 public submissions were received, many of which were comprehensive and detailed.
These submissions have now been reviewed by OEH. The comments made raised concerns about impacts on traffic and parking, the potential noise that could be generated by the proposal, visitor numbers, and the potential impacts on public access, among other issues.
OEH has requested that Gap Bluff Hospitality consider the issues raised in the submissions and modify its proposal. It is anticipated that a revised proposal will be available later this year.
The revised proposal and accompanying REF will be exhibited for further public comment. All submissions will be considered and a decision will then be made on whether the proposal should proceed in its current form, whether conditions should be applied, or whether it should not proceed.
If it is determined that the project may proceed, then statutory processes related to the grant of a lease under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 will be progressed. The final decision on whether to grant a lease remains with the Minister for the Environment.