The deadline has passed for City of Canada Bay residents in Sydney’s inner-west to either support a proposed marina expansion below Gladesville Bridge – or join the growing chorus of community opposition.

Located on the Parramatta River, the Gladesville Bridge Marina has operated as a boat shed, slipway and storage facility for almost a century.

But some of those services would cease under a Development Application lodged by Motor Yacht Marine Holdings, which is a company owned by Sydney’s wealthy Sutton family, 

The $7.75m proposal is to increase the number of floating berths from 50 to 115, while retaining 15 swing moorings – allowing for overall storage of 130 vessels.  The planned expansion has met strong opposition from many members of the Drummoyne and Gladesville community who fear the loss of community access and an increase in “super yachts” on the narrow stretch of water.

(Photo: William Owens)

The Save the Gladesville Bridge Waterway group has been petitioning against the DA. Its president Graeme MacLaren, said the alterations would “completely take over the residential bay.”

“This is a marina at the end of its lease and the community can’t understand how the Government could allow [it] to remain, let alone take up more precious public parkland and public waterway,” he said.

While the DA has been lodged with the City of Canada Bay Council, the fact it is considered regionally significant means it will be assessed by the Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel.

Councillors have echoed the community’s concern and last week voted unanimously for Mayor Angelo Tsirekas to write to the relevant NSW Government departments.

In a statement read at the February 18 meeting, Cr Tsirekas described the proposal as a “scar on the face of our beautiful waterway.”

“It will reduce the liveability of our local area, threaten our local heritage and will result in the loss of local jobs,” he said.

“I have real concerns about its unacceptable visual impact… the City of Canada Bay area is defined by the Parramatta River, and Council is investing significant resources into making Parramatta River swimmable again.

“It is clear that this… is the wrong place to base such a significant marina, but this is not just about us and our local area. This proposal will have Sydney-wide implications by continuing to impact ferry services and detracting from the State heritage listed Gladesville Bridge”.

Gladesville Bridge Marina manager Matthew Hundleby disagrees. In an emailed statement, he argues there will be no issue for ferries or other vessels; “… as we are liberating over a hectare of water and there is the potential for the department to widen the channel.”

A statement on the marina’s website explains that part of the proposal’s objective is to; “provide a modern marina with a 21st century land water interface, to reflect the trends in boating and the community.”

The full development application and details about where to lodge a submission can be found on the council website.

— William Owens @WilliamJOw3ns