Ultimo residents have voiced their anger over the large-scale, 20-hectare Darling Harbour Live development.
Some residents are concerned there is no proposal for a walkway directly connecting the CBD and Ultimo included in the $1 billion Darling Harbour makeover.
A public meeting was held at the Mustard Seed Uniting Church in Ultimo on Tuesday night, attended by representatives of the developer Lend Lease.
Yimmy Seifert, Chairperson of the Ultimo Village Voice, said the community is concerned about the proposal to build a wall several storeys high behind the International Convention Centre.
“We requested for an open exit between Ultimo and Darling Harbour,” she said. “This wall between Ultimo and Darling Harbour is actually contrary to what we have requested – we don’t want this wall.”
One resident went a step further, comparing the development to the Berlin Wall divide.
“On an everyday basis, not many people in Ultimo want to go to Darling Harbour,” said the resident. “A lot of people over here want to walk into town and we had a walkway some years ago, but that was destroyed.
“What we end up with is basically a Berlin Wall between us.”
But Dane Lalic, Lend Lease’s Site Manager, clarified that the wall would be built to screen the community from truck noise.
“That [wall] is basically between the Western Distributor and the monorail working deck,” he said.
“The trucks will unload into the exhibition halls and exits underneath the building … so you don’t even see the trucks but the lower exhibition halls will.”
The Darling Harbour Live development includes the biggest total meeting room space in Australia at 8,000 square metres, a new entertainment theatre, hotel complex, a creative district and increases the capacity of public space to allow for crowds of up to 27,000.
Construction begins late January next year.