Bank Street Park, Blackwattle Bay
Statement of Heritage Impact
Heritage Interpretation Framework
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment
Historical Archaeological Assessment
Maritime Archaeological Assessment
Infrastructure NSW commissioned GML to provide a range of heritage services to support a State Significant Development Application (SSDA) for the Bank Street Park, a new waterfront public park within Blackwattle Bay.
Blackwattle Bay (Tjerruing) is an exciting urban renewal opportunity that will transform over 10 hectares of industrial land into a sustainable world-class harbourfront destination. The urban renewal will transform the area into a connected and dynamic cultural, residential, commercial and civic hub.
The NSW Government is prioritising delivery of Bank Street Park, a 1.1-hectare waterside park that surrounds the southern pylons of the ANZAC Bridge. The new park will celebrate First Nations living culture together with its harbourside location and maritime history.
Infrastructure NSW engaged GML to provide heritage advice into the concept design for the park and to prepare a suite of built and archaeological heritage assessments to accompany the Bank Street Park’s development application. These included preliminary heritage assessment, a statement of heritage impact, a preliminary heritage interpretation framework, an Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment report, a historical archaeological assessment, and a maritime archaeological assessment (prepared by Comber Consultants).
GML’s rapid heritage assessment of the remnant maritime industrial buildings at the site and collaboration with the design team identified a range of opportunities and constraints for the park. GML’s early advice ensured the design achieved a balance between acknowledging the sites significant maritime industrial history and the creation of a high-quality public domain. The Bank Street Park design now proposes the adaptive re-use of one remnant building and the creation of an interpretation garden using the fabric of another, simultaneously reducing the project’s heritage impacts and achieving its project objectives.
GML’s assessment of the site determined that there was potential for both Aboriginal and historical archaeological remains to survive and we prepared archaeological research designs for an archaeological testing program. The archaeological investigations, undertaken with representatives from registered Aboriginal parties, confirmed the identification of a previously identified area of PAD (areas with archaeological potential to yield further Aboriginal heritage objects), as well as the potential for additional areas of PAD, and Aboriginal cultural values associated with the site. The testing program also revealed historical archaeological remains associated with the development of the site from the c1840s, including evidence of the historic quarrying and reclamation of Blackwattle Bay, as well as structural features associated with former timber stores and yards.
The Bank Street Park proposed design will be on public exhibition until 1 February 2024. The community is invited to have their say on the new design. Submissions must be made to the Department directly via the Major Projects planning portal.
Header image: Oculus/C+T/Greenaway Architects + Greenshoot Consulting