An artist's impression of The Star Sydney's proposed six-star Pyrmont hotel.

The Star Sydney is gearing up for the development of a six-star Pyrmont hotel and entertainment precinct after the NSW Government last week cleared the way for the proposed site.

As part of a 20-year framework to revitalise the Pyrmont area and drive visitation, the state government has made changes to planning rules that will allow The Star to enter a development application and approvals process to build a 105-metre hotel, new theatres and a rooftop dining area.

The Star Sydney’s recently-appointed CEO, Scott Wharton, welcomed the decision saying it supports The Star’s ambition to become ‘Australia’s leading tourism and entertainment destination’.

“It represents a huge step forward to eventually realising what have been long held ambitions to increase our tourism and entertainment offerings while creating jobs and delivering other significant economic and community benefits,” Wharton said in a post on Linkedin.

“This means that The Star could in the future with the necessary approvals add a new luxury hotel – it would be the property’s fourth – to its suite of award-wining accommodation offerings, expand its dining portfolio with rooftop dining experiences and additional theatres to complement the Sydney Lyric Theatre.”

Wharton believes that the addition of these new entertainment venues will draw more visitors to the city and help support the arts industry’s COVID recovery.

“Not only would a buzzing theatre precinct such as this be a wonderful asset for Sydney, attracting both international and local productions and advancing the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene, it would also act as a catalyst to create more jobs and further support the state’s tourism sector,” he said.

In 2020, The Star’s hotel proposal was evaluated to be aligned with the strategic intent of the Pyrmont Peninsula Place Strategy, subject to certain requirements, including a maximum height of 105 metres so that it would not overshadow public and open spaces.

During public consultation, government found that business and industry groups mostly supported The Star’s hotel proposal and the economic opportunities it could bring, while many residents and community groups objected due to concerns around building height, overshadowing and wind impacts.

On announcing the planning changes that will facilitate four major sites within the Pyrmont Peninsula, NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts recognised the ‘significant potential’ of the area and the economic opportunities that lie ahead as a result of new developments.

“We’re giving industry and the community the certainty they need to bring to life incredible new assets, including an Indigenous residential college at the University of Technology Sydney, and The Star’s planned six-star hotel which will be located next to a proposed new theatre, as well as new dining and retail spaces,” said Roberts.

“This milestone means we have completed the first stage of implementing our 20-year strategy, which aims to unlock 23,000 new jobs and 4,000 new homes for the area.”

The planning changes also support the introduction of two sites for the new Sydney Metro Station, one of which includes an integrated tower.

The Star is currently awaiting the findings from the Bell Review, an independent review of processes at The Star Casino, which are expected next month. The review considers how effectively The Star is complying with its statutory obligations and whether it remains suitable to hold a casino licence.