Facilities Improvement

at Gladesville Bridge Marina

Gladesville Bridge Marina is proposing an improvement to its facility to accommodate the growing demands of Sydney’s waterways

In Sydney’s harbour and waterways there are more boats than ever before, and facilities to support these boats are diminishing.

This has led to unprecedented demand for permanent berths that support an increasing variety of boat sizes – particularly from boat users that do not live on the waterfront and require marinas to store their boats.

Our proposal is the first major upgrade to Gladesville Bridge Marina in 20 years, and will improve the existing structure to better meet these needs.

Currently, the marina can provide storage for 99 vessels. After the proposed upgrade, the marina will be able to provide overall storage for 126 vessels, comprised of 15 swing moorings and 111 floating berths.

You can see renders of the proposed configuration below.

The specific works include:

  • Removal of 29 existing moorings and retention of 15 existing swing moorings
  • Construction of 61 new floating berth spaces of varying sizes, that increases the number of floating berths from 50 to 111
  • Cessation of slipway activities
  • Demolition of the slipway rails and demolition of the internal office mezzanine structure within the covered slipway area
  • Provision of 6 new valet car parking spaces within the existing slipway area
  • Beautification of the waste storage area in Howley Park.

View the Development Application, Environmental Impact Statement and other associated reports here

The proposal has been met with pushback from some members of the community who live in immediate proximity to the marina.

This webpage has been developed to help effectively engage with both the local and wider community and explain the development in more detail.

Proposed draft configuration

As identified in the Sydney Harbour Boat Storage Strategy 2013 (the Strategy), there is insufficient storage for a variety of boat sizes in Sydney Harbour, particularly for vessels greater than 25m Length Overall (LOA).

This is especially the case for waterways west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Strategic Review (Chapters 4 and 5, Ninesquared, 2019) supports the findings in the Strategy, and provides detailed demand analysis and information about how our proposal focuses on meeting that demand.

The Marina Berth Demand Assessment (Australian Marina Management Pty Ltd – marina consultants, 2019), notes that:

[GBM] has remained in its present configuration since it was updated in 1999 and is no longer able to meet current demand for on-water storage of larger sized vessels in the Parramatta River and in Sydney Harbour generally.

GBM’s proposal will provide berth spaces ranging in sizes to suit vessels from 10m up to 45m.

Environmental Impact Statement

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) provides a comprehensive description of the project’s environmental, social and economic impacts. It includes detailed information on the project scope and design plans.

It is structured in sections as follows and should be read in conjunction with the supporting information and plans appended to and accompanying the EIS:
Section 1 – Introduction: provides an overview of the proposed development including background, objectives and analysis of alternatives; details the SEARs and statutory requirements and identifies the project team.
Section 2 – Site analysis: provides a description of the local context, the site and surrounding development.
Section 3 – Description of the development: provides a description of the proposal.
Section 4 – Consultation: Outlines the consultation undertaken prior to and during the preparation of this EIS.
Section 5 – Statutory and strategic context: provides a detailed review of the proposal against the relevant planning policies and controls.
Section 6 – Environmental assessment: provides an in-depth assessment of the existing environment, potential impacts and the mitigation measures for each environmental consideration.
Section 7 – Mitigation measures: provides a list of recommendations and mitigation measures based on the technical studies undertaken.
Section 8 – Justification for the proposal: outlines the justification behind the proposal based on the assessment within this EIS.
Section 9 – Conclusion

The appendices to the EIS include copies of all the specialist reports as well as the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (1268) (SEARs). The appendices are structured as follows:
A Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (1268), Department of Planning and Environment
B Architectural Drawings, GHD
C Marina Drawings, GHD
D Marina Demand Study, Australian Marina Management Pty Ltd
E Marina Strategic Review, NineSquared
F Marine Safety and Navigation Report, Navcon
G Contamination Investigation, Zoic
H Supplementary Report on Contamination Investigation, Marine Pollution Research
I Geotechnical Report, GHD
J Marine Ecology Study, Marine Pollution Research
K Wave Climate Report, Metocean
L Foreshore Geomorphology Report, RHDVH
M Stormwater Management Plan, RHDHV
N Sediment Management Plan, RHDHV
O Water Management Report, GHD
P Noise and Vibration Assessment, Pulse Acoustic
Q Air Quality Assessment Report, GHD
R Greenhouse Gas Assessment Report, GHD
S Construction Management Plan, SMC
T Hazardous and Offensive Development Study, GHD
U Traffic and Transport Study, CBRK
V Waste Management Plan, SLR
W Visual Impact Assessment, ARPL
X Lighting Assessment Report, SLR
Y Heritage Impact Assessment, NBRS Architecture
Z Social Impact Assessment, GHD
AA Community Consultation Report, GHD

The Gladesville Bridge Marina site has delivered crucial boat storage and repair facilities for almost 100 years

After the new Gladesville Bridge was completed in 1964, and with boating demand increasing, the marina slowly expanded, so that by the late 1980’s the marina could store up to 99 boats.

In 1999 the marina structure was again expanded to what it is today with 50 berths, and during the 2000 Sydney Olympics it even had some super yachts temporarily berthed.

Now, another 20 years later, there is an increased need for expanded facilities to support Sydney’s growing boating community.

Why is this development important?

Over two million people go boating a year in NSW. It is a healthy recreational activity.

Marinas allow access to the water for everyone, instead of just those fortunate enough to live on the foreshore.

The government does not build marinas; instead, it allows private enterprise to develop facilities in the best interests of Sydney, within government dictated boundaries.

Many other Sydney facilities are an attractive investment for overseas companies, however Gladesville Bridge Marina is owned by a local company with a life-long passion for Sydney’s waterways, and primarily cares for boats used by locals or those that live further west.

This extension is good for the environment:

  • GBM was one of the first ‘Fish Friendly’ marinas and one of the early accredited Clean Marinas.
  • GBM has also signed the ‘no plastic bags’ pledge.
  • Once this development is approved the slipway will be removed. Slipways are one of Sydney waterway’s main environmental risks.
  • In addition, the large slipway bins will also be removed. Boat owners use wheelie bins instead.
  • The marina extension will further reduce erosion of the waterway. The extension and vessels are expected to provide additional wave sheltering to the shoreline directly behind the proposed extension, similar to the existing marina.

The proposed marina extension also frees up at least one hectare of the harbour, as pictured below. The expansion will remove many of the existing swing moorings, and instead increase the number permanent berths – which use the existing available water space much more efficiently.

The proposed changes will not ‘narrow’ the waterway as the marina will still be operating within its existing water lease.

Care has also been taken to make the marina visually pleasing, with the layout and the positioning of the larger vessels.

The marina wants to work with the community and the authorities for better outcomes for both the local community as well as greater Sydney.

Community FAQ

What is the proposal?

The extension will:

  1. Increase overall storage for vessels from 99 to 126 storage spaces. The total increase is 27 vessels.
  2. Re-design the marina structure to increase storage from 50 to 111 boats on the marina floating pontoons.
  3. Retain 15 commercial swing moorings.
  4. Remove the slipway and associated slipway infrastructure, to increase our car parking spaces.
  5. Beautification of the waste storage area in Howley Park.
  6. Improvements to the marina amenities.

The below image represents the updated design.

What is the likely timeline for the development application?

It’s hard to tell, but if the Canada Bay Council recommends it, it will be considered by the Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel.

It the Panel approves it, work may start in the first half of 2021.

However, if the Panel’s decision is appealed it will go to the Land and Environment Court, which may take until mid-2021.

I live nearby, but not on the waterfront – what’s in it for me?

If you ever have a boat, there will be an increased chance you’ll be able to rent a berth. This is a significant advantage, because berths in Sydney, unfortunately, are at a premium.

The biggest group of berth customers (renters) live nearby: of the current berths, 20% are rented by people who live in Drummoyne, 25% live in the region bounded by Woolwich, Balmain, Concord and Gladesville. An additional 36% live west of the marina and 19% live east (figures are approximate).

Howley Park will be beautified.

There is the potential to improve the kiosk to provide a better amenity that can be use by our local community.

Improved access to the main channel under a gangway, designed especially with local kayakers and other craft like paddle boards in mind. We would love to hear more from the community about what other amenity we could provide for these type of passive craft.

I live on the waterfront with a private jetty – what’s the impact for me?

Your view changes as the marina extends east towards the Gladesville Bridge. Care has been taken to distribute the boats to optimise views of the main channel and the Gladesville Bridge.

Availability of contractors to service your vessel will continue.

Another hectare of waterway will be freed up by released swing moorings.

I’m a boat owner in Sydney – what’s in it for me?

If you live in western Sydney, closer access of a top-quality marina with high environmental standards.

I’m a kayaker – what’s in it for me?

A waterway that’s more sheltered by the extended marina.

Improved access to the main channel under a gangway, designed especially with local kayakers and other craft like paddle boards in mind.

We would love to hear more from the community about what other amenities we could provide for these types of passive craft.

How will you manage the view with more boats?

We are conscious that this is a concern for some neighbours. Our design is using space more efficiently and has opened up the marina, providing new views of the Harbour and the Gladesville Bridge.

The proposal is the product of multiple adjustments to the alignment and length of the berthing arms, and the alignment and size of proposed vessels, to minimise the potential for loss of water views.

The harbour is already too full; how will you manage the extra boats?

We know that some people are worried about over-development in Sydney Harbour. Our design, while increasing the number of boats stored, is using the minimum space to do so.

The development liberates a hectare of space for traffic. This is because we are replacing swing moorings which take a lot of space, with berths, which don’t.

Marinas are the most efficient ways of storing boats, using space more efficiently than swing moorings, as well as most private waterfront property boating infrastructure such as jetties, boatsheds and mooring piles.

How are you going to stop any noise with extra boats?

Any offensive noise is unacceptable, and marina patrons must comply with relevant legislation and regulations.

GBM has a noise management plan and is responsible for controlling noise from boats berthed or moored at the marina, and other users of the marina, and our marina manager is available to respond to noise issues at any time.

The slipway operations are ceasing and noise from slipway activities will cease. For any work undertaken at the marina, including on berthed and moored vessels, GBM will continue requiring that staff, contractors and customers keep noise to a minimum at all times.

What are you going to do about all the extra cars that need to park here?

We know this is an issue for people living nearby on Victoria Place.

Our proposed upgraded marina configuration should, under almost all conditions, provide available on-site parking to boat owners, reducing the pressure on on-street parking.

Currently, the marina provides storage for 99 vessels and has approval for 11 on-site car park spaces.

As part of our DA, a Traffic and Transport Study was conducted, as recommended in the Draft Australian Standard, AS 3962 (Marina Design) and other relevant documents. This study surveyed the site, looking at traffic flow, parking conditions, public transport accessibility, etc. This study, alongside other previous surveys of the site, found there could be parking demand of up to 0.15 spaces per berth, which the current configuration of the site does not satisfy. Hence the current pressure on on-street parking.  – Section 2.8 of the Traffic/Parking Study suggest that on-street parking issue is generally unrelated to the marina as the surveys found on-street parking in the northern part of Victoria Place is generally well used, while parking spaces were always available at the marina on all survey days.

Our proposed changes will provide storage for an additional 31 vessels, and 8 additional car park spaces, bringing the total up to 19. This is a marginal expansion of boat capacity compared to the much larger expansion of car park availability (per berth). It brings our proposed car park availability in line with the peak levels of demand surveyed, and means that under almost all conditions, we should be able to provide on-site parking.

At peak times, the marina will offer customers a valet system of parking.

Contractors working on the marina may require parking during working hours when there is available street parking as people are at work.

The proposal will make it harder for kayaker, paddle boards and other craft

That’s wrong – we’re making it easier.

There will be a passage for kayakers under the gangway.

The marina will provide shelter for kayakers south of the facility.

There are fewer swing moorings which are a potential hazard for kayakers.

The current and expanded structure minimises some of the wave impacts closer to the shore.

Approximately one hectare extra of water will be freed up as a result of the design.

The extra boats will create a safety issue

Not true. Safety is our chief concern at Gladesville Bridge Marina

To account for additional movements, there will be a holding area in the vicinity of the marina, to give skippers a chance to observe the waterway and proceed when it is safe to do so

Our navigation specialist has also drafted Safe Operating Procedures (SOPS). The SOPS provide clients and guests with specific guidelines on how to operate in the confines of the Marina and how to integrate into the broader channel

The removal of 29 swing moorings should allow an actual widening of the channel, although the number of swing moorings is decided by Transport for NSW (Martime).

With more boats there is going to be more rubbish

Wrong. There will be less rubbish because the slipway operation, which generates most rubbish, will be ceasing.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like further clarification, please call us on 1800 810 680 or email us at communityinput@gbmarina.com.au.