A challenge to develop a superyacht marina at Berrys Bay on the north shore of Sydney Harbour, Australia, has entered another round – despite considerable opposition towards the project from local residents over the past eight years or more.
A report in The Sydney Morning Herald makes known the fact that a new application for an 84-berth facility for superyachts up to 45m (148ft) has been submitted by the Berrys Bay Marina Company. The development application has been lodged with the North Sydney Council, but no indication of when a decision would be taken made known.
The report details that the marina will include berths for two superyachts of 45m, seven of 35m (115ft) and 34 of 25m (82ft). There will also be a drystack for 70 craft.
Since about 2009 there have been various plans for a marina in Berrys Bay, with each one drawing a lot of local opposition.
The Herald report quotes local resident Bruce Donald as saying: "This proposal would have a major impact on Sydney Harbour and Berrys Bay and on residents. It would undermine the quiet charm of this treasured recreational area enjoyed by the people of Sydney and visitors."
In response, Russell McCart, managing director of the Berrys Bay Marina Company, rejected this view. “There has been a huge amount of compromise from the proposal that made us the preferred tenderer," he said, pointing to his company's efforts to preserve old buildings and turn one area to into park.
He added: “The bay had been used for industrial maritime purposes for more than 100 years and when the NSW government put the site up for tender a decade ago it did so for continuing maritime use.”
With Australia’s yachting industry in recovery mode and more superyachts and other smaller craft visiting Australia, Sydney has always been short of large yacht berthing capacity. A fact here is the 50m (164ft) air draught under the famous harbour bridge. Currently the main berthing for superyachts, up to a maximum of around 50m, is sited on the inland side of the bridge at Rozelle Bay. This is known as the Sydney Superyacht marina and it offers around a dozen such berths.
The latter also offers anchoring facilities ironically in Berrys Bay and in Snails Bay, which are both on the inland side of the bridge. There is also a berth for larger superyachts up to 90m in Campbells Cove, just on the seaward side of the bridge, but it is only one berth and is used by cruise ships as well as yachts.