The future of Sydney’s beyond-iconic Luna Park – which has been open and operating since 1935 – is under severe threat according to its owner, thanks to a court ruling that puts the park at the mercy of noise complaints from nearby residents.

The story goes that ownership announced a $20 million overhaul and upgrade to the park last year, which included plans for six new rides to be installed.

But after lodging a construction certificate for one of the rides – the Flying Carousel – the park was denied permission to build it by the certifying authority, who was suddenly unsure whether “the development consents authorise the installation of new rides.”

Luna Park officials then subsequently took NSW planning minister Anthony Roberts to court over the issue, arguing that the planning consents very much did give the park the authority to install new rides should they wish to.

The court, however, sided with Roberts, who argued that the Luna Park’s assertions that they could replace non-heritage rides without submitting individual development applications and an acoustic plan of management.

The ruling means that the park will, effectively, have to submit a development proposal every time they wish to install a new ride or move a pre-existing one. As part of that process, complaints about noise from nearby residents will have to be considered.

Luna Park managing director Peter Hearne asserted this puts the long-term future of the park in significant jeopardy.

We are deeply disappointed by this decision, which places a big question mark over the long-term viability of one of Sydney’s best-known and most-loved destinations. This is a terrible outcome not just for Luna Park but for Sydney.

The park attracts roughly 1 million visitors per year, and was added to the Heritage Register in 2010.

The Department of Planning and Environment has stated it will “review” the court’s decision, with regard to the impact it might have on future planning decisions and processes for the park.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Image: Getty Images / Caroline McCredie