Westmead South - Draft Master Plan


Phase 2 community engagement is focused on receiving feedback from the community on the draft Master Plan alongside a range of technical studies. Refer to timeline on the Have Your Say webpage to see where we are at in the process.

Council wants to hear from the community throughout the development of the Master Plan for Westmead South to help guide its progress and ensure it is appropriate for the long-term future of Westmead. Early community engagement is to be undertaken in the following phases: 

Phase 1 community engagement, which was undertaken in late 2022, sought feedback from the community on the draft Concept Land Use Plan. It was used to understand what people like about the Westmead South area as well as some of the challenges facing the community and local businesses. A range of community feedback was received and it gave us insight into the local  community’s aspirations for Westmead South, which has been considered in this draft Master Plan.

The current phase 2 community engagement seeks community feedback on the more detailed draft Master Plan to support future planning works in Westmead South.

Feedback from early community engagement activities will be used to understand community feedback on the draft Westmead South Master Plan, as well as some of the challenges facing the community and local businesses. 

Online tools such as interactive map and in-person sessions will provide us insights into the community’s aspirations. Feedback received during the community engagement period will help us  further refine the draft Master Plan.

A Master Plan is a document that guides future growth and in a specific area in the coming decades. 

A Master Plan has an important role in determining the look, feel and function of a specific area by covering elements like building heights, design, land use zones, new open space, community facilities, infrastructure, environment and heritage. 

Once adopted, a Master Plan guides changes to the planning controls that apply to properties in this area. 

A Master Plan can also act as an important advocacy tool to the NSW Government. It can inform the NSW Government the upcoming changes in our community for them to consider and deliver  new and upgraded community infrastructure, on a State level.

In 2022, the Department of Planning and Environment released the Westmead Place Strategy 2036. This document provides a vision for Westmead Precinct to be Australia’s premier Health and Innovation District – an ecosystem for new discoveries, economic growth and global recognition. 

Westmead South is one of seven (7) sub-precincts within the Westmead Place Strategy 2036 area.

Council is also preparing Master Plans for our Cumberland City’s key centres and corridors. The intent of the Master Plans is to locate a mix of homes close to jobs and high-frequency transport services. 

Westmead South is one of the first centres to commence in the new program of Master Plans across Cumberland City as it is poised to transform over the coming decades in response to the significant infrastructure investment in the area and its proximity to Parramatta CBD and the Westmead Health and Innovation District. 

A Master Plan for Westmead South is an essential part of managing change while preserving character and delivering amenity. If we plan for these things now, with good urban design principles and a clear strategy for growth we can ensure that Westmead South continues to be a place with the right balance of community, business, growth and culture. Without a Master Plan, growth occurs in an uncoordinated way.

For Westmead South, delivering a Master Plan is an important step that can help plan for future population growth, housing options, employment opportunities, transport connections and other local social and community infrastructure and amenities. 

Without a Master Plan for Westmead South, future growth would likely occur in an ad hoc way. Through this process, we are able to identify the infrastructure needs for the local area alongside future growth.

This planning work will also provide Council with a strong strategic basis to reject ad-hoc proposals that do not align with Council’s planning controls.

The draft Master Plan also aims to support improvements to Westmead South by:

  • Providing a range of housing options close to jobs and transport;
  • Raising the design standards of new buildings;
  • Improving the quality of the public domain;
  • Improving the way waste is managed and collected;
  • Enhancing open spaces and increase tree canopy; and
  • Celebrating heritage and character.

School Infrastructure NSW (SINSW), which is an NSW Government agency, delivers and looks after public schools in NSW.

Planning is underway for a new primary school in Westmead South. Further details will be shared with the community by School Infrastructure NSW as planning progresses. For enquiries, please contact School Infrastructure NSW at 1300 482 651 or schoolinfrastructure@det.nsw.edu.au.

The Master Plan will set the vision for the future of Westmead South and is the first step in a longer planning process. 

The Master Plan will inform future changes to planning controls in Westmead South. The Master Plan vision and planning control changes will be implemented through a formal Planning Proposal process, which will include additional opportunities for community consultation. 

The timeline outlined on the Have Your Say webpage provides more detail on the next steps of planning for Westmead South. For more information on the Planning Proposal Process, please 
visit the NSW Government page.

The draft Westmead South Master Plan on exhibition outlines the potential growth pattern and key features proposed for the area over the next 20+ years. This includes the new proposed heritage listings originally recommended in the Council-wide Comprehensive Heritage Study. We want to hear from you on the proposed heritage areas and listings with consideration of the peer review and potential changes in the broader Westmead South area.

Since the last round of heritage-related consultation in 2021, an independent heritage consultant had undertaken a peer review of the original study. As part of this peer review, there were several properties within Westmead South where the heritage value or contributory status was revised. A holistic consideration of the peer review, as part of the draft Westmead South Master Plan development, was recommended. From the original 11 items, only five (5) are currently proposed to progress, these include:

  • Inter-War Bungalow at 18 Austral Avenue (HS90)
  • ‘Deskford’ Victorian Gothic Residence at 41-43 Hawkesbury Road (HS95)
  • The Oakes Centre at 74 Hawkesbury Road (HS96)
  • St Barnabas Church and Hall at 75 Hawkesbury Road (HS97), and
  • Inter-War Bungalow at 74 Houison Street (HS100)

Six (6) previously proposed heritage items that will not be progressed at this stage include:

  • Post-War Bungalow at 30 Alexandra Avenue (HS89)
  • Austral Avenue Commission Housing Group at 45-51 Austral Avenue (HS91)
  • Post-War Austerity Style House at 33 Grand Avenue (HS92)
  • Inter-War Bungalow at 4 Cotswold Street (HS93)
  • Group of Inter-War Bungalows at 152-156 Hawkesbury Road (HS99)
  • Sacred Heart Primary School and Church at 12-14 Ralph Street (HS101)

The extension of Toohey’s Palm Estate Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) and proposed Westmead Estate Heritage Conservation Area are still recommended to progress. If a Heritage Conservation Area were not to proceed, a Special Character Area (SCA) may be applied.

A heritage listing is a way of giving public recognition to places of unique and/or important historic significance. New South Wales (NSW) has two main types of heritage listings. They are known as Heritage Items and Heritage Conservation Areas. A local heritage listing means that the item, building, or area is included in the Cumberland Local Environmental Plan 2021. This ensures recognition, celebration, and protection of the item, building, or area for future generations. This still allows for changes to the property, where appropriate, as outlined in the Cumberland Development Control Plan (DCP) 2021

A local Heritage Item is a building, structure, object, landscape or location which is considered to have local heritage value and historic significance (rather than statewide or national significance). Items could include a house, property, structure, tree, streetscape, monument, or public art

A Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) is an area which is considered to have local heritage value and historic significance (rather than state-wide or national significance). The proposed heritage conservation area will represent a common style of architecture or streetscape that has heritage value and historic significance

No changes are proposed to remove listing for existing Heritage Items or Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) within Westmead.

Both the NSW Government’s Westmead Place Strategy and Council’s own heritage reports have identified the heritage significance of some properties and areas within Westmead South that should be considered for formal recognition to protect the suburb’s unique character for future generations.

The Westmead inventory sheets with the details of the heritage characteristics are on Council’s Have Your Say website.

In 2016, Council resolved to undertake a heritage study on the whole local government area and subsequently engaged a heritage consultant to conduct the review.

The consultant followed a process outlined in the Assessing Heritage Significance Guideline that was developed by Heritage NSW. The standard criteria used for heritage significance assessment in New South Wales as well as the Burra Charter. The process pulls together the supporting evidence to determine if a place meets the thresholds for heritage listing, typically in the form of a heritage study.

The heritage study was publicly exhibited in mid-2021 to allow the community to have a say in which items and places are eventually heritage listed. In response to community feedback, a further peer review of the original heritage study was undertaken by a different heritage consultant.

Determining heritage significance is a complex and lengthy process by professionals with expertise in heritage conservation. Only when there is clear evidence of heritage significance can a place be considered for heritage listing.

The NSW Government’s Westmead Place Strategy has identified the area as a Character Investigation Area that should be considered for a Heritage Conservation Area. The history of this area includes the following:

  • Post war period – 1948 Housing Commission Estate Development.
  • Subject to an international design competition in 1944 to inform the estate’s design.

The history of Westmead South will be recognised as an important part of New South Wales cultural heritage.  Local listings will also promote and acknowledge areas within the suburb as a significant cultural asset for the Cumberland community.  

A local listing may also provide increased protection against inappropriate development and better retain the area’s historic character, streetscapes, landscapes, amenity and lifestyle. Inclusion on the local heritage register through promotion and identification can also benefit the local economy of Westmead South as a key area in NSW.

You can continue using your property the same way you are now. Heritage listing does not mean restricting how a place is used. Future changes to the ‘use’ and building may need approval and be sympathetic to the heritage character.

Future development opportunities for the properties depend on a number of factors, please refer to the following FAQs below as relevant:

  • What does the Westmead Estate Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) mean for my property?
  • Can I make alterations or demolish a building in a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) or that is a Heritage Item?
  • Does heritage listing reduce development potential or property value?

Development potential and property value varies for all sites for a variety of reasons. A heritage Local Listing still allows for changes to the building and property as outlined in the Cumberland Development Control Plan (DCP) 2021. A summary table is provided in ‘What is the alternative, if the Westmead Estate is not listed as a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA)?’.

Prior identification of the heritage significance of a place can help make the development and sale process smoother and can make a property more attractive for some buyers. In some areas of Sydney, heritage dwellings are considered quite desirable.

The Cumberland Local Environmental Plan (CLEP) 2021 and the heritage controls contained in the Cumberland Development Control Plan (CDCP) 2021 provide more detailed guidance for development of heritage listings.

Cumberland City Council is able to approve a range of works to a property that is a local item and/or within an a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA). CLEP and CDCP 2021 allow a range of alterations and additions to heritage listings which can include first floor additions, rear extensions, and secondary dwellings, where these works do not detract from the significance of the Heritage Item or Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) and do not demolish important heritage elements. Each development application (DA) would be individually assessed to ensure compliance or reviewed on a merit-based approach of the planning controls. Non-contributory houses (houses with no heritage value) in a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) may be able to be completely demolished.

For more information on existing planning controls that apply to your property please call 8757 9000 to talk to a duty planner or engage a private town planner.

For more information about the proposed planning controls, please contact the Urban Strategy and Planning Team on 8757 9000 to discuss further.

There is likely little impact to your property of the proposed extension to this Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) as no new properties are to be included.

The location of the Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) in front of your property will likely have minimal impact, except requiring its retention and the provision of sympathetic design.

For all the properties in the proposed Westmead Estate HCA, Council is not currently proposing changes to the zoning, height or Floor Space Ratio (FSR).

Further to this, within any Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) there are two (2) types of properties – contributory and non-contributory.

Non-contributory dwelling means a building or building element that detracts from the significant character of the Heritage Conservation Area (HCA). If your property is classified as non-contributory, you still will have the opportunity to knock-down and rebuild on your property through a development application (DA) process.

Contributory dwelling may not be individually listed as an individual Heritage Item but, by virtue of their character, age, scale, materials, details, design style or intactness, make a significant heritage contribution to the character of the Heritage Conservation Area (HCA).

If your property is considered a contributory item, you are still able to develop the property through a development application (DA) process. However, there would be restrictions on demolition and potential impacts to the streetscape. A contributory item in the proposed Westmead Estate Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) is expected to allow the following potential developments (where compliant with all local or state policies):

  • Re-paint
  • Construct a secondary dwelling (eg. granny flat)
  • Renovations and rear extension (including double storey components)

Please refer to the online map that identifies which properties are considered to be contributory or non-contributory to the Westmead Estate Heritage Conservation Area (HCA).

If you have any further queries about potential heritage queries, please reach out to the Urban Strategy and Planning Team on 8757 9000 to discuss or organise a oneon-one discussion.

If a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) were not to proceed, a Special Character Area (SCA) may be applied. A Special Character Area (SCA) is defined as a ‘well defined precinct that has been identified as having a special character and level of residential amenity that should be preserved. They were generally built over a relatively short period of time and have retained a consistency of design, materials and scale. Special Character Areas can be attributed to built form and also to subdivision pattern.’ This would mean for property owners that there would be no Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) applied; however, a specialised site specific Development Control Plan (DCP) would be progressed to inform any future developments and protect the local area.

A comparison of current planning controls for Westmead South, for the proposed Heritage Conservation Area and an alternative Special Character Area can be found outlined in the document library.