Westmead South Concept Land Use


A master plan is a document that guides future growth and change in a centre over the coming decades.

A master plan has an important role in determining the look, feel and function of a centre 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.

For Westmead South this would be an important step to 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.

The aim of a Master Plan is to improve the quality of development, ensure local businesses are supported, and create places the community can be proud of.  This planning work will provide Council with a strong strategic basis to reject ad-hoc proposals that do not align with Council’s planning controls.

The plan will improve the look and feel of the area 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.

Council is preparing planning frameworks for our Local Government Area (LGA)’s key centres.

A Master Plan for this area 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.

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.

The intent of the master plan is to locate a mix of homes close to jobs and high-frequency transport services.

The draft Westmead South Structure Plan is the first step in Council’s strategic planning pathway to guide the development of the Westmead South in the medium to long term.

No. This early engagement phase is focused on gathering ideas from the community to help develop 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 Consultation is to be undertaken in the following phases:

Phase one (1) Early Community Consultation will seek feedback from the community on the Concept Land Use Plan and to understand what people like about the Westmead South area as well as some of the challenges facing the community and local businesses. Online engagement, drop in face-to-face sessions and community surveys will give us insight into the local community’s aspirations for Westmead South, which can be considered in the Master Plan.

Phase two (2) of the Westmead South Early Community Consultation will use the feedback from the community to prepare a more detailed draft masterplan and planning controls to support future development in the area.

Feedback from early community consultation activities will be used to understand what people like about the Westmead South area as well as some of the challenges facing the community and local businesses.

Additional feedback will be sought from the community once the draft master plan has been prepared. Once it is ready, Council will exhibit the Master Plan, allowing the community to provide feedback on the master plan.

The Master Plan will set the vision for the future of Westmead South and is the first step in a longer planning process. The timeline provides more detail on the next steps of planning for Westmead South.

This planning work will inform future changes to planning controls in Westmead South which will be implemented through a formal Planning Proposal process. The Planning Proposal process will include additional opportunities for community consultation.

The Concept Land Use Plan for Westmead South on exhibition outlines the potential growth pattern and key features proposed for the area over the next 20 years. This includes the new heritage listings originally proposed in the
Council-wide Comprehensive Heritage Study.

Following initial community consultation, all of the proposed new or extended heritage listings and conservation areas in Westmead are now being considered holistically as part of the Master Plan development to balance the long-term needs of the community in context with the NSW Government’s Westmead Place Strategy.

Since the last round of consultation, an independent heritage consultant has undertaken a peer review of the original study. 

We want to hear from you on the proposed heritage items and conservation areas with consideration of the peer review and potential changes in the broader Westmead South area.

Both the NSW Government’s draft 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.

Formal recognition of the suburb’s special significance to the history of Sydney settlement and development will 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.

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 is informed by post war period
Housing Commission Estate Development, which was subject to an international design competition in 1944 to inform the estate’s design.

In addition to the above reasons, Council’s comprehensive heritage study and subsequent peer review identified the following:

  • The brick houses within this estate demonstrate the ideals of the Housing Commission which were to build comfortable and well-appointed dwellings within the resources and capacity of the state following World War II.
  • The intended design for this estate was as a ‘garden city.’ This is captured in the street pattern which is aesthetically significant as it is centrally located around the MJ Bennett Reserve park.
  • A unique ‘post war’ development that was specifically designed to take advantage of undeveloped land in the promising suburb of Westmead.

The history of Westmead 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’s town centre as a key precinct for the State.

Please note that if your property is listed as a contributory item, you may be eligible for funding to repair and maintain your property through Council’s Local Heritage Rebate Program.

A heritage listing is a way of giving public recognition to places of unique and/or important historic significance. New South Wales has two main types of heritage listings. They are known as (i) heritage items and (ii) heritage conservation areas.

Listing means that the item, building, or area is included in the Cumberland Local Environmental Plan. This ensures recognition, celebration, and protection of the item, building, or area for future generations.

Please note that if your property is listed, you may be eligible for funding to repair and maintain your property through Council’s Heritage Rebates and Awards programs.

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 state-wide or national significance). Items could include a house, property, structure, tree, streetscape, monument, or public art.

A heritage conservation area 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.

Within the Westmead Estate HCA this includes the street pattern, buildings (that are considered contributory), streetscapes and parks which retain much of their original design. It was created in 1948 as a Housing Commission Estate Development that was the subject of an international design competition.

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’ 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 HCA mean for my property?
  • Can I make alterations or demolish a building in a heritage conservation area 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.

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 (both proposed items and HCAs).

Cumberland City Council is able to approve a range of works to a property that is a local item and/or within an 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 HCA and do not demolish important heritage elements. Each 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 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 Council on 8757 9000 to discuss further.

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

The location of the 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 density. Further to this, within any HCA there are 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. If your property is classified as non-contributory, you still will have the opportunity to knock-down and rebuild on your property through a 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.

If your property is considered a contributory item, you are still able to develop the property through a DA process. However, there would be restrictions on demolition and potential impacts to the streetscape. A contributory item in the proposed Westmead Estate 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 flats)
  • Renovations and rear extension (including double storey components)

Please note that if your property is listed as a contributory item, you may be eligible for funding to repair and maintain your property through Council’s Local Heritage Rebate Program.

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

If you have any further queries about potential heritage queries, please reach out to Council on 8757 9000 to discuss or organise a meeting.

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 Westmead Estate area would remain a low density area due to the significant cultural history of this area and to provide a range of housing types in Westmead South.

If a Heritage Conservation Area where not to proceed, a Special Character Area (SCA) may be applied. An 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 increase in planning controls here as shown in the table below and a specialised site specific DCP would be progressed to inform any future developments and protect the local area.

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