On 6 May 2022, the Department of Planning finalised the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal (CBD PP) process by publishing the final instrument, referred to as Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2011 (Amendment No 56) – now referred to as the City Centre LEP.

The finalisation of the City Centre LEP is a significant milestone in the growth and evolution of our CBD after many years of research, strategic planning and stakeholder consultation.

Accessing historical CBD Planning Proposal documents

The documents situated under the heading, 'Planning proposal documentation', constitute the CBD Planning Proposal and its supporting documents as exhibited from September to November 2020.

To access the planning proposal documentation as submitted to the Department for finalisation purposes on 1 July 2021, head to our Parramatta CBD Planning webpage at: Parramatta CBD | City of Parramatta (nsw.gov.au).

To access the City Centre LEP instrument - Local Environmental Plan 2011 (Amendment No 56) – head to our Parramatta CBD Planning webpage at: Parramatta CBD | City of Parramatta (nsw.gov.au).

Public exhibition of the CBD Planning Proposal

Despite the exhibition period concluding in late November 2020, the exhibition materials are still available for viewing under the 'Planning proposal documentation' heading on this page. Here you will also find a Community Summary Sheet which summarised the exhibited version of the Planning Proposal in plain English. Answers to frequently asked questions are also available by scrolling further down the page. However, given the changes to the City Centre LEP by the Department, much of this material no longer reflects the finalised City Centre LEP.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact Council using the details below:

Name Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal Team
Phone 02 9806 5050
Email parracbdplanning@cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au

Register your interest

We encourage you to register your interest to receive electronic notice of future related exhibitions.

Frequently asked questions

A “Planning Proposal” is a document that explains proposed changes to land use planning controls that are found in a Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and sets out the justification for those changes. Controls in an LEP include such things as land use zones, building heights, floor space ratios, parking rates, flood risk management controls and also heritage protections. A Planning Proposal sets out how the controls are proposed to change, for example by increasing building heights or floor space ratios to allow for more development in a particular area.

The Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal seeks to amend the planning controls for the Parramatta CBD as they currently apply in the Parramatta LEP 2011. The proposed draft changes will deliver an extra 50,000 jobs and 14,000 dwellings over the next 40 years within the CBD. In order to provide for this growth, the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal seeks to:

  • Expand the Commercial Core to provide for long-term employment opportunities and enable corporate organisations to locate in Parramatta;
  • Increase floor space ratios and height controls to provide for high quality office and mixed-use tower development across the CBD, subject to the development providing community infrastructure (in the case of mixed-use tower development) and meeting other design criteria;
  • Protect sunlight access to important open spaces and public domain areas in and surrounding the CBD by limiting building heights around these spaces to minimise overshadowing during the colder parts of the year;
  • Promote best practice environmental sustainability in new development, including dual piping, water and energy use standards, reducing on-site car parking, and also requiring bicycle parking and end-of-journey facilities (such as showers and change rooms);
  • Recognise the importance of Parramatta’s heritage and ensure new development demonstrates an appropriate relationship to heritage items and conservation areas in and surrounding the CBD while preserving existing controls to the land within the Park Edge Highly Sensitive Area and Parramatta Park;
  • Promote design excellence in new development by offering incentives where an applicant undertakes a competitive design process for the development;
  • Manage the risk to property and life through building design to enable people to shelter-in-place and/or safely evacuate from the building in the event of a flood.

The Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal is one part of a package of proposed policy changes, which also include a review to the Development Control Plan and the Infrastructure Funding Framework for the CBD (such as contributions plans and planning agreements). These documents together with an Integrated Transport Plan, will be subject to separate public consultation in the future. Register your interest to receive electronic notice of these future exhibitions by emailing parracbdplanning@cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au

Parramatta CBD is currently undergoing a significant transformation. Strategically located within Sydney’s Central City and near the geographic centre of metropolitan Sydney, Parramatta CBD performs key economic, social and cultural roles, particularly for Western Sydney, which is home to nearly half of Sydney’s population. The importance of the Parramatta CBD will increase as Western Sydney’s population grows, and transport improvements connect people faster to the Parramatta CBD.

The Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal will deliver a new planning framework to facilitate and strengthen the vision for Parramatta’s CBD. The new framework is guided by a number of key documents such as Council’s Parramatta CBD Planning Strategy (2015) and Local Strategic Planning Statement (2020), and also the Greater Sydney Commission’s Greater Sydney Region Plan – A Metropolis of Three Cities and the Central City District Plan.

Development in the Parramatta CBD is accelerating, and the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal seeks to provide the strategic direction needed to guide future development with consistency and transparency.

On completion of the public exhibition period for the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal, the feedback received from the community and other stakeholders will be reviewed in detail and a report will be prepared for consideration by the Local Planning Panel and then Council. The report will outline the feedback, identify any changes to the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal as a result of the feedback and seek Council’s endorsement to forward the Planning Proposal to the State Government for finalisation. Following Council endorsement, the Planning Proposal will be sent to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment seeking the Minister for Planning and Open Spaces (or their delegate) to finalise the Planning Proposal so that the new controls can legally come into effect.

The Planning Proposal will amend the Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2011 and come into effect when the amendments are published on the NSW Legislation Website at the end of the process.

Floor space ratio controls are one of the key planning controls that influence the height and scale of buildings. A floor space ratio is effectively the ratio of the floor space of a building compared to its site area. The Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal has several controls that apply to Floor Space Ratio (FSR). These are:

“Base” Floor Space Ratio (FSR) – Clause 4.4

Generally speaking, the “base” FSR reflects the existing FSR controls as found in the Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2011, including notified site-specific planning proposals up to 31 July 2020. An exception to this applies in the case of the B3 Commercial Core zone, where FSRs are generally proposed to increase to encourage more jobs in the CBD. These “base” FSR controls are shown on the Floor Space Ratio Map. One key change is that the “base” FSR controls would no longer be subject to an FSR sliding scale.

Incentive Floor Space Ratio (IFS) – Clause 7.6H

The Incentive Floor Space Ratio (IFS) is a new control that applies to land zoned B4 Mixed Use and can only be taken up if community infrastructure is provided under draft Clause 7.6H. The IFS controls are shown on the Incentive Floor Space Ratio Map. It is subject to the FSR sliding scale provisions.

FSR Sliding Scale – Clause 7.2

The FSR Sliding Scale in varying forms has applied to development within Parramatta CBD since 2007 and intends to avoid overdevelopment on small sites. The FSR sliding scale also encourages sites to combine with their neighbours where practicable for larger developments.

The FSR Sliding Scale provides a gradual reduction in floor space from that shown on the IFS Map where the site is less than 1,000sqm in area. Where the development site is greater than 1,800sqm in area, the full IFS as mapped will apply. For sites between 1,000 and 1,800sqm, a proportional FSR is applied that is calculated on the minimum floor space amount and increases as the site also increases in land area. This is illustrated in the diagram below.

Design Excellence – Clause 7.10

The Design Excellence control intends to promote a high-quality development and provides an incentive of 15% to the “base” Floor Space Ratio or Incentive Floor Space Ratio (and associated height controls) where a development undertakes a design competition and the final design is considered to achieve “design excellence”.

High Performing Buildings – Clause 7.6A

The High Performing Buildings control is a new control that provides an incentive of 5% to the “base” Floor Space Ratio or Incentive Floor Space Ratio controls, subject to the development meeting certain requirements and achieving specified targets for energy emissions and water use. This FSR incentive is awarded to residential flat buildings and mixed-used development that contains residential dwellings. Mandatory minimum environmental performance requirements also apply for certain types of commercial development.

Opportunity Sites – Clause 7.6J

The Opportunity Sites control is a new control that provides a bonus FSR of up to 3:1, subject to meeting certain design, geometry and site size requirements. Land eligible to be considered under this clause is shown on the Opportunity Sites Map and the requirements are set out in Clause 7.6J.

Note: Before the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal is finalised, a technical update of the FSR controls will be undertaken to incorporate changes from any site-specific planning proposals that have been notified since 31 July 2020.

“Base” Height – Clause 4.3

Generally speaking, the “base” height reflects the existing height of building controls as found in the Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2011, including notified site-specific planning proposals up to 31 July 2020. An exception to this applies in the case of the B3 Commercial Core zone, where heights are generally proposed to increase to encourage more jobs in the CBD (as associated with the FSR increases). The “base” height controls also identify land subject to solar access protection controls which require special consideration to avoid overshadowing of key public domain and open space areas across the CBD. The “base” height controls are shown on the Height of Buildings Map.

Incentive Height of Buildings (IHB) – Clause 7.6H

The Incentive Height of Buildings control is a new control that applies to land zoned B4 Mixed Use and can only be taken up if community infrastructure is provided under draft Clause 7.6H. It also identifies sites affected by solar access protection. These controls are shown on the Incentive Height of Buildings Map.

Maximum heights and consideration due to airspace operations – Clause 7.6

Both “base” and “incentive” height controls have a maximum mapped height of 211m (RL), which, when combined with the 15% bonus height incentives for “Design Excellence”, may allow buildings up to 243m (RL). This is the maximum height currently allowable by the Radar Terrain Clearance Chart, which forms Prescribed Airspace to Sydney Airport under the Airports Act 1996 of the Commonwealth.

Additionally, any development proposing a height above 156m (RL) is a Controlled Activity under the Airports Act and requires a referral to the relevant airport authorities. This is a requirement of the proposed amendment to Clause 7.6, which extends the application of airspace operations to the entire Parramatta CBD.

Note: Before the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal is finalised, a further technical update of the height controls will be undertaken to incorporate changes from site-specific planning proposals that have been notified since 31 July 2020.

The Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal intends to add four new areas for protection from overshadowing by future development. The existing protection of Lancer Barracks and Jubilee Park will be extended to include Parramatta Square, Prince Alfred Square, the Parramatta River Foreshore, and Experiment Farm.

These Protected Areas are shown on the Sun Access Protection Map; as well as those sites affected by a solar access plane, so that future development on this land will not overshadow the Protected Areas.

Protection of the land from overshadowing applies between 12 noon and 2pm on 21 June (mid-winter) for all areas except Experiment Farm, where the controls apply from 10am to 2pm, in any given year. Mid-winter is chosen deliberately as this is the shortest day and the sun is lowest in the sky.

The Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal considers the risk of flooding and proposes new controls to manage these risks. The flooding from Parramatta River is typically ‘flash flooding’ (arriving and leaving quickly) which impacts on the ability to fully evacuate the CBD (including residents, workers and visitors) before a flood arrives.

Accordingly, the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal will require new development to provide for a “shelter in place” arrangement or managed evacuation to a safe area. New buildings within the area shown on the Flood Risk Management Map that take up the shelter in place arrangement must be designed to enable self-sufficiency to shelter the occupants; provide appropriate emergency exits; and be able to withstand floodwaters and debris from a flooding event.

The Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal intends to add a new control to assess development impacts on heritage. This new clause operates in addition to the existing standard Heritage Conservation control (Clause 5.10) and requires development consider the relationship to heritage items and heritage conservation areas.

The Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal is not proposing to alter heritage listings or conservation areas, with the minor exception of removing a portion of the Harris Park West Conservation Area. The removal of this portion of the heritage conservation area was recommended by the findings of a technical heritage study into fringe areas surrounding the CBD. Further, lower heights are proposed in certain areas of the CBD to minimise impacts of overshadowing to neighbouring heritage conservation areas.

The Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal intends to preserve (‘grandfather’) existing controls applying to land within the Park Edge Highly Sensitive Area and Parramatta Park. This is not subject to any changes under this Planning Proposal.

Therefore, the land within Parramatta Park and the Park Edge Highly Sensitive Area is specifically identified on the Special Provisions Area Map and has a ‘grandfathering’ clause applying to that land which replicates the existing controls (Clause 7.6M). Other clauses explicitly exclude this area from any new or amended controls.

The changing demographic profile and significant anticipated growth in jobs and dwellings realised through the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal will place further demands on the existing infrastructure network in the Parramatta CBD. This means city infrastructure, such as green spaces, recreational facilities, arts and cultural destinations, and community spaces, will face greater demands than ever before. To support the anticipated growth of the Parramatta CBD and the subsequent increased demand on infrastructure, Council will need to assist in providing new or enhanced infrastructure.

The Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal requires certain developments taking up incentive FSR and height to provide ‘community infrastructure’ such as community facilities, public places and recreation facilities.

A draft provision is also proposed that requires plans to be in place for State public infrastructure such as state and regional roads, schools and hospitals before major development is approved. This provision would apply until such time that the State Government introduced a Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC) levy that applied to the Parramatta CBD.

Prior to completion of the Planning Proposal, Council will undertake a review of the Infrastructure Funding Framework for the Parramatta CBD, including the preparation of a new Development Contributions Plan.