Exhibition of a draft Planning Proposal, draft Development Control Plan (DCP) and draft Planning Agreement
In April and May 2022, the City of Parramatta Council publicly exhibited a draft site-specific Planning Proposal, draft site-specific DCP and draft Planning Agreement for land at 195 Church Street, 65-79 Macquarie Street, 38 and 45 Hunter Street, Parramatta (known as the St John's Anglican Church site) to enable redevelopment on the site for two buildings - a commercial tower and mixed-use building.
- The draft site-specific DCP proposed guidelines on heritage, public domain, built form, vehicle access and car parking, flood management, and environmental sustainability for two development options in relation to St John’s Parish Church Hall (a local heritage item). The controls for Option A relate to removal and replacement of the Church Hall, and the controls for Option B relate to partial retention of the original c1910 Church Hall structure.
- The draft site-specific PP proposed controls to change the zoning of some of land, amend the permissible density controls on the site and identify a portion of land on the Land Reservation Acquisition Map together with some other amendments.
- The draft Planning Agreement detailed the public benefits the Church will be required to provide if they are able to secure approval to demolish the Church Hall. The public benefits include public access to the Church grounds which the Church has also agreed to upgrade, and provision of vehicle and pedestrian access arrangements that will make moving around this part of the City easier and safer.
PLEASE NOTE: Public Exhibition of the draft Planning Agreement commenced on Tuesday 12 April 2022. The draft site specific Planning Proposal and draft Development Control Plan commenced exhibition on Tuesday 29 March 2022. Submissions were welcomed until 5pm on Friday 13 May 2022.
The Planning Proposal seeks to amend the Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2011 (PLEP 2011) by:
- Amend the land zoning map from part B4 - Mixed Use and SP1 – Special Activities (Place of Public Worship) to part B3 - Commercial Core, part B4 Mixed Use and part SP1 Special Activities (Place of Public Worship).
- Amend the floor space ratio (FSR) mapped controls as follows:
- Increase the FSR on the parts of the site proposed to be zoned B3 Commercial Core and B4 – Mixed Use from 3:1 to 10:1 (11.5:1 including the existing 15% design excellence bonus),
- Apply a no FSR control on land zoned SP1 Place of Worship.
- Retains the FSR sliding scale provisions within Parramatta LEP 2011 to the site.
- Amend the building height mapped controls (HOB) as follows:
- Increase the HOB control for a portion of the proposed B3 – Commercial Core land from 18 and 24 metres to 211m (RL) (243m (RL) including the existing 15% design excellence bonus).
- Decrease the HOB control for a portion of the proposed B3 – Commercial Core land from 18 to 12 metres.
- Increase the HOB control for the B4 – Mixed Use land from 36 metres to 211m (RL) (243m (RL) including the existing 15% design excellence bonus).
- Apply a no building height control on land zoned SP1 Place of Worship.
- Amends the Special Provisions map to permit the application of Clause 7.6 Airspace operations.
- Amends the Land Reservation Acquisition Map to facilitate the creation of a 6-metre-wide laneway to provide future vehicle access to 41, 43 and 45 Hunter Street and 181 Church Street, Parramatta. Noting that 41 and 43 Hunter Street have only been included in the Planning Proposal for the purposes of identifying the 6m wide laneway land on the Land Reservation Acquisition Map and that no other changes will be made to the planning controls that apply to these two sites.
- Includes an additional site-specific clause to require consistency with the solar access requirements for Parramatta Square, including the requirement for compensatory area.
- Includes an additional site-specific clause to require a DCP to be prepared that provides for the critical matters to be satisfied including the outcome for St John’s Parish Hall.
Council is not authorised as the local plan-making authority as confirmed in the Gateway Determination.
The City of Parramatta Council endorsed at its meeting on 14 November 2022, (and in effect reaffirmed this resolution on 28 November 2022 after it considered a Rescission Motion), a site specific Planning Proposal, site-specific DCP and Planning Agreement for St John’s Cathedral Site at 195 Church Street, 65-79 Macquarie Street and 38 and 41-45 Hunter Street, Parramatta.
The Council resolution and reports (including a supplementary late report) to Council can be viewed online here:
Agendas and Minutes : City of Parramatta (nsw.gov.au)
(refer to item 13.1 in the Business Paper for Council’s meeting of 14 November 2022)
The site-specific DCP as exhibited will come into effect when the associated Planning Agreement as exhibited is finalised; and as soon as practicable following finalisation of the amendment to the Parramatta Local Environmental Plan 2011 and publishing on the NSW Legislation website.
Council’s Parramatta DCP 2011 can be found online at:
Development control plans | City of Parramatta (nsw.gov.au)
Thank you to everyone who provided a submission.
Frequently asked questions
A planning proposal (also known as a rezoning application) is a document that explains proposed changes to land use planning controls that are found in a Local Environmental Plan (LEP)*.
A planning proposal details 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.
It also sets out the justification for why these changes are suitable for the site and an assessment of the potential impacts of the proposal and how they should be resolved if it is approved. Planning proposals are usually supported by extensive technical information to help with the assessment such as studies on flooding, traffic, urban design, and social impact assessments.
A planning proposal can be prepared by anyone, but usually it is either a landowner, developer, or Council.
*A local environmental plan (LEP) is a legal document that guides planning decisions by local governments. It is prepared by Council and approved by the State Government. The LEP is an important planning tool that helps shape the future of our area and ensures development is done appropriately. Controls in an LEP include such things as land use zones, building heights, floor space ratios, flood risk management controls and also heritage protections.
A “Development Control Plan” (DCP) is a planning document that provides detailed planning and design rules to support the Local Environmental Plan (LEP). These rules are often referred to as ‘controls’ and includes standards such as storm water drainage, landscaping, parking, access, urban design.
For significant planning proposals such as the St John’s Anglican Church site, a site-specific DCP is usually prepared to ensure the controls are tailored to the specific needs of the site.
The amendments sought by the Applicant to the LEP controls does not include the removal of St John’s Parish Hall as an item of local heritage significance, with consideration of such a request to be determined as part of the development application process.
Consequently, the DCP contains controls for two options in relation to the St John’s Parish Hall. The controls in Option A relate specifically to the removal and replacement of St John’s Parish Hall, and the controls in Option B relate to the partial retention of the St John’s Parish Hall being the original c1910 structure (shown orange), with the 1950s elements shown in blue to be removed.
Ground floor plan of the Parish Hall
Why do the amendments sought to the LEP include a requirement that the Applicant prepare a DCP, when there is already a draft DCP on exhibition?
Council wants to ensure that the Applicant undertakes a ‘staged approval approach’* The critical matter is understanding the heritage significance of the St John’s Parish Church Hall to provide certainty regarding the proposed form of development to occur on the site. The staged approach would comprise three key steps:
- Stage 1 Development Application for the proponent’s building envelopes, proposed removal and replacement or partial retention of the St John’s Parish Church Hall, public domain design and vehicle access and basement design.
- Design Excellence Competition for a single design scenario based on approval of the Stage 1 DA.
- Stage 2 Detailed Development Application based on winning Design Competition entry.
* The requirement in a site specific LEP to require the preparation of a DCP may be satisfied by the making and approval of a concept development application (also referred to as a Stage 1 Development Application) consistent with Section 4.23 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
A “Planning Agreement” is a legal document that is created under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 between developers and government agencies (including councils) for the provision of funds or works by the developer for infrastructure, services, or other public amenities.
A planning agreement enables the opportunity for councils to negotiate much needed community facilities and infrastructure which could not be obtained through a development contributions plan*. Planning agreements are a more flexible mechanism to fund or deliver infrastructure to an area and can be tailored to the specific needs of where redevelopment is proposed.
* Development contributions plans enable councils to charge fees on new development in order to help fund new and upgraded infrastructure which will be required as a result of additional demand coming from more residents, workers, and visitors.
The draft Planning Agreement is essentially a legal agreement that requires the developer to undertake specific works and pay a monetary contribution to Council to be spent on community infrastructure within the Parramatta CBD.
The specific public benefits to be described in the Planning Agreement are detailed in the ‘Terms Sheet of Public Benefits’ dated 11 March 2022 endorsed by Council at the Council Meeting on 21 March 2022. A copy is provided with the Exhibition Material and includes the following public benefits:
- Licence in perpetuity for public access to the open space surrounding the Cathedral subject to the St Johns Church maintaining the right to limit some uses on this land.
- Stratum dedication of land to enable laneway between 181 Church Street site and Marsden Street.
- Temporary vehicle access for 181 Church Street site to access Hunter Street for 10 years or until the new laneway described in part ii above is available.
- Embellishment of the following land to create a civic space: Church land between the Cathedral building and Hunter Street Portion of road in front of 45 Hunter Street to be closed and included in the civic space but remain in Council ownership.
- Church to bear the maintenance and liability for the civic space site (including the Council owned portion) in perpetuity.
- Compensation of $1.1 million for the reduction in public benefit lost due to the driveway. arrangements restricting the size of the civic space and eliminating the previously proposed laneway.
- Compensation of $3.5 million to recognise Council’s risk from not having the public access.
Two new buildings are proposed on the site.
The potential height is demonstrated in the Applicant’s Reference Design dated March 2022 included with this exhibition and shows two buildings, a dominant, taller commercial tower in the north of the site at 46 storeys and a shorter mixed-use building in the south of the site at 13 storeys. Extracts from the Reference Design are provided below.
The commercial building on the northern part of the site, between Macquarie Street and Hunter Street, is proposed to have mapped height of building control of 211 metres (RL) (243 metres (RL) with a 15% bonus for design excellence). The Reference Design provided by the Applicant indicates this building will be a maximum of 46 storeys. The shape of the tower reflects a provision which protects sunlight to the protected area of Parramatta Square, including the ‘compensatory area’ adjacent to protected area.
The mixed-use building on the southern part of the site, between Hunter Street and the railway corridor, is proposed to have a mapped height of building control of 211 metres (RL). The Reference Design provided by the Applicant indicates this building will be a maximum of 13 storeys. The reason for this is the size of the site which is less than 1000sqm and therefore is affected the Floor Space Ratio Sliding Scale clause. This clause requires the FSR on a site to be reduced to regulate the density of development, so it is proportional to the site area.
The images below show the height of the proposed buildings for the two scenarios for the St John’s Parish Church Hall. For further details see the response to the question above – “Why does the DCP contain two development options for the St John’s Parish Church Hall?”
Option A - St John's Parish Hall removed and replaced
Option B - St John's Parish Hall retained
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