Parramatta North Heritage Core

UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation's vision is to inspire and enable the creation of extraordinary places.

In line with our vision, UrbanGrowth NSW is creating an aspirational place identity for Parramatta North's publicly owned, nationally listed Heritage Core that is locally contextual, globally relevant and seeks to fill an unmet need in a rapidly developing urban landscape.

Submissions are now invited from organisations and individuals interested in working with us to realise the site's potential.

We are looking for ideas for uses, programs, services and activities that could take place in buildings, and also the public spaces in between, to activate the Heritage Core.

Click here to submit your registration of interest today

About Parramatta North

Over the next decade, the NSW Government's $310m renewal of Parramatta North will conserve, unlock and share the rich history of this unique area.

The renewal of 30ha will create new homes and jobs to support the growth of Sydney’s second largest CBD and the Westmead health, education and research precinct. It includes heritage works, rehabilitation of the river foreshore, creating new public open spaces, and infrastructure such as roads, cycleways and playgrounds.

There will be no residential development in the heritage core.

The land identified in the Parramatta North Growth Centre is referenced in this map.

University of Sydney to anchor innovation precinct

From June to August this year, UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation and Health Infrastructure NSW conducted a market sounding to consider future opportunities for government owned land within the Cumberland Hospital east and west campuses.

The NSW Government’s vision for Westmead and Parramatta North is to create a precinct that supports cutting edge research and innovation, provides public open spaces for sport and recreational activities and brings the nationally-listed Heritage Core at Parramatta North to life with creative industries, cultural heritage and arts activities.

The market sounding identified the University of Sydney as the anchor having the necessary academic breadth, depth and reputational excellence required to help the Westmead Precinct reach its full potential over the next 30 years.

UrbanGrowth NSW and Health Infrastructure NSW will lead negotiations with the University over the next two years to develop a masterplan for the University town and its surrounds.

See the Frequently Asked Questions on the Market Sounding for more information. 

Click here to read the Premier's media release

Parramatta North information

What is proposed

The NSW Government is planning to conserve the heritage of Parramatta North and renew about 30 hectares of Government-owned land.

The Parramatta North Urban Transformation Program will deliver a dynamic and vibrant area with heritage at its heart. Over time it will become a great place for people to live and work.

Key benefits of the Program include:

  • A mix of uses across the site including retail, residential, commercial and community 
  • Conserving important heritage buildings
  • Ensuring 7 hectares of the site is designated public open space
  • Conserving the 7.2 hectare Nationally Listed Heritage Core
  • Improving access to Parramatta River and rehabilitating the foreshore
  • Protecting the habitat of a grey-headed flying fox colony


Planning for the current vision for Parramatta North began in 2013. This included a number community and stakeholder workshops and a rezoning proposal in 2014. The NSW Government approved a rezoning for the Parramatta North site in late 2015 and the NSW Cabinet approved the Program to proceed.

This allowed for a mix of uses on the site including residential, commercial, retail, recreational and community. In determining the rezoning, the Minister for Planning took into account feedback from stakeholders including the community.

That feedback resulted in reduced heights on some proposed buildings, and more open space.

The Parramatta North site will also help to meet the needs of the projected population growth. The Parramatta local government area population is projected to increase by 32.4% over the next 15 years – from 191,750 people in 2016 to 253,900 people in 2031. (Source: Department of Planning and Environment)

Community engagement

In early 2016 we held Community Information Sessions for people to learn more about plans for an upcoming development application. We also gave a presentation to community groups and received a number of questions about the project.

In November 2016, community leaders, state and local government representatives, business owners, innovators, designers, artists, heritage experts, university and school students and academics participated in a two day engagement event called Sprout, to grow ideas for future uses of the heritage core. Visit the Sprout page for more information.

What's happening

Work is continuing on repairs to some of the heritage buildings on site. This includes three historic buildings within the Cumberland Hospital precinct (repairs to a fourth are planned for a future date) and two buildings within the Norma Parker Centre.

Heritage repairs will continue until 2018 and will ensure the buildings are safe, secure and weatherproof. Work includes repairs to roofs, chimneys, windows, external doors, structural walls, verandahs, porticos, columns and other structures. Welsh slate is being imported for roof repairs so that we match the original slate which was used.

Heritage repairs will not result in full conservation or restoration of the buildings. This will happen at a later date.

Archaeological testing has been done to help us better understand the Aboriginal and European history of the area.

All findings have been documented and reported to the Office of Environment and Heritage.

Video: Heritage repairs

Parramatta North | Supporting Rare Heritage Trades


Roll over the different facts to know more about them.

Conserve heritage

35% public open space

Restore Parramatta River Foreshore


2017 and beyond

2017 and beyond

  • First development application determined
  • Landscaping and other site work gets underway
  • Some subdivided lots released to the market
  • Second development application lodged for road repairs and landscaping within the core heritage precinct



  • Stakeholder and community consultation 
  • Emergency repairs to six heritage buildings begin 
  • Aboriginal and European archaeological  and geotechnical investigations begin
  • First development application lodged for road upgrades, cycleways, landscaping, Parramatta River foreshore restoration, subdivisions and demolition of some buildings including sheds, demountables and other structures – excludes the core heritage precinct
  • Ongoing planning and consultation for the future of the core heritage precinct



  • Detailed studies and planning undertaken
  • NSW Planning Minister approves site rezoning 
  • NSW Cabinet approves the program to proceed



  • Consultation with stakeholders and the community on plans to rezone the site
  • Rezoning application prepared and placed on public exhibition



  • Early planning and technical studies for the urban transformation of Parramatta North
  • Consultation with stakeholders and the community on a Framework Masterplan for the area
  • Preparation of the Parramatta North Framework Masterplan


Parramatta North is home to a rich Aboriginal and European heritage. This dates back 20,000 years to the Darug people and about 200 years to colonial settlement.

Important heritage buildings on site include the Cumberland Hospital which was once the Parramatta Female Factory. It also includes the Norma Parker Centre which was once the Roman Catholic Orphan School and later the Parramatta Industrial School for Girls.

UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation is working to conserve the heritage of Parramatta North. All significant and high value heritage buildings will be conserved and some are undergoing emergency repairs to ensure they are safe, secure and weatherproof.

Conservation Management Plan (CMP) has been prepared to guide the heritage conservation of the site. The CMP identifies all heritage elements on the site including the high and exceptional heritage buildings to be conserved.

The heritage core is on the National Heritage List.

Development application

Development application

In November 2016, a development application was lodged (DA reference DA/1124/2016) for early site works with the City of Parramatta Council. Council placed the DA on public exhibition from 19 April 2017 until 13 June 2017 and members of the public could make submissions to Council.

Council will prepare an assessment of the DA and the submissions, and make a recommendation to the Sydney West Central Planning Panel, which is the determining authority.

The DA proposes:

  • a range of early site works, including landscape upgrades, the rehabilitation of Parramatta River foreshore, the demolition of some buildings and structures, and upgrades to infrastructure including internal roads, drainage and other underground services. 
  • subdivision of the site to create lots for future development and for open space. No buildings are proposed as part of the early site works. About one-third of the main DA site will be public open space, with new playgrounds, cycleways, walkways and access to Parramatta River. 

See the Frequently Asked Questions on the development application for more information.

Collaboration Framework

 Collaboration Framework

Four local groups with significant cultural, historical, and social links to Parramatta North have come together with the Parramatta City Council’s Activation and Place-Making teams and UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation to work under a Collaboration Framework.

The Framework’s intention is to share information and ideas relating to the site’s significance and how to provide better linkage between the heritage core and Parramatta Gaol through activation and place-making. It will also consider opportunities to connect this precinct with the broader Parramatta community and other heritage sites, and the development of an annual events program.

This group, which may evolve over time, will also look at ways to identify and explore relevant sensitive and complementary uses that might encourage public access and broader community relevance.

Collaboration Framework participants will contribute to guiding principles that will help form a Plan of Management for the area.



Growing Ideas for the Parramatta North Heritage Precinct report now available

On 10-11 November 2016, community leaders, business owners, innovators, designers, artists, heritage experts, university students and academics came together at Sprout, to come up with ideas for future uses for the heritage core at Parramatta North.

Around 200 people took part and the resulting report, ‘Ideas from SPROUT’, is available for download here.

See what our younger members of the community had to say about the future of the site.


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Contact us

If you have any questions about the Parramatta North Urban Transformation Program, please contact us on:

Phone: 1800 256 330

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