NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Mike Baird and Planning Minister Pru Goward today announced the historic heart of Parramatta North will be the focus of a major urban transformation project.
Mr Baird said the NSW Government was demonstrating its commitment to the project by declaring Parramatta North a State Significant Site. This will facilitate the preservation and enhancement of the precinct’s numerous heritage sites, while fast-tracking the delivery of thousands of new homes and jobs, providing a major economic boost for Western Sydney.
“The Parramatta North precinct is home to some of the state’s - and indeed Australia’s - most important heritage locations and assets, including Australia’s first farm and first water mill, Parramatta Female Factory and the Old Kings School,” Mr Baird said.
“The site also borders Parramatta’s commercial core, and the Westmead Health specialised precinct.
“There is such fantastic potential for the community to benefit from the showcasing of Parramatta’s multi-layered heritage, both Indigenous and colonial.
“We will be guided by heritage experts to ensure that the most significant buildings are preserved – this is our first priority, and early heritage and infrastructure works will commence within the year.
“It is critical that we find an appropriate adaptive reuse for these buildings, including community, cultural and commercial uses.
“The project is of such significance to the future of Australia’s second oldest city, we need to ensure all agencies are working together to manage land ownership complexities, heritage assets, and environmental concerns.
“The development will include improvements to local parkland and open space, as well as restoration of the Parramatta River bank and the creation of a river walk towards Lake Parramatta.
“Parramatta MP Geoff Lee has been a passionate advocate for Parramatta North and I thank him for his dedication and work on this project."
As well as preserving Australia’s and Sydney’s important heritage, the project has the capacity to provide about 6,000 new homes for Parramatta’s growing population, and create 2000 permanent jobs.
Ms Goward said the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will transform a 146-hectare parcel of Government owned land at Parramatta North, on the banks of the Parramatta River, into a vibrant new area that will create new housing and employment opportunities, while at the same time honouring the important heritage of the area.
“The Parramatta North project is an opportunity to create a wonderful place, preserving some of Australia’s most important heritage assets, and making them accessible to the community,” Ms Goward said.
“NSW Labor allowed Parramatta, which is as significant to our heritage as the Rocks, to fall into disrepair, but we aim to transform it, just as we are doing with other parts of Sydney and NSW.
“Parramatta North contains some of the country’s most architecturally significant sites, and we must act to preserve and enhance these convict era buildings.
“Getting this project right will mean a vibrant new place to live, side by side with some of Australia’s oldest buildings, and right on the beautiful Parramatta River.”
UrbanGrowthNSW has been leading the Parramatta North project, and extensive consultation has been undertaken with the local community, heritage and business groups, government agencies, Parramatta Council, and Parramatta MP Dr Geoff Lee.
The Parramatta North Urban Renewal area is comprised of four precincts, each with its own distinct character, including Parramatta Park, Cumberland Precinct, Sport and Leisure Precinct, and the Old Kings School Precinct.
The first priority is to begin the early heritage and infrastructure works which will commence within the year. It is also anticipated that a rezoning application will be lodged in September and the first development applications will be lodged in six months’ time.