Parramatta North

Urban Transformation Program

Discovering Parramatta North - Open Day

We are holding an open day at the Parramatta North site, to allow the community to see what’s happening on the site and learn more about what’s planned over the next 7 to 10 years as we conserve, unlock and share the heritage of Parramatta North.

See the archaeologists at work and view the artefacts on display.  Discover what is being done to protect the local flying fox colony, and find out how the important heritage is being conserved.

Date: Saturday 27 May, 10am-4pm

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 In addition to UrbanGrowth NSW’s site open day Discovering Parramatta North, the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project is having a public event between 11am-4pm enter via 1 Fleet Street, to explore the site’s indigenous legacy.  Visitors are welcome to explore this historic child welfare institutional site.

About the Parramatta North Program

The Parramatta North Urban Transformation Program will conserve, unlock and share the heritage of Parramatta North. It will deliver a dynamic and vibrant area with heritage conservation at its heart. New homes and jobs will be created, and more open space will be available to the public.

UrbanGrowth NSW will manage the program of controlled and creative development across about 30 hectares. It will reinvest funds to conserve significant buildings.

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Program area


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 35% of the site is designated public open space
  • Creating about 2,700 new homes in multi-storey apartment buildings 
  • Creating about 2,000 new jobs, including 80 permanent jobs in retail
  • Improving access to Parramatta River and rehabilitating the foreshore
  • Protecting the habitat of a grey-headed flying fox colony 


Conserve heritage

2,700 new homes

Provide around 2,700 new homes in multi-storey apartment buildings

2,000 new jobs

Create around 2,000 new jobs, including 80 permanent jobs in retail, over the life of the program

35% public open space

Restore Parramatta River Foreshore

Current Status

Work has now started on repairs to some of the heritage buildings on site. This includes four historic buildings within the Cumberland Hospital precinct 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 is also underway to help us better understand the Aboriginal and European history of the area.

Work will continue during 2017. All findings will be documented and reported to the NSW Heritage Council and the Office of Environment and Heritage.

Development application

In November 2016, UrbanGrowth NSW lodged a development application (DA) for early site works with the City of Parramatta Council.

The DA (reference DA/1124/2016) is on public exhibition from 19 April 2017 until 13 June 2017. Submissions on the DA must be directed to the City of Parramatta Council.

UrbanGrowth NSW is proposing to undertake a range of early site works, including landscape upgrades, the rehabilitation of Parramatta River foreshore and infrastructure upgrades to internal roads, drainage and other underground services.

We are also proposing to subdivide the site to create lots, some for future residential development and some for open space. No buildings are proposed in the DA. About one-third of the 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.



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 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.

We are also supporting an application for the site to be included on the National Heritage List.


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.


About Sprout

Thank you for attending Sprout! It was a great opportunity to hear ideas about future uses for the heritage core.

At Sprout, we heard ideas from community leaders, business owners, innovators, designers, artists, heritage experts, university students and academics. There were also inspirational presentations, panel discussions, working sessions, site tours and displays.

Please click  on the 'Learn More' button below to find out what happened at Sprout.

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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