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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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Background

Fernhill Estate is located at Mulgoa Road, Mulgoa.

 

The Estate includes a heritage-listed homestead, one of Australia’s finest examples of Georgian architecture plus another home and outbuildings, gardens, lakes, paddocks, equine facilities including a 2 kilometres horse race track.

 

The western Sydney property was acquired by the NSW Government in 2018 along with two adjacent properties, to bring the 412-hectare site into public ownership for the use and enjoyment of the community.

 

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has undertaken essential repairs to the homestead and fencing, while developing measures to restore the Estate for current and future generations.

 

Planning for the future

 

The Department has engaged a heritage consultant to develop a Conservation Management Plan (CMP). The draft document Part 1 (PDF, 8.2MB), Part 2 (PDF, 2.5MB), Part 3 (PDF, 4.1MB) outlines the estate’s heritage and conservation values that must be protected. For example, the draft CMP outlines that any changes to the homestead must be in keeping with its architectural style, while any changes to the land should not impact on the mature trees and existing bushland.

 

A draft Options Paper has been prepared outlining potential future uses that would open up the estate for public use, while meeting the requirements outlined in the draft CMP. The options proposed have been developed from recommendations provided by a local community group, as well as the department’s assessment of the estate’s future potential as a commercial venue, with the land opened up for agricultural, equestrian, not-for-profit and/or recreational uses, including bushwalking.

 

Any options for the future use of the estate need to align with the draft CMP.

 

The draft Options Paper was exhibited from December 18, 2019 to April 3, 2020 for community and stakeholder feedback and suggestions. 

Community feedback can be viewed on the map below and on the NSW Planning Portal.

The department thanks the many community members who provided suggestions on potential future uses of Fernhill Estate.

 

 

Next steps

Community feedback, views and ideas that align with the site’s heritage and conservation requirements will inform the Plan of Management, which will detail opportunities and potential impacts of future use options for the Fernhill Estate. 

The Plan of Management is scheduled to be finalised in September 2020 for review and approval by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces. 

When the Plan of Management is approved, the NSW Government will enter into discussions with all relevant organisations to progress the implementation of the Plan of Management recommendations, ensuring the future viability of Fernhill Estate.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Fernhill Estate

Fernhill Estate is a property in Mulgoa, Western Sydney. The property includes Fernhill Estate homestead, a sandstone Greek Revival home built in 1842 and set on 412 hectares. The property is located next to the Blue Mountains National Park.

Fernhill Estate was purchased in March 2018. The two adjoining properties, Fernhill East and another property that adjoins Fernhill on Mulgoa Road, were purchased later that year.

The NSW Government purchased the three properties to bring them into public ownership for their combined values in heritage, regional open space and as a gateway to the Blue Mountains National Park.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has undertaken essential repairs to the homestead, buildings and fencing, while commencing planning for the property’s conservation and management.

 

Pre-existing activities such as equestrian, biodiversity and environmental preservation have continued alongside our work.

A draft Conservation Management Plan was completed by an independent heritage consultant in 2019. The Plan documents the estate’s heritage and conservation values and recommends the NSW Government prepare a masterplan for the site to be preserved and opened up for appropriate community use.

The draft Conservation Management Plan outlines Fernhill Estate’s heritage and environmental values, which must be preserved into the future. For example, it outlines that any revitalisation of Fernhill Estate homestead must be in keeping with its Greek Revival architecture, while land uses must protect its heritage values.

The NSW Government bought the Fernhill Estate to provide open space and to ensure its appropriate management for the benefit of the community. We intend to maintain, preserve and manage the combined properties for the enjoyment of the people of NSW.

Prior to the exhibition of the draft Options Paper from December 18, 2019 to April 3, 2020, the department had received correspondence from a local community group outlining the importance of Fernhill Estate remaining in public hands. During the exhibition, views and ideas were received from across the community on future uses of the estate.

Along with the draft Conservation Management Plan, the department has prepared an Options Paper that outlines some of the options for future uses of Fernhill Estate. These options include updating the homestead as a commercial venue and using the land for agriculture, recreation, equestrian and not-for-profit activities.

Preliminary suggestions outlined in the Options Paper include:

Homestead:

  • Museum/Gallery
  • Café
  • Function venue
  • Boutique Accommodation/Hotel
  • Camping or glamping
  • General venue hire (eg for workshops, spiritual gatherings)

Equestrian

  • Equestrian general business (stabling, training)
  • Race events

Events

  • Medium scale events (markets, car shows)
  • Large scale events (concerts)

Agricultural

  • Working farm (grazing, orchard, vineyard)
  • Passive Recreation
  • Open Space and Parklands
  • Botanic Garden

Not for Profit

  • Animal Shelter / Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Research/Education Facility
  • Men’s Shed
  • Biobanking Area - Bushland

Please check this website regularly for updates on the Plan of Management for Fernhill Estate. If you have any questions in the meantime, please email Sarah Ellis.

The Future Use Options paper was exhibited for community and stakeholder feedback from December 18, 2019 to April 3, 2020.

 

Community members provided feedback via comments on the map (above) and through formal submissions which can be viewed on the NSW Planning Portal

Community feedback, views and ideas that align with the site’s heritage and conservation requirements will inform the Plan of Management, which will detail opportunities and potential impacts of future use options for the Fernhill Estate.

 

The Plan of Management is scheduled to be finalised in September 2020 for review and approval by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces.

 

When the Plan of Management is approved, the NSW Government will enter into discussions with all relevant organisations to progress the implementation of the Plan of Management recommendations, ensuring the future viability of Fernhill Estate.

Community feedback, views and ideas that align with the site’s heritage and conservation requirements will inform the Plan of Management, which will detail opportunities and potential impacts of future use options for the Fernhill Estate.

The department is considering all feedback and new ideas that support public access to Fernhill Estate and:

  • help support the care and maintenance of Fernhill Estate by delivering economic or community benefits
  • protect its heritage and conservation values.

The uses outlined in the Options Paper are suggestions to start the discussion. Your input and ideas are helping to make sure that Fernhill Estate continues to be a treasured, well-used asset for the people of NSW.

The department is working with other government agencies to manage the horses and deer, and other feral animals from the Fernhill Estate as they are impacting its fencing and conservation areas.

Opening the site up for public access will take time as, in its current condition, the Estate lacks essential infrastructure (including safe parking, public amenities and security) for public safety and enjoyment.

 

In order for these works to be carried out, the department is required to develop a Plan of Management which sets out future uses of Fernhill Estate. The Plan of Management will be developed following the close of community consultation on Friday April 3, 2020. Once this Plan is finalised, we will seek funding to preserve the Fernhill Estate and manage it for the benefit of the community.

Should you require more information or wish to provide additional information, please contact

 

Sarah Ellis Senior Project Manager - Office of Strategic Lands on 02 8275 1154 or sarah.ellis@planning.nsw.gov.au.

Fernhill Estate Downloads

Page last updated: 07/04/2020