NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Westmead will be Australia’s premier health and innovation district – an ecosystem for excellence, ambition and collaboration. Innovation is centred around the Westmead and Children’s hospitals and extends to Parramatta North where a new university and enterprise precinct is proposed. Our vision drives this change to accelerate delivery of jobs for the future.


Areas south of the railway also offer the opportunity for a walkable neighbourhood providing more housing choice and diversity, with an urban village at its heart and excellent public transport connections.


The transformation of Westmead plays an important role in delivering the vision of Greater Parramatta as Sydney’s Central River City.


What is happening now?

The draft Westmead Place Strategy was exhibited from 14 December 2020 to 31 March 2021.


The Department will analyse all submissions received and consider how the Westmead Place Strategy can be improved based on this feedback. 


The Department is also working with Transport for NSW on the preparation of a Strategic Transport Study for Westmead as it is recognised that this is a key issue to be addressed in the precinct.


It is recognised that there is a significant level of interest in how Westmead and North Parramatta will transform over the next 20 years. The Department will continue to work with the Greater Sydney Commission, who are coordinating a whole-of-government delivery response across the key health and innovation precincts in the strategy.


The Department will submit the final place strategy package to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces to adopt the plan through a Ministerial Direction under Section 9.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.


Once the place strategy is adopted, the Department  will work with Cumberland and City of Parramatta councils through ‘Collaborative Planning’ to prepare studies and strategies to guide future development and drive quality place outcomes. Any future rezoning of the area will be initiated by councils, landowners or proponent agencies through the planning proposal process.


Westmead Place Strategy 

The Westmead Place Strategy will guide the continued evolution of Westmead to 2036 as it becomes a world-class health and innovation district with exceptional place outcomes for workers and residents.  


The draft place strategy applies to land in Westmead and parts of Northmead and Parramatta North. It does not involve rezoning but will guide councils, state agencies and the private sector on land use planning and outlines steps to ensure investment and infrastructure is aligned to anticipated growth.


The place strategy aims to:

  • drive new jobs in health, education and innovation;
  • put people at the centre of future development, with a focus on pedestrian-friendly streets and provision of community amenities;
  • protect heritage buildings and find ways they can be repurposed for new community uses, where appropriate;
  • improve pedestrian and cycling paths between Westmead North and South, Parramatta Park and Parramatta CBD;
  • promote housing density and diversity, such as student accommodation, key worker, social and affordable housing where appropriate; and
  • ensure population growth is accompanied by more open space and social infrastructure.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Where does the draft Westmead Place Strategy apply? 

Westmead is nestled centrally within metropolitan Sydney and extends over 432 hectares. It is bounded by Parramatta to the north and east, Wentworthville to the west and Mays Hill and Merrylands to the south.



Westmead is divided into two distinct areas by the rail line, with each area in a different Local Government Area (LGA). The northern portion is located within the City of Parramatta LGA consisting of the Westmead Health and Innovation District, Parramatta North and parts of Northmead. The southern portion is located within the Cumberland LGA, consisting of low to medium density residential. A map of the strategy area is below: 


Map of Westmead

View a larger map image.

How does the strategy relate to previous work in Westmead South?
The Department was previously leading investigations for Westmead South as part of the Planned Precinct Program. In November 2019, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces announced, “A New Approach to Precincts”. It was identified that a high-level draft Westmead Place Strategy be developed for all of Westmead to maximise its potential economic and social benefits, while protecting the area’s heritage, liveability and long-term sustainability.  

The draft Westmead Place Strategy provides a shared vision for Westmead informed by a number of background studies and planning documents, including:

  • Greater Sydney Region Plan – A Metropolis of Three Cities;
  • Central City District Plan;
  • City of Parramatta Local Strategic Planning Statement; and
  • Cumberland Council Local Strategic Planning Statement.
What are the community benefits of the draft Westmead Place Strategy?
The draft Westmead Place Strategy highlights a number of community benefits to be considered in the future planning of the area. Westmead presents opportunities including:   
  • embracing Westmead’s rich heritage context such as adaptive re-use of heritage buildings within the former Cumberland Hospital precinct, Parramatta Female Factory and Institutions Precinct;
  • improving active transport links between Westmead North and South, Parramatta Park and the Parramatta CBD;
  • promoting housing diversity, such as student accommodation, key worker, social and affordable housing to support the needs of the community;
  • shared-use and co-location of community facilities on Council-owned and State-owned assets;
  • additional open space and social infrastructure needs responding to population growth; and
  • design-led development that maximises access to waterways, open spaces and places of activity.
The draft Westmead Place Strategy offers the opportunity to integrate Westmead’s health and medical cluster, education and research cluster, commercial and industrial cluster, with areas of high amenity to generate a world-class innovation precinct.
How many dwellings and jobs are proposed?
The draft Westmead Place Strategy does not propose specific dwelling and job targets. It sets the vision for how jobs and dwellings might be delivered into the future and where this growth is appropriate. Westmead is strategically located to benefit from the role and growth of Parramatta as the next CBD.  

The Department will assist councils through collaborative planning in the preparation of the studies and strategies to guide future development of the sub-precincts and entire Westmead Precinct. It is anticipated that the dwelling and job numbers will be refined through this process. The rezoning of the area will be completed through future planning processes.  
How will heritage be protected in Westmead?

The Department recognises the precinct's culturally sensitive areas and identifies actions required to ensure significant heritage values are reinforced throughout the precinct.

The draft Westmead Place Strategy encourages sensitive and adaptive re-use of heritage buildings and requires protection of views and vistas to the significant heritage items in Parramatta Park and Parramatta North.  

The Department will collaborate with councils to prepare studies to understand built form and visual impacts of future development to heritage items.

The NSW Government has identified Parramatta North sub-precinct as a potential location for the relocation of Willow Grove.

A key planning priority of the draft Westmead Place Strategy is to ensure that the building siting is appropriate. The national heritage listed Heritage Core is not being considered as a potential location.

The relocation of Willow Grove would be subject to further heritage considerations, detailed design and planning approvals.

How does it relate to the Greater Sydney Commission’s PIC?
The Greater Parramatta and the Olympic Peninsula (GPOP) area is a 6,000-hectare economic corridor located at the core of the Central City. The GPOP PIC seeks to better align growth with the provision of infrastructure and services. The draft Westmead Place Strategy is aligned to deliver on the vision and directions of the GPOP PIC by leveraging off the significant investment in infrastructure planned for Westmead such as the Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 and future Sydney Metro West. 

The PIC identifies Westmead as one of the 11 identified precincts ready to kickstart the envisaged growth under the PIC, which is aimed to stimulate jobs and productivity supported by the new major infrastructure investment in the GPOP area. 
How will growth be supported by infrastructure?

The Pilot Place-based Infrastructure Compact (PIC) for Greater Parramatta and the Olympic Peninsula (GPOP), is proposed to be supported by a Strategic Business Case and Strategic Plan for GPOP. This will identify regional infrastructure requirements and funding mechanisms, that will include a future Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC). This work will continue following the public exhibition of the draft Westmead Place Strategy. 

Both City of Parramatta and Cumberland Councils have local contributions plans that apply in Westmead. The draft Westmead Place Strategy identifies the need for further analysis to be undertaken to understand the infrastructure needs of the future population. If any planning proposals are determined before a strategy is in place, Council may need to consider available mechanisms to enable appropriate contributions towards the provision of local infrastructure that will meet the demands of the future community.  

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Page last updated: 21/10/2022