A NSW Government website


Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan

The Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan (CPCP) was finalised with NSW approvals in place in August 2022. Commonwealth approvals are pending and more information about this is available on the legal disclaimer section of this page.

What the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan means for your land

We have revised the CPCP's mapping to address feedback received from landholders and other stakeholders during public exhibition. We have also updated the CPCP’s mapping by increasing the width of koala corridors, so the CPCP is consistent with advice from the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer. 

For more information, on land categories and about how we have responded to landholder feedback read the What we heard report (PDF, 6.3 MB).

You can view the CPCP updated mapping using our spatial viewer below.

Talk to a planner

If you are a landholder, you can contact a planner at [email protected] or phone 02 9585 6060 between 9:30am-4:30pm weekdays.

For translating and interpreting services: Phone Phone 13 14 50 and ask for an interpreter in your language to connect you to 02 9585 6060. When connected please ask to speak to the Cumberland Plain Conservation team.

Landowner counselling service

A free, confidential telephone counselling service is available to all CPCP landowners. AccessEAP is an Australian owned and not-for-profit organisation that will provide landowners with general counselling, financial, and other specialist services over the phone.

If you would like to access this service, phone 1800 818 728 and advise the operator you are looking for counselling offered for the CPCP landowners.

Existing zoning maintained

When we released the draft Plan in 2020, we proposed to rezone avoided land as Environmental Conservation (E2) land – now known as C2 Conservation Zone. During public exhibition, many landholders and stakeholders expressed concerns about this zoning.

In response to this feedback, the CPCP has not applied C2 zoning and existing zoning has been maintained for avoided land.

The CPCP will instead use planning controls on avoided land to provide flexibility around uses, while still protecting important biodiversity. To find out more about the planning controls for avoided land, visit the planning controls page.

Spatial viewer

The department has developed a spatial viewer to help landholders and other stakeholders to view the final CPCP mapping. Through the viewer, landholders can easily view the final CPCP mapping for their property by using the viewer’s search function (to find property or lot number) and view relevant information at property scale. 

Access the spatial viewer

How to use the viewer

Watch the tutorial video below to help you use the viewer.

You can also read the spatial viewer glossary (PDF, 87 KB) before accessing the viewer.

Modification of the CPCP 

The CPCP is a strategic conservation plan that aims to support Western Sydney’s growth and the region’s unique native plants and animals.

The CPCP maps certified - urban capable land where development can proceed without further biodiversity approvals and avoided land that has been avoided from development due to high biodiversity values.

The department will seek approval from the NSW Minister for the Environment to modify the certified - urban capable land and avoided land at appropriate intervals during the life of the plan. We will start preparing the first modification request in 2023.

The department will only accept requests for amendments to certified-urban capable land and avoided land in the nominated areas (Greater Macarthur Growth Area, Wilton Growth Area, Western Sydney Aerotropolis and Greater Penrith-Eastern Creek Investigation Area). 

This modification process does not cover changes to excluded land and the strategic conservation area CPCP mapping.

How to apply  

If you are interested in minor amendments to the CPCP mapping for your land, please read the information for applicants including the assessment criteria. You will need to complete a modification request form. To access the form, please create a Planning Portal account or log in with your MyServiceNSW details. 

When completing the form, you can either lodge a ‘draft’ application seeking departmental advice or submit a ‘formal’ application. You will only be charged an application fee when you submit a formal application. 

Formal applications must be submitted by 30 June 2023.

Frequently asked questions

How will applications be assessed?

The department will assess a landholder’s requested amendments against the assessment criteria. The criteria ensure development can proceed in a logical way that does not compromise the CPCP’s state and federal biodiversity approvals. This will generally mean changes do not result in a net loss in biodiversity values and will only be possible in limited circumstances. Modifications will also need to avoid unacceptable cumulative impacts.

Given the landscape scale of the CPCP’s offset package, proposed amendments will be compiled by the department and submitted to the NSW Minister for the Environment for consideration as a single modification for their consideration and approval. This will ensure any modifications will be consistent with the CPCP objectives and avoidance criteria.

Where proposed amendments are likely to result in increased impact to native vegetation, the department will determine whether the amendment/s are acceptable to be included in the modification according to the assessment criteria. Amendments that are likely to have adverse or unacceptable impacts compared to the approved CPCP are unlikely to be supported and included in the formal modification.

Can I talk to the department before I submit my application

The department strongly encourages landholders to submit a draft application form for initial advice to help avoid formal applications being lodged that are unlikely to be successful. This is an optional step for landholders. Once landholders have received initial advice on their draft application form, they can then update if necessary, and submit their formal application using the same form. During the initial advice phase, the department can meet with a landholder to discuss their request in more detail to support the application process.

Are the requests for modification public?

Draft modifications are required to be publicly exhibited. The department will assess a landholder’s requested amendments to their land and compile these into a single modification for public consultation.

How long will the modification process take?

To complete the modification the department needs to compile all proposed amendments, assess their cumulative impact on biodiversity, place the proposed amendments on public exhibition, and seek approval from the NSW Minister for the Environment. This is a lengthy process that may take more than 12 months. 

What are the land categories in the CPCP?

Avoided land is the land that has been avoided from development and which represents areas of high biodiversity value to be protected. It is determined by applying the avoidance criteria and is subject to development controls to avoid or minimise impacts on biodiversity. Certified–urban capable land is where future development is likely to occur. The CPCP delivers biodiversity approvals for this land providing a simpler and more streamlined approach for landholders and developers to provide new housing and infrastructure. This land is strategically determined to avoid or minimise any impacts on biodiversity. Excluded land is land that has not been included in the CPCP. Excluded land can refer to land that has already been developed, zoned for development, or protected for environmental reasons. The Strategic conservation area represents large remnants of regionally significant biodiversity with good connectivity, or areas with the potential to enhance connectivity in the CPCP Area. The strategic conservation area will be used to identify potential conservation lands for further investigation.

Please see the CPCP Spatial Viewer for which categories apply to your land.

Biodiversity contributions for the CPCP

Now that the CPCP has been finalised, we will be collecting developer contributions to recover the cost of delivering the CPCP’s biodiversity offset program, through the Special Infrastructure Contributions program or through state voluntary planning agreements.

The biodiversity contributions will help fund the CPCP conservation program that includes 26 commitments and 131 actions designed to improve ecological resilience and protect biodiversity in Western Sydney.

More information on the biodiversity contributions for the CPCP, including the contributions rates and a map of the contributions areas, can be viewed in the Biodiversity contributions for the Cumberland Plain Conversation Plan fact sheet (PDF, 888 KB).

An alternative to paying a monetary contribution is an offer to dedicate land to the department through a voluntary planning agreement.

A voluntary planning agreement is not an appropriate or practical option for all land in the CPCP area. We have developed a set of criteria to assess whether land offered for dedication is of sufficient biodiversity value to reduce or remove the need to pay a biodiversity contribution.

For more information on the criteria, refer to the Land dedication criteria for the CPCP fact sheet (PDF, 105 KB).

Legal disclaimer

The NSW Environment and Heritage Minister approved the CPCP which provides biodiversity certification under Part 8 of the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act). This approval removes the need for landholders to seek their own biodiversity approvals under the BC Act for development on certified - urban capable land as long as they comply with planning controls under the CPCP, as set out in the Strategic Conservation Chapter of the SEPP (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021.

The department is currently pursuing Commonwealth approval for the CPCP under Part 10 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Landholders can submit development applications, seek subdivision or start master planning. However, development that will have a significant impact on matters of national environmental significance (MNES) on certified - urban capable land cannot commence until the Commonwealth CPCP approval is in place. If MNES will not be significantly impacted, then the development may proceed subject to other relevant environmental and planning approvals being obtained. If you are unsure whether to submit a referral under the EPBC Act, please contact the Department of Climate Change, Energy and Environment and Water for advice.