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 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 Planning controls.

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

From 24 January to 30 June 2023, interested landholders were able to apply for minor amendments to the CPCP mapping for their land.

The department accepted 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 did not cover changes to excluded land and the strategic conservation area CPCP mapping.

The department is now compiling the proposed amendments and preparing a biodiversity assessment report for public consultation.

We aim to exhibit the amendments for public feedback before the end of 2023. After exhibition, the department will seek approval from the NSW Minister for the Environment to modify the certified-urban capable land and avoided land.

Applications have closed for the first modification of the CPCP mapping. The information for applicants provides more information about the modification assessment criteria and avoidance criteria that were considered for the current modification.

Further CPCP modification requests may be sought at appropriate intervals during the life of the plan.

Frequently asked questions

How are applications assessed?

The department will assess landholders’ 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.

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, but we are aiming to have it completed by early 2024. 

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.

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.