Charles Street Square, adjacent to the Ferry Wharf at Parramatta Quay, is the place where people travelling along the Parramatta River arrive at our City. It’s a gathering place for locals and visitors and has been that way for thousands of years.
The City of Parramatta has developed a draft concept design for the Charles Street Square upgrade that draws inspiration from the curved geometry of the river, the surrounding landscape, and the site’s unique history.
The upgrade features new ramps and stairs, a wide riverfront walk, flood-resilient and sustainable design elements, and more trees for shade and a parkland experience.
February 2021 project update(Back to top)
Work continues on Charles Street Square – archaeological testing to commence
Preparations for the Charles Street Square upgrade are continuing with construction scheduled to begin mid year.
Archaeological test excavations are planned to begin on site in March with archaeological teams working alongside participating Aboriginal representatives and civil contractors to mitigate the risk of harm to any historic and Aboriginal relics discovered as part of the works. Archaeological testing will be conducted in accordance with Heritage NSW requirements.
The design for Charles Street Square was placed on public exhibition in March 2020. Following refinement of the design in response to community input, the proposal was endorsed by Council in May 2020.
Public exhibition of the concept design occurred between 25 February to 16 March 2020 and it is estimated that communications regarding the project reached more than 880,000 people during this period. As a result of our engagement program, eight (8) email submissions and 115 online survey responses were completed. The community also provided feedback via social media and shared their views at our dedicated community drop-in sessions.
To find out more about our engagement activities and what we heard, please read the Charles Street Square Upgrade Draft Concept Design Public Exhibition Consultation report.
You may also like to visit Council’s community engagement platform Participate Parramatta for further information.
Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and Revised REF
A REF is part of the planning process known as Part 5 under the EP&A Act. As part of the REF, the City of Parramatta was required to fully assess the potential environmental impacts of Charles Street Square both during construction and after completion.
The REF was placed on public exhibition in October 2020, it identified a range of environmental safeguards and mitigations to protect archaeology, preserve water quality, ensure flood resilience, maintain local habitat and respond to other potential environmental risks.
The City of Parramatta reviewed feedback on the REF provided by the community and stakeholders including NSW Government agencies and utilities, and made further refinements to the design for Charles Street Square. A Revised REF will be released in February 2021.
The project is also directly liaising with relevant utilities to ensure all approvals are secured and that their requirements are incorporated into the site design and construction.
Project information including consultation around the design and REF can be found on:
Next steps(Back to top)
The project team will now progress the project through detailed design, planning and technical approvals, as well as documentation for the tendering of the construction works.
Archaeological testing, conducted in accordance with Heritage NSW requirements, will begin in March 2021. Archaeological teams will working alongside participating Aboriginal representatives and civil contractors to mitigate the risk of harm to any historic and Aboriginal relics discovered as part of the works.
Construction is expected to begin mid 2021.
The City of Parramatta will continue to provide project updates on this page.