In March 2014, the Department of Planning and Environment introduced new planning controls for the Epping Town Centre study area completing their planned precinct process.
Since that time, a strong housing market has seen the Epping Town Centre experience unprecedented levels of redevelopment and growth.
The development has raised community concern in relation to traffic congestion, loss of commercial floor space, high-density development interface with heritage conservation areas, provision of open space and community facilities.
In May 2016, the council amalgamations process saw the Epping Town Centre fall entirely within the jurisdiction of the new City of Parramatta entity.
This presented the opportunity to address critical issues and plan for the function of the centre for the next 20 years.
Council commenced the Epping Planning Review project to address these land use and traffic issues and was formally launched in December 2016.
Two project phases
The Epping Planning Review has two project phases.
The first phase was carried out between 2016 and 2018 and Council are currently undertaking Phase 2 projects.
Epping Planning Review – Phase 1(Back to top)
The first phase involved undertaking technical studies to ascertain specific land use issues and traffic impacts:
- Epping Town Centre (East) Heritage Study
- Epping Town Centre Commercial Floorspace Study
- Epping Social Infrastructure Study
- Epping Town Centre Interim Traffic Modelling Study
In June 2017, the completed studies were used to inform the Epping Planning Review Discussion Paper.
The discussion paper explained the need to undertake the Epping Planning Review and proposed a series of options and recommendations along with supporting principles for adoption.
From June to July 2017, the discussion paper and the technical studies were publicly exhibited, including and community workshops were undertaken. At the Council meeting of 14 August 2017, the principles from the Discussion Paper was adopted.
In May 2017 the final Epping Town Centre Traffic analysis was complete. This constitutes a town centre wide traffic study as well as area-specific studies.
Community engagement has been an important element of the Epping Planning Review.
Between mid-December 2016 and July 2017, feedback from the residents informed the technical studies and the Discussion Paper.
From April to July 2017 a number of consultation tasks took place including community workshops, information sessions, online surveys, intercept surveys, site visits, email updates and face-to-face meetings.
The Traffic Study was placed on public exhibition between July and September 2018.
The Discussion Paper, technical studies and reports summarising the feedback from community engagement are available for download below.
Epping Planning Review – Phase 2(Back to top)
The (current) second phase of the Epping Planning Review involves addressing the outcomes of the first phase.
It largely comprises statutory processes, that is, the preparation of planning proposals that seek to amend the current planning controls to resolve the land use issues identified during the first phase.
These projects are undertaken in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, including community consultation.
Some additional technical analysis will also be undertaken during this final phase to support the relevant planning proposal process.
A number of projects in Phase 2 are active and ongoing, including:
- High Density Development interface with Heritage Conservation Areas – Two Planning Proposals which aim to reduce the impact of high density development on adjoining heritage areas have been finalised by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment in 2021. These proposals relate to properties in Rosebank Avenue and various properties in East Epping.
- Loss of Commercial Floor Space – Council prepared a planning proposal in 2021 to increase commercial floorspace in Epping Town Centre. This planning proposal was not supported by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. Council is now reviewing its options to achieve this outcome.
- Community facilities and open spaces – Council is investigating options to provide additional open space in proximity to the high growth areas and the opportunity to deliver a new library and community spaces on Council owned land.