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The development application for the 130 manufactured home estate proposed within the Morpeth Heritage Zone has been withdrawn by the applicant

Development image gallery

You can find the full proposal on the Maitland City Council Website

by clicking: Here

In an NBN interview the developer stated: 

"The concerns that are raised though as to the heritage is absolutely right"

View the full NBN news interview here: INTERVIEW

What does Morpeth think about the proposal?










Developers proposal states it will:

  • “Expand the edge/ limits of the town in shape and size which have not changed since 1840”

  • “effect the rural setting and alter the views to the town within the landscape”

  • “Alter the fabric of the town of Morpeth”

  • “Proposed in the Morpeth heritage zone”


The proposed development is not conducive with the guidelines for development in this area

What Can do?
What can I do?



Call and email your councillors to have your voice heard

Cr Mitchell Griffin: 0402 168 359

Cr Robert Aitchison : 0427 455 215

Cr Mike Yarrington: 0490 880 514



Loretta Baker 02 4934 9712

Phillip Penfold 0427 330 771

Henry Meskauskas 0418 606 965

Donald Ferris 0413 994 706

Mitchell Griffin 0402 168 359

Ben Mitchell 0458 929 202

Nicole Penfold 0437 559 990

Sally Halliday 0477 772 697

Kanchan Ranadive: 0477 704 838

Ben Whiting: 0425 349 938

Peter Garnham: 0401 895 482


every contact counts

In your communications with Council you can summarise your submission if you made one, or you can use some of the points referred to below.




 Maitland Local Environmental Plan 2011 – Part 2

  • The parcel of land that the proposed development is situated on is zoned E2 and RU2. You could refer to the objectives below and how the proposed development does not satisfy these objectives.

  • The objectives of E2 zoning are to ‘protect, manage and restore areas of high ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic values’ and ‘to prevent development that could destroy, damage or otherwise have an adverse effect on those values’.

  • The objectives of RU2 zoning are to ‘maintain a rural landscape character of land’.

Development Control Plan 2011 – Part E – Special Precincts

  • In this document Morpeth heritage conservation area is described as ‘a distinct urban entity in a rural landcape’ - ‘Morpeth has a clearly defined edge and a distinctive form in a rural setting’ (P. 59)

  • There should be no non-rural development on surrounding rural and vacant land to maintain the setting of a village within an open rural landscape. (P.87)

  • Morpeth is notable for its ‘low intensity, small scale development’ (P.61)

  • View corridors should not be obstructed by new development, including the views from the southern edge of the township. (P.87)

The Traffic Assessment does not take into account construction traffic, particularly trucks bringing in fill right through the centre of town or conversely, taking it away. It does not address other construction vehicles during construction or provide even the framework for a Construction Management Plan.

The proposal is inconsistent with the following objectives and strategies of SEPP 36 – Manufactured Home Estates: 

2 Aims and strategies

(1) The aims of this Policy are—

(d) to ensure that manufactured home estates are situated only in suitable locations and not on land having important resources or having landscape, scenic or ecological qualities that should be preserved, and

(e) to ensure that manufactured home estates are adequately serviced and have access to essential community facilities and services, and

(f) to protect the environment surrounding manufactured home estates, and

(2) The strategies by which those aims are to be achieved are—

(a) by allowing, with development consent, manufactured home estates on certain land on which caravan parks are permitted if the land meets the suitable locational criteria stipulated in this Policy (which it would not do if, for example, it contains important resources, is subject to natural or man-made risks or has sensitive environmental or ecological features), and

(b) by applying this Policy to areas where there is likely to be a demand and suitable opportunities for the development of manufactured home estates, and



The development could also be excluded by Schedule 2 of the SEPP because the Site – not just the bit being developed - contains a wetland and is partly zoned “environmental conservation” and part “rural”.

·Clause 9 of the SEPP - Council has to be satisfied the development can be supplied with reticulated water, a reticulated sewerage system, drainage and electricity – but there is no services strategy or documentation demonstrating it can be provided apart from the Hunter Water stamped plans (which is not an assessment of being able to supply the services).

There is no economic or social impact assessment to demonstrate the likely social and economic effects – both positive and negative and no justification that people living in the development will have adequate access to community facilities or services.

There is no ecological assessment of the impact on the previously identified threatened species or potential koala habitat:

There is no assessment of the extent of earthworks required – how much the land surface will be modified and whether there will be fill imported or taken away. There is no assessment of whether the fill will be placed within the flood zone or where exactly the 1:100 year flood level is and no assessment of whether the fill will displace floodwaters.

There is no detail or assessment of how many dwellings will be within the flood zone – that is, they will still be sitting in floodwater but the floor level is 500mm above that water level. And no assessment of whether the flood waters will push the dwellings off their foundations.

There is a big difference between the 1:100 year flood event and the PMF – Probable Maximum Flood and no assessment of what happens in the PMF. This is critical as there are potentially many more people being put at risk during such an event.

An Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan should be provided up front with the DA, as should a Site Environmental management Plan, considering the land contains a wetland.

There has been no Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) report and no liaison with police.

There is also no street lighting strategy or demonstration how the estate will be illuminated at night.

There is no assessment demonstrating that there is an actual need for this form of housing, despite the claims made in the Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE).

The applicant has not provided a Preliminary Site Assessment to demonstrate the change of use from Rural to Residential does not present a contamination risk or demonstrate that the provisions of Clause 7 of SEPP 55 – Remediation of Land has been satisfied.

An almost identical development proposal on this site, proposed by the same developer, was refused in 2007.  The rejection placed significant weight to how contrary the development would have been to the heritage of Morpeth

A summary of the refusal is as follows:

“The impact of this proposal will not just impact on the rural character of Morpeth but significantly change the traditional boundaries and footprint of the village, and thereby change the very nature of its significance of its listing. The proponent has undertaken heritage studies arguing that the town boundaries can be extended and attempted to address these issues through design. However it is determined that the matter cannot be resolved and that the location of the proposed development is not appropriate. “

“The Morpeth Management Plan 2000, a Council Policy guiding the future management of Morpeth, identifies Morpeth as a separate and distinct component in the landscape. It reinforces that the type of dwellings should be single storey detached, although two storeys may be considered on steep slopes providing street frontages are always single storey. Multiple housing developments may be considered for special needs in limited numbers”

“It is considered that the proposed expansion of the town would severely compromise the heritage significance of the Morpeth township as a result of: 

  •  fundamental changes to the town’s historically intact layout and loss of the existing town’s rural aspect and vista; 

  •  the creation of a divided town whereby different design and urban design characteristics would be clearly evident; 

  •  High density and building pattern of the development; 

  •  Inappropriate scale of buildings within the development 

Development of the site will set a strong precedent for the development of land to the west of the existing lot. This is a crucial implication of any approval, which would lead to the visual merging of the Morpeth Township to Morpeth Manor and Raworth.” 


“Council has received correspondence from Mr Jim Arneman the Labor Candidate for Paterson representing a local resident of the Morpeth community. The concerns raised relate to the lack of facilities currently available and the inability of Morpeth to deal with a possible expansion of the local population, and the potential for the proposed development to destroy the atmosphere of the town.”


“The National Trust requested that the proposal be referred for their consideration. The Trust is concerned that the proposed location and scale of the development will have a major and detrimental effect on the special qualities and character of the historic town of Morpeth”

A copy of the full document is contained in the following PDF:



follow the QR code to the Morpeth Resident Action Group facebook page

give us a like or share the group with your friends


Resource Centre

Template Council submission

Disclosure of Political Donations

Letter Box Flyer

SAY NO! Printable A4 sign

Maitland City Wide Development Control Plan

Rejection Document 2007

National Trust 2007

Heritage Council 2007


107-117 Swan St Development


Common sense has prevailed.

Following consultation with Council, the applicants to their credit have decided to withdraw their proposed development for 24 residential units in Swan St. 

It is pleasing to see that they are prepared to reassess their position and hopefully come back with a proposal more in keeping with the heritage characteristics of Morpeth.

Over the past 4 years we have held several meetings with the applicants' representative and the community and look forward to further collaboration in order to achieve a positive outcome for all parties.


Thanks to everyone who put in submissions regarding this DA. 

It has definitely helped to get us to this stage. 

Of course there is still work to do.

Submission Template

MHG Objection Presentation

Street View of proposal

Disclosure of Political Donations

MHG Objection

Colour Scheme

SEE 2017

Notification Plan

Statement of Heritage Impact

Landscape Plan

A statement from Morpeth Heritage Group regarding the development:

"In simple terms what is proposed is too big, completely out of character with the town and unnecessary. It will be a blight on the Heritage Integrity of the town and an insult to all of us residents who have endeavoured to maintain that Heritage, not only for us but more importantly the wider community of Maitland, the Hunter Valley and the State. Morpeth and its history is key for all of us to understand our history


It just doesn't fit, it is inappropriate and a clear overdevelopment of an important site.


This is the third iteration of this DA. Each time the applicant has attempted to make it acceptable by tinkering at the edges, not really addressing the key issues.


It is non compliant with:


1) SEPP65 (Design Quality of Residential Apartment Development,

2) Apartment Design Guide (ADG) 2015-07,

3) Maitland Local Environmental Plan 2011 and

4) Maitland Development Control Plan 2011, Part E.5 Heritage which includes Morpeth Heritage Conservation Area


We need Community support (once again) to finally have this proposal rejected.


We are not opposed to the development of this site - but what ever goes there should be appropriate and fit with the needs and stated objectives of our community. We want something to be proud of!" 

Morpeth NSW 2321, Australia

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