More than 1000 Aboriginal sites and artefacts will be saved from destruction after plans to raise a major dam wall in NSW were scrapped.

The controversial plan to raise the Warragamba Dam wall was shelved this week after the NSW government decided not to go ahead with the project due to massive costs and concerns about the impact on the environment and heritage.

NSW Environment Minister Penny Sharpe said the plan – which would have seen the dam wall raised by 14 metres – would have cost more than $1 billion and affected a portion of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, including 1200 Aboriginal sites and artefacts.

The news has been welcomed by Indigenous communities who opposed the project.

Gundungurra traditional owner Kazan Brown said the news is a “big weight off the shoulders”.