Heritage and development

How does a heritage listing affect development applications? 

If a property is listed as a heritage item or is located in a conservation area, Council must consider the effect that any development will have on the heritage significance of the heritage item or conservation area.  A brief statement of significance for a heritage item or conservation area is included on the heritage inventory sheet for the heritage item or conservation area.  Copies of heritage inventory sheets can be downloaded from NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website.

For development affecting a heritage item, Council will carefully consider the impact that the work will have on the significance of the heritage item. The design of any additions will also be assessed to determine how well they are integrated with the original building or heritage item.

In the case of development affecting a conservation area, Council will consider the effect development will have on the heritage value of the precinct. The fact that there may be inappropriate development in the conservation area is not justification for carrying out unsympathetic development. 

For places in the vicinity of a heritage item or conservation area, Council will consider whether the proposed development detracts from the importance of the heritage item in the local streetscape or townscape or from the character of the conservation area. 

What should I do if I want to develop a heritage item or a building located in a conservation area?

Council has a Heritage Advisor who is available to give preliminary advice on development constraints that might result as a consequence of a heritage listing.  It will often be beneficial to engage the services of a heritage consultant to assist in the preparation of your development application.  A list of heritage consultants has been compiled by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.  Please note that Council cannot endorse the work of any of the consultants included in this list.  You should make your own checks on the standard of work of any of these consultants prior to engaging them. 

In addition to the information normally required for a development application, your documentation will need to include:

  • Details of colours and materials proposed for the development, and 
  • Statement of Heritage Impact prepared by an appropriate heritage consultant. 

Can I demolish a heritage item or a place within a conservation area?

Council is reluctant to consent to the demolition of a heritage item, or a place that contributes to the character or significance of a conservation area. 

Does my development proposal need to mimic the heritage building, or other buildings in the conservation area?

New work may be sympathetic if its siting, setbacks, bulk, form, scale, character, colour, texture and materials are similar to the existing fabric, but imitations should be avoided. It is better to complement the existing architectural qualities of a heritage item or of contributory buildings in a conservation area using a sympathetic modern design solution for the development.  New work must be carefully designed.  It is important to remember a few basic principles to consider in your design: 




Materials and colour


Page last updated on: 29/08/17

Heritage Inventory Sheets

Heritage inventory sheets for heritage items and conservation areas within the City of Canada Bay can be downloaded from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website.

Heritage listing explained

To find out more about the benefits and effects of listing for owners and the community, the facts versus the myths, and for a practical insight into how to make sympathetic changes, download
Heritage listing explained - What it means for you.

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