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Heritage listings


Heritage consists of those places and objects, including houses, public and commercial buildings, parks and monuments, that we as a community have inherited from the past and want to hand on to future generations. Our heritage gives us a sense of living history and provides a physical link to the work and way of life of earlier generations. It enriches our lives and helps us to understand who we are today. In a planning context, heritage refers to things in our built and natural environment that we want to conserve for future generations to enjoy.

Heritage listings are a formal recognition by the State Government or by Council that a place is worth conserving for future generations.

The City of Canada Bay has over 500 heritage items and 20 conservation areas listed in Schedule 5 of Canada Bay Local Environmental Plan, 2013. These places reflect the rich history of the area and include houses, industrial sites, parks, street trees, commercial buildings, schools and churches.

Heritage items are of individual importance for their historic, aesthetic, social and/or technical value. 

Conservation areas are areas in which the historic origins and relationships between various elements create a cohesive sense of place that is worth keeping. Elements that make the conservation areas significant may include subdivision patterns, consistency of age, style or materials of the building stock, streetscapes (including lanes), landscaping, and street verges. The conservation area listing focuses on the external envelope of buildings, gardens, and site structures. Inclusion in a conservation area does not always mean that the streetscape is perfectly formed.  Often there will be elements that are not compatible with the heritage values of the conservation area.

What are the different types of heritage listing?

Places can be affected by heritage listings under one or more planning instruments including a Local Environmental Plan, a State Environmental Planning Policy or the State Heritage Register.

Types of heritage listing that might affect a place include listing as a heritage item or being located in a conservation area. Properties in the vicinity of a heritage item or a conservation area will also be affected to a lesser extent by heritage listing as Council considers the impact of development in the vicinity of a heritage item and conservation area.

How can I find out if my property is heritage affected?

Ways you can find out if your property is heritage or located within a heritage conservation area listed include the following:

Why does my property have heritage value?

Information about the heritage values of a heritage item or area can be found on its heritage sheet.

Heritage inventory sheets for heritage items and conservation areas are available on the Heritage NSW website

Please be aware that the information on the inventory sheets is not comprehensive and further investigation is usually required in order to understand all the heritage values of a place. If you require further information on a property you will need to seek the advice of a heritage consultant.

What development rules apply to heritage affected properties?

Canada Bay Development Control Plan sets out controls for development associated with heritage items, for properties located in heritage conservation areas, and for properties located within the vicinity of a heritage item or conservation area. You need to look at these controls in order to understand the nature of changes can be made to your property.

Canada Bay Development Control Plan can be found here

You may need to seek independent heritage advice from an appropriately experienced and qualified heritage consultant to understand the impact of proposed work on the heritage values of the property.

Council has some general advice here:

What is the difference between a heritage item and a place within a conservation area?

If the place you own is listed as a heritage item, Council has determined that the place is of individual importance for its historic, aesthetic, social and/or technical value. 

Conservation areas are places where Council has identified a significant streetscape or broader built environment.  In these areas, a group of buildings, often combined with an important subdivision pattern, will form a significant townscape or streetscape.  A conservation area will usually have a consistent form, scale and architectural language which are considered worthy of protection. Sometimes a conservation area is significant for its diversity and evidence of the changing patterns of development in an area. 

Inclusion in a conservation area does not always mean that the streetscape is perfectly formed.  Often there will be elements that are inconsistent.  These are sometimes known as discordant or non-contributory elements.

How do I have the heritage listing removed from my property?

Heritage lists are reviewed by Council from time to time according to its work program, but typically following a heritage study. Council does not review or assess individual sites for listing or de-listing on request.

If you wish to ask Council to consider an individual place for heritage de-listing outside of Council’s strategic work program, you will need to submit the following information, and any fee payable (phone Council to determine the fee):

  1. A heritage assessment to justify the de-listing, as set out in the Heritage NSW guideline at: Assessing Heritage Significance (PDF, 767KB) and

  2. A planning proposal to amend the local plan as described further here. There is a fee applicable for a planning proposal.

These reports need to be prepared by appropriately qualified and experienced professionals.

To ask Council to change or remove an existing listing your submitted information would need to demonstrate clearly and in detail why the place does not have sufficient heritage value to warrant listing.

There is no guarantee Council will support the de-listing.

Further information

To find out more about the benefits and effects of heritage listing for owners and the community, the facts versus the myths, and for a practical insight into how to make sympathetic changes, read the information provided by Heritage NSW in the Heritage Listing Explained brochure