Maintenance & minor works

Development consent is not always needed for maintenance and minor works affecting a heritage item or conservation area.

Maintenance of heritage items and places in a conservation area do not require development consent providing existing materials are not removed or disturbed as part of the maintenance work. If existing materials such as roof cladding, timber joinery, metalwork etc are to be removed and replaced, or you are proposing to change the colour scheme or external finishes as part of the maintenance work, you should advise Council using an Application for maintenance and/or minor works affecting a heritage item or conservation area form and wait until Council has approved the application in writing before commencing the work. There is no fee for this application.

If the application is for work to a structure located on Council owned or managed property, you must submit written advice (eg. email, letter or the like) that Council has agreed to you making a minor works application. Council’s Building and Properties Team must be contacted if you wish to obtain owner’s consent.

If you are unsure whether the work you are proposing is considered maintenance and minor work, contact Council's duty planner.

Building conservation information

Regular maintenance is essential for all buildings and is more cost effective in the long term than large scale work every 20-30 years.  Attending to a minor problem can prevent the problem causing more extensive building defects. Appropriate techniques should be used to ensure maintenance does not create other problems with the building fabric. 

The Heritage Branch has prepared a number of publications that provide advice on maintenance of buildings. These publications, which are available on the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website, provide answers to the technical questions facing owners and managers of heritage places about various maintenance projects including tuckpointing, repointing, rising damp, metalwork, corrugated roofing, wood preservation, slating, tiling and roof plumbing, timber repairs, plaster repairs and removing paint from old buildings. These documents are not a substitute for professional advice. Employing a conservation specialist is usually the easiest and often, in the long run, the most economical way of ensuring the job is done well. Council also has a Heritage Advisor who can provide some advice on maintenance and conservation of heritage buildings.

In all cases, you should follow a logical progression in carrying out conservation work:

  1. Investigate the physical and documentary evidence of the place

  2. Assess the heritage significance of the place

  3. Develop a conservation and management approach based on the importance of the place

  4. Carry out the work

  5. Record what you have done.