Development consent is not always needed for minor works to a heritage item or a property in a heritage conservation area.
If you are proposing minor works (such as replacing existing roof cladding, timber joinery, metalwork, work to the front fence, changing the colour scheme or external finishes) you must advise Council using an Application for a minor works exemption 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 (such as an email or letter) stating that Council has agreed to you making a minor works exemption application. Please contact Council’s Building and Properties Team if you wish to obtain owner’s consent.
Minor work is that which would be exempt under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 if the property was not a heritage item or in a heritage conservation area.
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 NSW has prepared a number of publications that provide advice on maintenance of buildings. These publications, which are available on the Heritage NSW 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.
In all cases, you should follow a logical progression in carrying out conservation work:
Investigate the physical and documentary evidence of the place
Assess the heritage significance of the place
Develop a conservation and management approach based on the importance of the place
Carry out the work
Record what you have done.