Heritage Items, Sites and Areas

Heritage items, sites and areas

Local government is the principal manager of heritage in NSW. A council’s local environmental plan (LEP) contains heritage provisions that provides the overarching framework for heritage management in its local government area and contains a schedule or list of sites and areas that have been identified as being of heritage significance (mainly on a local level).

The local heritage of the Wingecarribee Shire is managed through the Wingecarribee Local Environmental Plan (WLEP) 2010Clause 5.10 of the WLEP 2010 contains the statutory planning controls for heritage places (supported by development control plans for each area of the Shire) and Schedule 5 lists the statutory heritage items, heritage conservation areas and archaeological sites. There are currently more than 400 heritage items and sites and 17 heritage conservation areas within the Wingecarribee Shire.

Heritage items, archaeological sites and heritage conservation areas are mapped in the Heritage Map sheets that form part of the WLEP 2010. Heritage items and areas can also be viewed via the NSW Planning Portal Spatial Viewer.

Heritage Items and the Heritage Assessment Criteria

A heritage item is something which has been assessed as having at least local significance using the heritage assessment criteria in the NSW Heritage Manual.

An item is considered to be of local heritage significance if it meets one or more of the following criteria on a local level. For an item to be considered for listing on the State Heritage Register (of State heritage significance), it must meet two or more criteria on a State level:

Criterion (a): Historical An item is important in the course, or pattern, of NSW's cultural or natural history (or the cultural or natural history of the local area) 
Criterion (b): Associational


An item has a strong or special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in NSW's cultural or natural history (or the cultural or natural history of the local area).
Criterion (c): Aesthetic An item is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics and/or a high degree of creative or technical achievement in NSW (or the local area).
Criterion (d): Social An item has strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group in NSW (or the local area) for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.
Criterion (e): Research  An item has the potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of NSW's cultural or natural history (or the cultural or natural history of the local area).
Criterion (f): Research  An item possesses uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of NSW's cultural or natural history (or the cultural or natural history of the local area).
Criterion (g): Representatives  An item is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of NSW's (or the local area's) cultural or natural places or environments.

Every potential heritage item must be assessed against all criteria, but rarely will items be significant under all criteria. Once the heritage significance of an item is established, Council must undertake the statutory process (including public exhibition and consultation) of amending its Local Environmental Plan (LEP) in order to add the item to the heritage schedule.  This process is called the Planning Proposal process.  More information on the Planning Proposal process can be accessed here

Heritage Conservation Areas

A heritage conservation area (HCA) is an area that displays unifying attributes or elements of heritage significance and can include whole sections of towns and villages.

There are 17 HCAs within the Wingecarribee Shire, as listed under Part 2 of Schedule 5 of the WLEP 2010, as follows:

  1. Berrima Conservation Area
  2. Berrima Landscape Conservation Area
  3. Bowral Conservation Area
  4. Bundanoon Conservation Area
  5. Anglewood Conservation Area (Burradoo)
  6. Burradoo Landscape Conservation Area
  7. Burrawang Conservation Area
  8. Joadja Conservation Area
  9. Mittagong Conservation Area
  10. The Maltings Conservation Area (Mittagong)
  11. Argyle Street North Conservation Area (Moss Vale)
  12. Argyle and Browley Streets Conservation Area (Moss Vale)
  13. East Street Conservation Area (Moss Vale)
  14. Throsby and Arthur Streets Conservation Area (Moss Vale)
  15. Throsby Park Conservation Area (Moss Vale)
  16. Valetta Street Conservation Area (Moss Vale)
  17. Aitken Road Conservation Area (Bowral)

The HCAs are shown on the Heritage Maps associated with WLEP 2010 available for viewing via the NSW Planning Portal. Alternatively, a property can be searched using the NSW Planning Portal Spatial Viewer in which different planning affectations (including heritage) can be displayed.

The State Heritage Register and State Heritage Inventory

Established in 1999, the State Heritage Register is a list of places of State heritage significance and are often referred to as State Heritage Items. The list comprises places that have been assessed as having importance to NSW as a whole and these places can be in either public or private ownership. Nominations for listing on the State Heritage Register are assessed by the NSW Heritage Council. State Heritage Register items are administered by Heritage NSW under the NSW Heritage Act 1977.

There are currently 41 places within the Wingecarribee Shire on the State Heritage Register ranging from Throsby Park in Moss Vale to the Berrima Internment Group along the banks of the Wingecarribee River in Berrima to the Mount Gibraltar Quarries Complex in Bowral.

Places listed in Schedule 5 of the Wingecarribee Local Environmental Plan 2010 that are also listed on the State Heritage Register are indicated as being of “State” significance. Further information about the difference between State and local heritage can be found on the Heritage NSW website.

State Heritage Items can be viewed and searched using the State Heritage Inventory available on the Heritage NSW website (link below). The State Heritage Inventory also contains information about all heritage items (State, local and heritage assets under the care of State agencies) in NSW.

Search the State Heritage Inventory

The Benefits of Owning a Heritage Property

The advantages of heritage listing a property are as follows:

  • It provides certainty for owners, neighbours and intending purchasers. This is important when people are looking for a particular environment in which to live and work. It explains why certain suburbs, towns, villages and rural properties are sought after as places in which to live and work. This is an important issue in Wingecarribee and many of our towns and villages contain heritage items and heritage conservation areas.
  • Protection of an item also requires Council to consider the effect on that item of any proposed development in the vicinity.
  • It confirms a heritage status that many people are proud of and is useful for many commercial operators for use in advertising e.g. bed and breakfast places. Listing often provides information on the history and style of the item not known to the owner.
  • Through flexibility clauses (such as clause 5.10(10) of the Wingecarribee Local Environmental Plan 2010) owners of heritage items can apply for otherwise non-conforming or prohibited uses where conservation of the heritage item can be demonstrated.
  • It enables free access to Council’s heritage advisory service.
  • It enables potential savings through special heritage valuations. If a property is listed on Council’s Local Environmental Plan, a property owner can request a heritage valuation for land tax purposes through the Valuer General NSW. This can result in a reduction in land tax. It also means properties are given a discounted property value by the Valuer General NSW for rating purposes, thereby reducing Council rates. For more information visit the website of the Valuer General NSW.
  • It enables priority access to heritage grants through both the Heritage NSW and from Council. Listing is a minimum requirement for all Heritage NSW funding.
  • Real estate advertising suggests that heritage properties are considered a plus and that they command a premium price in many markets including the residential market, country towns, villages and farms.

Further information on what a heritage listing means to a property owner is available from the publication Heritage Listing Explained - what it means for you published by Heritage NSW.