Maintenance and certain types of minor works can obtain an exemption from development consent but do require written permission from Council, in accordance with clause 5.10(3) of the WLEP 2010. Under this clause, development consent is not required for works that Council is satisfied are of a minor nature or for maintenance and that do not adversely affect the heritage significance of the heritage item, area or site.
Development of a minor nature or for maintenance is:
- Development that would be exempt development or development permitted without consent under State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) or State Environmental Planning Policy (Transport and Infrastructure) 2021 (ISEPP) except for the heritage affectation of the subject land, or
- Development that exceeds the exempt development standards specified in the Codes SEPP or ISEPP by a small degree and that is assessed by Council officers as not adversely affecting the heritage significance of the heritage place, or
- Other development not specified in the Codes SEPP that is considered by Council officers to be minor with no adverse heritage impact, or
- Maintenance that complies with the definition within the WLEP 2010 Dictionary:
maintenance, in relation to a heritage item, Aboriginal object or Aboriginal place of heritage significance, or a building, work, archaeological site, tree or place within a heritage conservation area, means ongoing protective care, but does not include the removal or disturbance of existing fabric, alterations (such as carrying out extensions or additions) or the introduction of new materials or technology.
Types of works or activities for which a heritage exemption may be granted include:
- Exterior re-painting (including new colour schemes)
- Like-for-like roof replacement
- Minor landscaping and paving
- Front fences
- Some internal alterations that don’t involve changes to room configurations.
Routine maintenance which does not involve a change to the building or site (such as lawn mowing, cleaning, inspection of gutters) does not require development consent or reference to Council. Where a heritage item specifically includes the garden, the ordinary day to day maintenance and replanting of garden beds does not require approval. The removal of significant mature trees, however, or changing the form of a garden designed in a certain style, would require consent.
To request a heritage exemption, send an email to email@example.com with the following information:
- Name and contact details of applicant.
- Detailed description of proposed works.
- Any plans of the proposed works (if available).
- Brief statement justifying why you consider the works to be minor and why the proposal will not have an adverse impact on the heritage significance of the heritage place.
- Site plan showing site boundaries, streets, street names, existing buildings on the site, existing vegetation (if in the vicinity of the proposed works). The location of the proposed works (if in a specific area) should also be indicated. The plan should be to scale or if it’s hand-drawn it should include approximate dimensions.
- Colour photographs (preferably in electronic format and not embedded into a PDF or other document) showing the heritage item from the outside (e.g. from the street, if visible) and photos of the area subject to the minor works request. If it is a roof, it should include photographs of existing gutters and downpipes.
If applying for a new colour scheme, details of proposed colour scheme, including colour name(s) and brand.
Exemptions are also available for items on the State Heritage Register through Heritage NSW. See the Standard Exemptions section of the Heritage NSW website for more information.
You must await a written response from Council before any works are undertaken.