Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of owning a heritage listed property?
The benefits of owning a heritage listed property can include:
- An additional positive selling point for owners. Properties are often advertised as ‘having loads of charm’ and being ‘full of character’. These elements can be sought after features for potential buyers
- Great certainty to owners, neighbors and potential buyers that the significance of an area will be preserved.
- Access to grants for building works which other property owners are not eligible to apply for.
What are my obligations if I own a heritage listed property?
Like all property owners, it is expected that normal maintenance and repair is undertaken on a heritage listed property. The main difference for owners of heritage listed properties is when you want to make changes and undertake building work.
My property is not a heritage item but the property next door is, what does this mean for me?
If there is a heritage item nearby, or adjoining your property, any development you propose must give consideration to the heritage item. Your development must respect the architectural style, choice of material, height, etc of the heritage item to ensure your development complements the existing character of the item. This does not mean that your development needs to replicate the item.
If you would like to discuss your plans with Council’s Heritage Advisor please contact (02) 4993 4127 to make an appointment.
Are there specific controls for heritage listed properties?
The Cessnock Local Environmental Plan 2011 (LEP) contains heritage provisions which need to be complied with for development on a heritage item, in a heritage conservation area or within the vicinity of a heritage item. Clause 5.10 Heritage conservation of the LEP needs to be considered and complied with when planning and designing your development.
Part D of the Cessnock Development Control Plan 2010 (DCP) contains heritage conservation and design guidelines controls which need to be considered when planning your development.
If you would like to discuss your plans and these controls the following staff are available to assist:
- Duty Planner: available between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday
- Duty Building Surveyor: available between 9.00am and 10.00am and between 1.00pm and 5pm, Monday to Friday
- Council’s Heritage Advisor: generally available the first Tuesday of each month. Please call to make an appointment or request a phone call.
Does the heritage listing apply to the whole property or just parts of the building?
A heritage listing applies to the whole property and any features which make the listing significant. This can include internal feature, such as ceiling and floor boards, and external features, such as trees and pathways.
Can I discuss my building plans with someone at Council?
Before formally submitting a Development Application it is recommended that you visit Council’s Help and Information Centre at Council to discuss your proposal with the relevant Duty Officer. Duty Planners are available between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday, and Duty Building Surveyors are available between 9.00am and 10.00am and between 1.00pm and 5pm, Monday to Friday. General advice is provided by the duty officers but more detailed written advice is available by making appropriate arrangements for a formal PreDA meeting.
You can also make an appointment with Council’s Heritage Advisor to discuss your plans. The Heritage Advisor can provide specialised advice on heritage maintenance and protection.
The Office of Environment and Heritage has some additional FAQ’s.