By Ben Slack | 28 Sep 2016

There have been two important recent announcements of changes which will affect development proposals on, or adjacent to, heritage places.

The Queensland Government is making a number of changes to the development assessment system for State Heritage Places in Queensland. 

The referral trigger for Material Change of Use applications (with some exclusions for small scale developments) for development of a site sharing a common boundary with a State Heritage Place will be introduced.  

State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) will function as a concurrence agency to such development, with Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) providing technical advice on development applications in terms of heritage impacts on these adjoining State Heritage Places. 

As a concurrence agency in the assessment of development applications on sites adjoining State Heritage Places, SARA (and DEHP) will have the potential power to recommend refusal of such development. The test for this assessment is the impact on significant views of a heritage place, by the form, bulk and proximity of the new development on the adjoining site. 

The definition of a local heritage place will also be amended to exclude duplication between local and state governments.  A State Heritage Place cannot be identified as a local heritage place in a planning scheme. This will remove duplication of heritage assessments of the same place by both local and state government officers, and afford primacy to SARA as the only assessment authority for the proposed development of a State Heritage Place.

These changes are proposed to commence in December 2016.

Brisbane City Council has announced that it will now offer Exemption Certificates (EC) for minor works to places identified as having local heritage value within the BCC City Plan 2014 Heritage Overlay

This offers the potential for substantial project benefits, as an approved EC may exclude the need for formal assessment of a proposed development on a heritage place against the City Plan.

Works that may be eligible for an EC are limited to those that would have minimal impact on the significance of the heritage place, and may include:

  • Replacement of defective building elements with modern materials, matching original form, details and finishes;
  • Reconstruction of a masonry or timber wall if that wall is unsound, matching original form, details and finishes;
  • Demolishing or removing elements of a heritage place that are identified as being non-significant, and do not contribute to the heritage values of a place.

An EC application form must be lodged with information specifying the proposed works. Fees apply, and a 20 business day timeframe applies for assessment of the application.

If you would like to discuss how these changes may affect your proposed developments, please get in touch with Scott Richards or Tina King on 30073800.