Heritage Overlay


Is your property in a Heritage Area?

You can find out if your property is in a Heritage Overlay and the overlay number by creating a Planning Report at: http://services.land.vic.gov.au.

Council's eServices operates a property based web search that will generate a list of planning controls applicable to the site. 

About the Heritage Overlay

The Heritage Overlay (Clause 43.01) is standard across Victoria. Under the Heritage Overlay a planning permit is required to:

  • Subdivide or consolidate land
  • Demolish or remove a building (including part of a building)
  • Construct a building (including part of a building, or a fence)
  • Externally alter a building
  • Construct or carry out works
  • Construct or display a sign
  • Externally paint an unpainted surface (refer to note below)
  • Externally paint a building if the painting constitutes an advertisement.
  • In some instances, external paint controls, internal alteration controls and control over trees may also apply. The Schedule to the Heritage Overlay will identify whether these additional controls apply to your site.

Some of these requirements are varied in heritage precincts HO163-HO179 and HO187-HO192. Incorporated documents, local policies, conservation management plans and statements of significance assist in determining planning permit requirements and applications.

See How do you read the Heritage Overlay for more information.

Property owners and developers are strongly encouraged to discuss proposals with Council prior to committing to a project.

A Heritage Overlay is a a way to show that a place or area has heritage values and helps to protect and conserve important heritage elements. Certain works in a Heritage Overlay may require a planning permit, depending on where the works are carried out and the grading of the property.

Many properties are graded because some Heritage Overlays cover wide areas where the heritage significance of each property is different. Properties are graded using the terms significant or not significant, depending on how much they contribute to the heritage area they are in.

The Schedule to the Heritage Overlay lists all of the places and areas affected by the Heritage Overlay and any additional controls that may apply to that particular site. The Schedule can be accessed by clicking on the link below.

Heritage Overlays 163 to 188 have a Statement of Significance which outlines why a place or area is included within the Heritage Overlay. The Statements list all not significant properties in each of the Heritage Overlays. These Statements can be accessed via the link below.

In some instances, external paint controls, internal alteration controls and controls over trees may apply. The Schedule to the Heritage Overlay will identify whether these additional controls apply to your site. 
Some of these requirements are varied in Heritage Overlays 163 to 188. The exemptions are different  for significant buildings and not significant buildings. Details of the permit exemptions can be found by clicking on the Incorporated Planlinks below.

If a planning permit is required, Council will assess the proposal using Heritage Victoria Guidelines and the Burra Charter.

Before carrying out any works or committing to a project you should contact Council's Statutory Planning unit to seek assistance regarding permit information. 

Reading the Heritage OverlayTop of document.

Once you find out that your property is in a heritage overlay you may want to find out more information about what that means. The Heritage Overlay consists of planning scheme maps, the heritage overlay (clause 43.10) and a schedule to the overlay. Sites are mapped in the Planning Scheme to show the location and extent of heritage controls over a particular heritage place and to provide a reference number the heritage overlay schedule where more specific information is referenced.

This page includes how to find out if you are in a heritage overlay, what the different documents such as the map, the overlay, the schedule, a policy, incorporated plan or document, statement of significance, the Burra Charter, a guideline, checklist or management plan are and mean. This section provides you with access to the information you need to understand the planning permit process under the heritage overlay.

In Victoria the format of the planning scheme documents for heritage are standard across the state. There are two sites that can assist you in accessing this information:

  • Council's eServices which operates a property based web search that will generate a list of planning controls applicable to the site
  • Land.vic.gov.au - Property Report  operate a property based web search that will generate a report including links to the heritage overlay and schedule. You will need to scroll to the bottom of the page and 'accept' before you can access the service. A report on the property will be generated after you enter the address and then select 'get report' and 'create report'.

Key planning documents relating to heritage

There are many heritage documents to look at which can be confusing. The following section gives a brief description of these documents as well as a suggested way to navigate through them.

Once you have accessed the documents it would be advisable to discuss your proposal with a council officer. More information can be found on the Heritage Advisory Service  page.

More information on reading the documents below can be found by downloading How Do You Read a Heritage Overlay Planning Control? (PDF - 107KB). 

It might help to print this document off to guide you through what the map, schedule, statement of significance and other documents mean and how they are used in the process.

Heritage Overlay Map

The Heritage Overlay planning scheme map identifies what places are in the heritage overlay

Heritage Overlay Control

The Heritage Overlay control at planning scheme clause 43.01 establishes permit requirements and decision guidelines applicable across Victoria.

Heritage Overlay Schedule

The Heritage Overlay planning scheme schedule at clause 43.01 is used to show what requirements are 'turned on' for that specific site or precinct (eg paint controls)

Statement of Significance

The Statement of Significance is the document, often from a heritage study, that explains what is important about the place (significance) and why it is in the heritage overlay. Permits are assessed against impact on significance. 

Incorporated Document

An incorporated document is a document included in the planning scheme which varies a control or provides additional decision making guidance. The Burra Charter (Australian ICOMOS webpage) is a standard incorporated document across the state. In Ballarat many precincts have an incorporated document which reduces permit requirements in certain circumstances.

Conservation Management Plan

Some heritage places have had a plan prepared to outline their conservation and use. This document may also be used to exempt certain actions in accordance with the plan from permit requirements.

Permit Checklists & ResCodes provide guidance in making an application for a planning permit.  Free heritage advice is available from Council's Heritage adviser (see further information at Heritage Advisory Service).