Changes to heritage properties

Heritage listing does not mean that properties or buildings cannot be modernised, altered or developed. Changes may still be made, but these changes must have regard to the site’s heritage significance, and any new work should be undertaken in an appropriate or ‘sympathetic’ way.

Addition to heritage item

Substantial rear additions have been undertaken to this heritage item in North Parramatta.

Addition to heritage item

A large addition to the side of the St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Parramatta is considered to complement the original church building.

For example, a sympathetic addition to a heritage item should keep original features where possible. New work should not necessarily try to look ‘old’ or copy the architectural detail of the original building, but rather compliment the overall building form, scale, materials and finishes.

Further, Council will generally be cautious about approving changes that destroy original parts of a heritage listed building, particularly where such changes would be visible from the street. It is highly unlikely that Council will give permission to demolish heritage items, and applications to demolish buildings within conservation areas will also be considered cautiously.

Council approval

A development application will need to be lodged to get Council approval for changes and work to heritage items and properties within heritage conservation areas. Council’s Development Application Form and Checklist provides details on the matters that will need to be included in the application. Council’s Heritage Advisor can clarify if any extra information, such as a Heritage Impact Statement, is required.

repainting of heritage item before and after

A repainted heritage item in Harris Park greatly enhancing its appearance and the locality.

For certain types of minor work Council may give its approval without a development application being required. Examples include replacing roof guttering, a new fence or repainting a house in a new colour scheme. For this type of work, the

Council will need to be advised in writing of the proposal, and if it is acceptable, Council will write back giving approval for the work.

Minor maintenance work and most interior works that do not affect the structure of the building will generally not require consent. However, it is strongly recommended that you contact Council’s Heritage Advisor before commencing to clarify if you require approval or not.


Development near heritage items

Properties near heritage items often form a significant part of the setting of the heritage item. Development near heritage items may be required to minimise any impact on the heritage property in terms of architectural style, scale, setbacks, external materials, finishes and colours.


A new building to the left, designed to be sympathetic to the heritage item on the right.

Development adjoining a heritage item rear view

The rear view of the development above, with the heritage item in the foreground and the new building in the background

Last updated on 14 Feb 2011