What are the obligations of heritage listed property owners?
Heritage buildings, just like any others, require regular maintenance. The development of, and adherence to, a well planned maintenance programme will greatly reduce repair costs and extend the life of any building.
Planning of maintenance for any building involves regular and detailed monitoring of the building fabric, and taking action. Regular pest control inspections are important for the early identification of termites.
Leaking downpipes can result in cracking of some masonry walls and extensive damage to internal and external finishes. Regular maintenance inspections will detect leaks before they cause too much damage, and coordinated repair should result in the leaks being repaired before deterioration of the internal and external finishes.
What alterations can be undertaken to a heritage item?
Whether contemplating the purchase of a heritage listed property or thinking about the management of an existing property, it is important to think about whether the property can be adapted to current needs without destroying its heritage value.
When planning for such changes it is important to have a clear understanding of what fabric is significant so that an appropriate balance may be struck between accommodating changes and retention of important fabric.
The term fabric refers to all the physical material of a place, including its surroundings and contents. Where extensive alterations are contemplated, it is appropriate to obtain expert advice.
It is generally possible to introduce services such as air conditioning, lighting, information technology and the like in ways that do not compromise the building's importance.
It is important to discuss any proposed changes with Council staff.
Who decides on heritage maintenance needs?
For any property, whether heritage listed or not, currently owned or recently purchased, it is important to understand its existing condition and faults.
The detailed collection of this information, a dilapidation survey, should be prepared to understand what work is needed to correct any identified faults.
The dilapidation survey is a useful basis for the reinstatement of lost or damaged important features, ensuring that repair work is carried out correctly.
Modern building practices are sometimes inappropriate for the repair of older properties, so it is important to define correct methods.
How are approvals gained for works to heritage items?
To obtain approval for development, it is necessary to lodge an application with adequate documentation identifying the proposed work and how it is to be carried out.
The documentation is extremely useful and necessary in obtaining approvals.
Before commencing documentation it is recommended that property owners discuss proposed work with Council’s Heritage Advisor.
Contact Council's Customer Service team on 9725 0222 for more information.
Is there any Council assistance to help in maintenance?
Under Council's Heritage Grants Program, Council will financially assist owners of heritage properties listed within Council’s Local Environmental Plan for essential maintenance work up to $5,000 per project, on a dollar for dollar basis.
Under special circumstances, where the integrity of a heritage item is under threat, consideration will be given to a two dollar for dollar arrangement, subject to availability of funds and identified need.
Every year Council writes to owners of heritage items inviting grant applications for financial assistance to undertake essential maintenance work.
Applications for maintenance include: roof repairs, guttering replacement, stormwater and subsurface drainage, painting, the replacement of an external window, the repair to or replacement of a non-structural wall or roof or wall cladding or other works determined as relevant by Council’s Heritage Advisor which ensure the future retention of the heritage item.