Development controls and approvals

The controls for development of a heritage item or development within a heritage conservation area can be found in Ku-ring-gai's Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan. The controls in these plans seek to conserve the heritage significance of heritage places.

Local Environmental Plan

In the Local Environmental Plan you can find the heritage status and provisions.

Check the following parts:

  • Schedule 5, Environmental heritage: to establish whether the place is listed as a heritage item or is located within a heritage conservation area.
  • Heritage map: for the land listed as a heritage item and/or within the heritage conservation area boundary.
  • Heritage provisions in section 5.10: for the objectives, the types of works that require development consent and where a development application is not required. The clause also sets the considerations for heritage impact assessment.

Development Control Plan

In the Development Control Plan you can find the detailed controls relating to heritage items, sites in heritage conservation areas and in the vicinity.

Check the following part:

  • Part 19, Heritage Items and Conservation Areas: on subdivision, demolition, alterations and additions, new buildings, character, roof forms, building setbacks, fences, documentation required for development applications and more.

Listing checks

To find out how a place is heritage listed, you can also search for the address on Ku-ring-gai's online map viewer. Select the map tab of "heritage" to see the listed heritage items and conservation area boundaries.

To confirm the listing status for a property as a heritage item or within a heritage conservation area, it is recommended that you obtain a Section 10.7 Planning Certificate from Council. This certificate confirmation is required for legal purpose such as property purchase or determining development pathways.

Council advice on specific changes

Ku-ring-gai Council does not offer a heritage advisory service. However, if you wish to know the key issues associated with the development of a heritage item or within a heritage conservation area, please apply for a "pre-development application consultation" (a pre-DA), as described below.

Council's feedback will assist you in addressing issues with your proposal prior to lodging an application. The pre-DA service is considered useful because you are only given one opportunity to amend your proposal during the development application assessment process. Using the pre-DA service can save you time, money and alleviate uncertainty.

Owners may also wish to seek advice from a heritage consultant who can help to apply Council's controls for the features of an individual property. Public authorities like councils cannot recommend private consultants. While not an endorsement, Heritage NSW maintains a directory of heritage consultants you may contact at: Heritage consultants directory.

Pre-DA consultation service

You can submit concept design details of your proposal. As part of Council’s feedback, a heritage advisor will identify key aspects or issues of a development that should be addressed in any future application. Advice is initially in writing, however a follow up discussion is offered where clarification of the written advice is needed. Council's heritage advisors will make suggestions, where appropriate, to address issues in order to preserve heritage.

About the Pre-DA consultation(PDF, 204KB) 

Development application

When development consent is required for the type of works, you can apply for Council’s approval to change a heritage listed property by lodging a development application (DA). When an application is received, Council then assesses the impacts of the proposed works on the heritage significance of the listed place. This is known as a merit assessment. Council approves works that maintain the heritage significance of the heritage item or heritage conservation area. 

For guidance on preparing and lodging an application see Development Applications.

Minor heritage works application 

Owners of heritage items and buildings within heritage conservation areas can apply for a 'minor heritage works' application where the work is of a minor nature or is for the maintenance of the heritage item, an Aboriginal object, Aboriginal place or archaeological site or a building, work, relic, tree or place within a heritage conservation area.  Works must not adversely affect the heritage significance of the place or object. 

For further information, please contact Council’s duty planner or Heritage Specialist on 9424 0000.  

What about complying development?

Complying development, or development approved by a private certifier through a complying development certificate (CDC), is not permitted on the land and structures of most heritage items. This includes proposed or draft heritage items. Complying development is also restricted to certain types of development for land listed within heritage conservation areas. This is because this coded development and private certifiers are not set up to assess the merit of heritage impacts.

This private certification system and its controls are managed by the state government under the state planning code known as the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

The limitation on complying development for heritage items applies to the land, not just the building or item name. The “described and mapped” land of a heritage item, as referred to under clause 1.17A(4) of the code, includes the full land parcels identified in schedule 5 under ‘property description’ and the land shaded on the heritage map of Ku-ring-gai Local Environmental Plan 2015. 

To establish whether complying development is permissible in relation local heritage listing, a planning certificate must be obtained from Council to confirm whether the subject land is identified as a heritage item or within a conservation area. Where complying development is not permitted, owners can propose development for Council’s assessment by submitting a development application or minor works application, as noted above.

For more information refer to the Department of Planning and Environment's Complying Development page.



Phone: 9424 0000

Visit: 818 Pacific Highway, Gordon 

Related links