What is heritage

Heritage consists of those places and objects, including houses, public and commercial buildings, parks and monuments, that we as a community have inherited from the past and want to hand on to future generations. Our heritage gives us a sense of living history and provides a physical link to the work and way of life of earlier generations. It enriches our lives and helps us to understand who we are today. In a planning context, heritage refers to things in our built and natural environment that we want to conserve for future generations to enjoy.

Information Sheet - What is a Heritage Conservation Area?(PDF, 798KB)

Information Sheet - What is Heritage?(PDF, 990KB)

Ku-ring-gai Heritage Strategy

The Ku-ring-gai Heritage Strategy is an overarching document which guides Council’s approach to managing heritage assets within the local government area.

View the Ku-ring-gai Heritage Strategy(PDF, 830KB).

Is my property heritage listed?

Heritage items and heritage conservation areas are listed on schedule 5 of the Ku-ring-gai Local Environment Plan 2015. The legal listing is based on this place description in the local plan. The extent of listed land is shown in the supporting heritage map for this plan. 

You can also search for your address on Ku-ring-gai's online map viewer. Select the map tab of 'heritage' to see the listed land of heritage items and conservation area boundaries.

Information on these listed places is also available on the State Heritage Inventory. View NSW Heritage Inventory.

To confirm the listing status for a property for any legal purpose such as purchase, it is recommended that you obtain a Section 10.7 Planning Certificate from Council.

What does listing mean?

Heritage listing recognises and protects places worth keeping, through the NSW planning system. A heritage item listing covers the property as a whole - including interiors, exteriors and setting. A conservation area listing covers the building exteriors and setting.

Listing does not prohibit change to the listed features, or direct what can or cannot be changed. Instead, listing triggers a careful process for assessing proposed changes through the development approval process. The purpose of this assessment is to maintain the heritage significance or special qualities of the place.

Heritage listing requires Council, and the proponent, to assess heritage impacts when owners seek approval for changes, typically through a development application (DA). It's the development assessment process that determines what changes are acceptable, taking into account the individual circumstances and qualities of each place.

Heritage listing alters the development approval options. Listing prevents most complying development approved by private certifiers as complying development certificate (CDC's). This 'code-book' type of certification for major alterations, additions and demolition does not assess or consider the merit or impacts of development, involve Council approval or community consultation, with a different quality and uniformity of development as a result. Council has a simple process for exempting minor works to heritage listed places through minor works applications.

Local listing effects, in brief:

  • Heritage significance is recgonised by law.
  • Brings greater certainty that future changes will be sympathetic.
  • Added protection for the distinctive qualities of the place and surrounds in future development.
  • Maintains the curtilage and landscape character of the listed place.
  • Physical changes may need approval from Council or other consent authority.
  • Most major changes or demolition will be assessed by government instead of a private certifier.
  • Conversion to new uses can be approved.
  • Does not alter ownership.
  • Does not oblige owners to restore or open their place to the public.
  • No approval needed to sell or lease the place.
  • Owners can apply for heritage grants.

For more information, see:

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