Heritage properties

Heritage is evidence of the past that is considered the inheritance of present-day society, and something we, as a community, would like to pass on to future generations. This might include historical sites, buildings and the unspoiled natural environment.

Development of heritage properties should retain the significance of the heritage item and/or be reflective of the local character.

If your proposed development affects a heritage property or is proposed within heritage precinct, you should be aware of the following information.

Who can I contact for advice on heritage properties?

  • Heritage Consultants can provide expert knowledge and assistance on historic buildings and traditional construction. The NSW Government maintains a comprehensive list of Heritage Consultants. The guidance of a Heritage Consultant can be particularly useful if you're looking to alter a heritage item.
  • For advice regarding works to a listed heritage item or to a site within a Heritage Conservation Area or heritage precinct, contact Council's Development Planner Heritage on 4921 0333 prior to lodging your Development Application.

What works qualify for a Heritage Exemption?

Maintenance or minor works that do not have an impact on the significance of a heritage item or conservation area may be granted an exemption, subject to an assessment by Council's Development Planner Heritage.

Exemptions will not be issued for:

  • Demolition
  • Erecting a building
  • Change of use
  • Removal/pruning of trees

Applications cannot be made for works already started or completed.

Your application must be assessed and approved in writing before you can proceed with proposed works.

Apply for an exemption

Local Heritage Places Grants

Owners of heritage-listed properties in Lake Macquarie can apply for annual small grants, through the Local Heritage Places Fund, to assist with the maintenance of their properties.

Application details and further information can be found at the Local Heritage Places Fund webpage.


State-listed heritage items or properties within state-listed precincts

Approval from the NSW Heritage Council is required for development in:

  • Catherine Hill Bay Cultural Precinct
  • Dobell House
  • Glenrock early coalmining sites
  • Morisset Hospital Precinct
  • Rathmines Park (former RAAF Seaplane Base)
  • Wangi Power Station Complex
  • WWII RAAF Radar Station 208 (former)

Approval should be sought by completing the Integrated Development section of your Development Application. 

Alternatively, applicants may wish to obtain approval prior to development consent by applying directly to the Heritage Council.

Heritage items or properties within a Heritage Conservation Area

Most works to heritage properties require development consent. Please refer to the Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan 2014, Development Control Plan 2014 applicable Heritage Area Plan and Heritage Guidelines for advice.

Sensitive Aboriginal Cultural Landscape and registered sites

Development of properties within a Sensitive Aboriginal Cultural Landscape or within 200m of a site registered in the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System may require additional investigation. Refer to the Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan, Development Control Plan and the Lake Macquarie Aboriginal Heritage Management Strategy(PDF, 18MB) (appendices 1-3(PDF, 12MB), appendices 4-9(PDF, 4MB)) for specific requirements.

For further information on the key elements of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage assessment process, please refer to the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Process Checklist(PDF, 167KB) or Flowchart(PDF, 267KB)