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Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Council has responsibility for identifying the area’s heritage assets and protecting them through environmental planning instruments.

Heritage listings and development

Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013 identifies items of heritage significance, heritage conservation areas and archaeological sites. This ensures significant heritage is identified, protected and managed, allowing the environmental, social and economic benefits of these valuable assets realised into the future.

Heritage items, heritage conservation areas and archaeological sites are listed in Schedule 5 of Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013.

Heritage Conservation Areas

A Heritage Conservation Area is a geographic area containing many different elements which collectively have heritage significance. It may consist of a particular precinct, streetscape, suburb, landscape, town or group of buildings and collectively has particular values which distinguish it from other places and from its surroundings. It is an area in which its historical origins and contributory elements create a sense of place that the community values.

There are two Heritage Conservation Areas within the Port Stephens Local Government Area:

  • Raymond Terrace;
  • Hinton.

To check whether your property is located within a Heritage Conservation Area, search Schedule 5 of the Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013, apply for a Planning Certificate or contact the Strategic Planning Team for advice.

Heritage items

A heritage item is defined as a building, work, archaeological site, tree or place that has heritage significance. Heritage items can be built or natural forms, archaeological or maritime heritage, movable heritage or items/sites that are significant to Aboriginal people.

To check whether your property is a heritage item, search Schedule 5 of the Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013, apply for a Planning Certificate or contact the Strategic Planning Team for advice.

A copy of inventory sheets for Port Stephens heritage items can be viewed from the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage

Development Control

Part B8 of the Port Stephens Development Control Plan 2014 (DCP) applies to development that is situated on land that contains a heritage item or within a heritage conservation area. Part B8 of the DCP provides more detailed heritage provisions than those contained in Clause 5.10 of the Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013, ensuring that new sustainable development respects and does not compromise the heritage significance of heritage items and their setting.

Apart from general heritage guidelines, Part B8 also provides specific provisions for:

  • heritage impacts;
  • minor nature (maintenance work);
  • demolition; and
  • Aboriginal heritage.

Maintenance and changes to or near heritage areas and items

Council has produced the following brochures to help you understand heritage issues in your area and how to proceed with your development.

Council's Heritage Advisor is available, at no cost, to discuss your plans and development proposals. Please contact the Strategic Planning Team to schedule an appointment.

Work that does not require development consent

If Council determines the proposed development is of a minor nature or consists of maintenance of the heritage item and would not adversely affect its heritage significance or impact a Heritage Conservation Area.

If this is the case, the proponent must notify the consent authority in writing of the proposed development. The consent authority must have then advised the applicant in writing that it is satisfied that the proposed development consent is not otherwise required, before any work can be carried out.

Examples of work that requires development consent:

  • demolition of a heritage item;
  • altering a heritage item by making structural changes to its interior;
  • altering a heritage item by making structural or non-structural changes to the detail, fabric, finish or appearance of its exterior. The exception being changes resulting from any maintenance necessary for its ongoing protective care which does not adversely affect its heritage significance, that have been authorised in writing by Council;
  • erecting a building within a heritage conservation area;
  • subdividing land on which a heritage item is located or that is within a heritage conservation area; and
  • moving the whole or part of a heritage item.

Interim Heritage Orders

Interim Heritage Orders are made by the Minister on the recommendation of the Heritage Council or by local Council's under delegation. They generally are used when a potential heritage item or relic is discovered that may not have had a prior heritage or significance assessment undertaken and may be earmarked for change (eg discovery of an older house or item previously overlooked or hidden amongst other structures).

The purpose of an Interim Heritage Order is to provide a 'breathing space' of no more than 12 months during which a full heritage assessment can be completed. Temporary in nature, the majority of Interim Heritage Orders are made in response to community representations or concerns raised by local government.

Further Information, Assistance, Benefits and Advice

Frequently asked questions

Contact Details
Strategic Planning Team
Phone: (02) 4988 0326
Email: council@portstephens.nsw.gov.au