Heritage Act 1995

The Heritage Act 1995 (the Act) and the Heritage Regulations 1996 (the Regulations) provide protection and conservation of places and objects of cultural heritage significance. The Act also provides for the registration of such places and objects. The Act is administered by Heritage Victoria.

The legislation identifies and protects places and objects that are of cultural heritage significance to the State of Victoria including:

  • historic archaeological sites and artefacts
  • historic buildings, structures and precincts
  • gardens, trees and cemeteries
  • cultural landscapes
  • shipwrecks and relics and
  • significant objects

Cultural Heritage Place

A cultural heritage place is any place that the Council considers appropriate to afford statutory protection under the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme.

A place could include an individual site, a precinct area covering many sites, buildings, structures, archaeological sites, trees, gardens, geological formations, fossils, habitat or other places of natural or cultural significance and its associated land. A place cannot be a moveable or portable object (such as machinery within a factory or furniture within a house).

Cultural Heritage Significance

Cultural heritage significance is the value or values that establish the importance of a place, as prescribed in the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter (1999). There are five applicable cultural heritage values that may contribute to the significance of a place. These are:

  1. Aesthetic/Architectural Value
  2. Historical Value
  3. Scientific Value
  4. Social Value and
  5. Spiritual Value

Sites of State significance are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (managed by Heritage Victoria). Sites of local significance are protected by the Council through the application of Heritage Overlays in the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme. Places of local significance and places included on the Victorian Heritage Register are both included within the Heritage Overlay.

A Heritage Overlay

The Heritage Overlay is a mapped area that shows the location and extent of controls over identified places of cultural heritage significance. The Heritage Overlay aims to:

  • Conserve and enhance places of natural or cultural significance
  • Conserve and enhance those elements which contribute to the significance of heritage places 
  • Ensure that development does not adversely affect the significance of heritage places and
  • Conserve specifically identified places by allowing a use that would otherwise be prohibited if this will demonstrably assist with the conservation of the significance of the place

The Heritage Overlay consists of:

  • the cultural heritage policies and guidance (Clause 21.05-4)
  • a planning scheme map and
  • the schedule to the heritage overlay (Clause 43.01)

Clause 21.05-4 of the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme outlines the Council's polices and guidelines for development proposals involving places and precincts of cultural heritage significance that are included within Heritage Overlays.

The maps that accompany the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme should be referenced by proponents to ascertain whether their site is included within the Heritage Overlay. The Heritage Overlay does not always apply to the entirety of a site and may only compose a portion of it.

Clause 43.01 of the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme outlines the Schedule to the Heritage Overlay. The Schedule lists individual properties and precincts included within the Heritage Overlay and any additional controls that may apply to each particular site. These other controls include:

  • External paint controls
  • Internal alteration controls
  • Tree controls
  • Outbuildings or fences controls
  • Inclusion of the place on the Victorian Heritage Register
  • Whether prohibited uses may be permitted
  • An Incorporated Plan that may include additional controls over the place and
  • Whether the site is an Aboriginal Heritage Place

In addition, a statement of significance for each place of cultural heritage significance can be found in the relevant Heritage Study. Currently, two heritage studies have been undertaken within the Municipality - the Greater Shepparton Heritage Study Stage II and the Greater Shepparton Heritage Study Stage IIB.

Works within a Heritage Overlay that require a Planning Permit

Heritage Overlays help to protect places within the Heritage Overlay by triggering a requirement for a planning permit. A planning permit is required from the Council to:

  • Subdivide or consolidate land
  • Demolish or remove a building (including part of a building)
  • Construct a building (including part of a building, or a fence)
  • Externally alter a building
  • Construct or carry out works
  • Construct or display a sign
  • Externally paint an unpainted surface and
  • Externally paint a building if the painting constitutes an advertisement

In some instances, external paint, internal alteration, trees, outbuildings or fences and prohibited uses controls may also apply. The Schedule to the Heritage Overlay will identify whether these additional controls apply.

A planning permit is also required to carry out works, repairs and routine maintenance which change the appearance of a heritage place or which are not undertaken to the same details, specifications and materials.

If your property is identified as being included on the Victorian Heritage Register you must contact Heritage Victoria for permission for any development proposals or works. It should also be noted that although Heritage Victoria is the responsible authority in this instance, you may be required to apply for planning permission from the Council under other provisions within the Greater Shepparton Planning Scheme.

It is not the intention of the Heritage Overlay to prevent development or works to or within places of cultural heritage significance. The focus of the Overlay is to preserve the identified cultural heritage significance of a place. In the majority of cases, there is scope to modify or refurbish a property without impacting upon the identified cultural heritage significance of a place.

More information

Property owners and developers are strongly encouraged to discuss their development proposals with the Council prior to committing to a project. For more detailed development proposals, an appointment may be arranged with a heritage advisor. For more information, please contact the Planning and Development Branch on 03 5832 9700.