Looking after your heritage house or building

Regular maintenance is essential for all buildings and is more cost effective in the long term than large-scale work every 20-30 years. Attending to a minor problem can prevent the problem causing more extensive building defects. 

Experienced tradespeople and appropriate techniques should be used to ensure maintenance does not create other problems with the building fabric.

The Office of Environment & Heritage has prepared a number of publications that provide advice on maintenance of buildings.

When doing maintenance on your heritage building, you should follow these steps:

  • Investigate the physical and documentary evidence of the place;
  • Assess the heritage significance of the place;
  • Develop a conservation and management approach based on the importance of the place;
  • Carry out the work;
  • Record what you have done.

Most maintenance work to heritage listed buildings, as well as buildings within a heritage conservation area, do not require formal Development Consent through the Development Application process. However, you should advise Council in writing of the work to be undertaken and wait until Council has approved the application in writing before starting work - see below.

Minor Works to Heritage Items

Clause 5.10 of the Botany Bay Local Environmental Plan 2013 relates to heritage conservation. Subclause 5.10(3) permits some minor works to be undertaken without consent. Minor works generally include repairs and maintenance of heritage buildings, painting of a residential building in a colour scheme devised by Council's Heritage Advisor or replacement of building elements on a "like for like" basis.

You must check with Council to determine whether the work you intend to do could be considered as "minor" prior to commencing the work. A form ( titled Exempt from the Need for Consent for Minor Works to a Heritage Item ) is to be submitted to Council, accompanied by details of the proposal for consideration together with any plans, product brochures, colour samples or photos.

Council will confirm whether or not a development application must be submitted within 28 days of lodgement.

There is no fee for this request. If your request is approved, you will receive written confirmation that your works do not require consent. You cannot commence work until you receive this written confirmation from Council and you should keep the confirmation for your records. If you have any questions or need assistance relating to this matter, please contact Council's Strategic Planning Team on 02 9366 3666.

Free Heritage Advisory Service

Council is offering a free Heritage Advisory service to the Botany Bay community. This program is jointly funded by Botany Bay City Council and the NSW Heritage Division, Office of Environment and Heritage. This service enables owners to seek advice about their buildings from a qualified heritage architect on the following matters:

  • additions and alterations,
  • building restoration and maintenance,
  • development opportunities and constraints,
  • appropriate ways to adapt a heritage building to modern living requirements,
  • development application requirements, and
  • any other issues affecting the conservation of heritage buildings, streetscapes and landscapes in the local area. 

More information can be obtained on the free Heritage Advisory Service by contacting Council's Strategic Team on 9366 3666 or emailing council@botanybay.nsw.gov.au.