Heritage House 2

Yarra has a rich history and is home to a large number of historical buildings and sites that are of interest and value to the community. Council has a strong commitment to the protection and enhancement of Yarra's heritage. 

Heritage can relate to a wide variety of places, including a building or a group of buildings, a site or an area, land or a landscape, a tree, garden or parkland, the place of a historical event, industrials sites, archaeological sites, as well as spiritual and religious places.

Sites of State significance are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (which is managed by Heritage Victoria). Sites of local significance are protected by Council through the application of Heritage Overlays in the Yarra Planning Scheme, and can be found online in the City of Yarra Heritage Database. 

(NOTE: the text in the database is based on information from past heritage studies which now form reference documents at clause 22.02 of the Yarra Planning Scheme. To ensure accuracy, the information within the studies should be relied upon. In the event of any inconsistencies, the information in the studies prevail over that in the database).

Many properties in Yarra are subject to the Heritage Overlay. To find out whether your site is subject to a Heritage Overlay you can obtain planning information from the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website or by calling Council on 9205 5373. 
Heritage Overlays help to protect heritage properties by triggering a requirement for a planning application.

The Heritage Overlay provisions are set out in Clause 43.01 within all Victorian Planning Schemes. A local schedule to the Heritage Overlay lists the properties affected by the Heritage Overlay within Yarra and any additional controls which may apply to the particular site. Clause 43.01 can be viewed on the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure website.

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
  • 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 Yarra Planning Scheme also provides guidelines to assist individual property owners, builders, designers and planners involved in the renovation, adaptation, reuse, extension or replacement of heritage places within the municipality.

The guidelines address issues relating to demolition, design, height, setback, car parking, and landscaping for existing buildings and places, and provide advice on new development suitable to heritage areas.

The guidelines can be viewed on the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure website, by choosing 22.02 Development Guidelines For Sites Subject To The Heritage Overlay. 

Under the Heritage Overlay a planning permit is required from Council to:

  • subdivide or consolidate land
  • demolish or remove a building (including part of a building)
  • construct a building (including part of a building)
  • externally alter a building
  • construct or carry out works (including domestic services, rainwater tanks if visible from the street, and a fence)
  • construct or display a sign
  • externally paint an unpainted surface
  • externally paint a building if the painting constitutes an advertisement.

In some instances, other external paint controls, internal alteration controls and tree controls may also apply. The Schedule to the Heritage Overlay will identify whether these additional controls apply. There may also be other overlays that apply.

If your property is identified as being included on the Victorian Heritage Register you must contact Heritage Victoria for permission to make changes to your site. It is noted that Heritage Victoria in this instance is the responsible authority for heritage matters, and you may be required to apply for planning permission from Council under other provisions of the Yarra Planning Scheme.

More information

Heritage studies

Heritage FAQs

Planning FAQS

Further information
Statutory Planning Branch 
9205 5373

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