What is a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA)?

    A heritage conservation area (HCA) is an area recognised and valued for its special historical and aesthetic character. Important elements that contribute to the heritage significance of a HCA include the architectural style of buildings, fences, trees and gardens. A heritage conservation area aims to protect the things we value as a community whilst ensuring there is room for opportunity. It is a way of managing change that allows development but ensures it is sympathetic with the local character. A heritage conservation area or HCA as it is also known, is a special area with special qualities, such as streetscape character, history and groupings of similar buildings.

    How is a Heritage Conservation Area made?

    A HCA is defined legally by including it in the (Bayside) Local Environmental Plan. Management of the HCA is included in the (Bayside) Development Control Plan through guidelines for development in heritage conservation areas. There is a statutory process for making changes to both these documents that includes public exhibition and notification to affected property owners. All property owners affected by any HCA proposals will be notified in a separate planning process if it is decided to proceed with the HCA.

    Does Bayside have any HCA already?

    Yes, there are two HCA in Bayside. One is the suburb of Daceyville and the other is Botany Town Centre.

    How will being in a HCA affect my plans to develop?

    If your area or street becomes a HCA then there will be new guidelines written in the Bayside Development Control Plan (DCP) outlining how development can be carried out without having a negative impact upon the heritage values of the area. For example; if you have a contributory Federation house and live in Dunmore Street North, it would be unlikely that you could demolish this building. However development to the rear of the property may be acceptable, ensuring the streetscape character and ambience of the area is maintained.

    The new Bayside DCP will be the subject of a public consultation process.

    What if I don’t want to be in a heritage conservation area?

    Now is the time to have your say. Tell us what you think by making a submission so that your views can be made known and contribute to the outcome.

    What if I am in a HCA but my house does not have heritage character like the rest of the street?

    Houses that do not fit in with the character of a HCA can usually be redeveloped as “infill” development. New buildings need to be designed to fit in with the street and heritage character.

    What if my house is already a heritage item?

    Heritage Items that are already listed in the existing Local Environmental Plans will continue to be listed as Heritage Items.

    What is the difference between a HCA and a Heritage Item?

    Heritage items are individual properties that have heritage value in their own right. They can be listed as heritage even when there are no other heritage properties around them. A HCA is a collection of places that together have heritage value but individually may not. The value of a HCA is often focussed upon the streetscape, therefore more substantial changes to individual buildings can usually be made to the rear or to the interior.

    What is a contributory building?

    A building designated as contributory is one that relates to key character elements of the HCA. For example; a Federation bungalow would be considered part of the historic and architectural character of potential HCA like Oceanview Estate in Bexley or Brighton Parade in Brighton Le Sands. A small Victorian house in Farr or Gibbes Street which is part of Jackson’s Row would be contributory for its historical and streetscape character. Landscape elements like trees or brick kerbing can also be contributory.

    What is a neutral building?

    A neutral building is usually one that was built at the same time as the contributory buildings but has had substantial alterations. A new building may also be classified as neutral if it responds to the significant scale and character of the HCA. Neutral buildings are not significant and therefore have greater development potential providing any new development in also neutral. 

    What is an uncharacteristic property?

    Uncharacteristic buildings or structures are usually from a later era and are not consistent with the scale, form and character of the rest of the HCA. For example a 3 storey residential flat building built in the 1970s would be considered to be an uncharacteristic building in any of the proposed HCA.

    Can I get heritage advice from Council?

    Yes. Bayside Council has a part time heritage advisor who is available to provide advice about developing in a HCA.