When undertaking certain works for places on the State Register, a development referral is required under the Heritage Act 2018.
The cultural heritage significance of the place must be respected but this does not mean that a place cannot be changed to meet contemporary needs.
Generally, minor works such as maintenance and some like-for-like repairs do not need to be referred. For more information, read What works don’t need to be referred?
Examples of the kind of works that must be referred to the Heritage Council include:
- alterations and additions
- construction of new buildings
- conservation and remedial works
- changes of exterior colour schemes
- interior works
- change of use
If you think you need a development referral:
- contact a Heritage Officer at the Department
- if a development referral is required, we can provide feedback on ideas and provide practical advice on proposed developments. We can also advise where you can find additional expertise from heritage professionals
- submit your development referral to the decision-making or determining authority (your local government or the Western Australian Planning Commission)
- the referral is forwarded to the Department, or in some cases, the Heritage Council, where it will be considered.
The decision-making authority may also opt to refer building license applications to the Department to ensure consistency with any previous planning approvals.
A proposed development for a privately owned property will need to be formally referred to the Department by the responsible local government prior to planning approval and prior to a building license being issued.
A proposed development for a government owned property will need to be formally referred to the Department by the responsible local government or State Government agency prior to finalisation of contract documents.
Speak to a Heritage Officer, they can provide feedback on ideas and give practical advice on proposed developments.
We have a number of case studies in our Heritage in Action brochures showing how heritage places can be developed. We also explain the benefits of investing in heritage.
General maintenance works and repairs generally do not require referral to us. Below are examples of work that doesn’t need to be referred:
- Building maintenance that does not involve the removal of, or damage to, the existing fabric of the building or the use of new materials
- Cleaning that is low pressure, non-abrasive and non-chemical
- Gardening or landscape maintenance that does not involve a major alteration of the layout, contours, structures, significant plant species or other significant features on the land
- Repairs, including replacing missing or deteriorated fabric with like-for-like fabric, that does not involve the removal of, or damage to, the significant fabric of the building
- Replacement of utility services using existing routes or voids that does not involve the removal of, or damage to, the fabric of the building
- Repainting of the surface of a building in the same colour scheme and paint type if they are appropriate to the substrate and do not endanger the survival of earlier paint layers, and without disturbing or removing an earlier paint layer unless it is chalking, flaking or peeling
- An excavation, that does not affect archaeological remains, for the purpose of exposing, inspecting, maintaining or replacing utility services
- Installation of a temporary security fence, scaffold, hoarding or surveillance system that does not affect the fabric of a building, the landscape or archaeological features of the land
- Signage that:
- Does not obscure existing signage that has an integral relationship to the land
- Is temporary and does not damage the fabric of a building
- Is temporarily located behind a shop window but is not internally illuminated or flashing
- Advertises that a place is for sale or lease but does not remain on the place for more than 10 days after the place is sold or leased
- Digging a new grave or the erection of a monument or grave marker of materials, size and form that are consistent with the character of the place.
If you are considering doing work that doesn’t need referral, it is still best to undertake the works according to best practice. The Heritage Council has a range of publications to assist heritage custodians in the ongoing care and maintenance of their properties, available under Useful publications below.