Heritage and character buildings

Heritage-listed means different things in different states and territories.

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In New South Wales there are two main types of heritage listing: heritage items and Heritage Conservation areas. These refer to an object or place with heritage significance.

Heritage features – such as pressed ceilings, ornate tiling or original floorboards – add historical appeal. A home in a Heritage Conservation area; say, Elizabeth Bay or Potts Point, may come with conditions such as restrictions on streetscape modifications and a character home comes under eclectic or iconic; say, perhaps a home with a distinguished provenance.

To take one area as an example, most properties in Sydney’s Inner West have a heritage overlay to factor in. Annandale, Balmain, Glebe, Marrickville, Rozelle and Leichardt all present enviable opportunities to showcase the local character – as do properties around  Sydney’s harbour and foreshore; Mosman, Kirribilli, Neutral Bay, Birchgrove, Rose Bay and Watsons Bay.

Whether your property is heritage listed, has heritage features, is within a Heritage Conservation area or chock-full of character will make a massive difference to the approach of any building or renovation project.

Paying homage to heritage provides the opportunity to salvage and even reuse original elements such as sandstone blocks, re-mill or restore timber as well as recreating replicas  or, on particular sites, returning material to the local council for conservation.

While not necessarily restrictive, alterations and additions on heritage sites are more than likely to need approval, although exemptions do apply. If you are considering buying a heritage property of any grade, we’d strongly suggest a pre-purchase review to put you in a position to understand the dos and don’ts, so we can make those cost-effective strategic decisions together.

We’re always honoured to play our small part in conserving our shared heritage, balancing sympathy, scale and setting with today’s necessities of internet connectivity, compliant windows, fire ratings and smoke seals.

We’re recommending an early review of:

  • Council restrictions
  • Feasibility and design
  • Local character overlay
  • Costs and expectations
  • Pre/post purchase options
  • Statutory approvals and permits
  • Cracks, plumbing, wiring, safety and access
  • Regulations, compliance, digging, disturbance and damage
  • Existing footings, excavation options, masonry and surfaces

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