The next steps are being taken towards Orange adopting new heritage conservation zones.
The Heritage Study Review (2020) undertaken by heritage consultants David Scobie Architects and Adaptive Architects was adopted in December 2020 with the recommendation that Council prepare a Planning Proposal to legally list the heritage items and conservation areas in the Orange Local Environmental Plan 2011. The Heritage Study was on public exhibition for a 40 day period in late 2020.
Council has since prepared a Planning Proposal which recommends the inclusion of new heritage conservation areas, expansions to some existing heritage conservation areas and new heritage items to be included in the Orange Local Environmental Plan 2011.
The Heritage Amendment is now on exhibition until COB Monday 19 July 2021. The proposal is seeking to amend and expand Orange’s list of heritage items and heritage conservation areas.
An information session will be held on the Monday 12 July 2021 at 4:00pm at the Council Chambers, entry via the Civic Centre, corner of Lords Place and Byng Street, Orange. No need to RSVP but a QR code sign-in is required at the time.
More information about the zones can be found in these documents:
If you wish to make a submission please include your full name and contact details (postal address, phone number and email address) and reference F3638-1 – LEP Amendment 28.
Submissions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to:
Chief Executive Officer
Attention: Strategic Planner
Orange City Council
PO Box 35
Orange NSW 2800
Why is Orange City Council considering making these changes to heritage listings and adding new heritage conservation areas?
Orange City Council has a statutory obligation to manage heritage conservation in Orange. It also has an obligation to ensure Council’s strategies and planning instruments are periodically updated. Having completed the Community Based Heritage Study back in 2012, it was considered necessary to carry out a review of the previous heritage study.
What is the difference between a heritage item and a heritage conservation area?
A heritage item is a property that retains a high level of heritage significance in its own right, as determined by Council’s Heritage Consultants.
The property may:
- have exceptional historic significance (it is related to an important period of the town’s development);
- may have aesthetic significance (it may be a particularly nice building to look at with ornate detailing or the like);
- be linked to an important person in the evolution of Orange (such as the Dalton Family);
- be a good and representative example or a rare type/period of house or the first house of a particular architectural period; or
- have social significance, such as the already listed Caldwell House (former Nurses Quarters).
With heritage items it is important to understand what parts of the building or place are significant, both from the outside as well as the inside. There may be original window/door/stair joinery and trims or a fireplace for instance; while externally the building may have distinctive chimneys or verandah details.
A heritage conservation area is a particular part of Orange that, as a collective whole, demonstrates heritage significance, as determined by Council’s Heritage Consultants.
It may include large groupings of dwellings of a particular architectural period or it may be an area of Orange that is important in terms of how the City grew over the years.
When it comes to renovating, altering or adding to a building in a heritage conservation area, the important considerations are the external presentation to the neighbourhood and what effect it will have on the heritage significance of the area as a whole. As such, the main consideration is how does the building present to the street. The most common queries include:
- Are there existing chimneys?
- Is it two storeys?
- Is there a garage? and
- How does it fit in the context of that particular area and the neighbouring buildings and garden settings?
In other words, development toward the rear of a property is generally acceptable subject to the scale and form, siting, materials etc of the proposal. These are the considerations under Council’s Infill Guidelines.
Can I still renovate my home?
Yes. A heritage listing or owning a house in a heritage zone does not prevent you from carrying out renovations, alterations or additions to your property.
It will mean, however, that any work you propose needs to be sympathetic with the style and period of the building and the surrounding character of the neighbourhood.
Orange City Council has produced Infill Guidelines which are designed to assist home owners/designers/ architects through this process and guide development that will be appropriate for the particular building and the location.
Will I have to lodge a development application to do a renovation?
Generally speaking, all renovations require an approval whether or not they are heritage buildings (please refer below to question on minor or maintenance works).
Will these changes make getting a development consent more difficult?
There isn’t a simple answer to this question.
Provided you reference the Infill Guidelines in your design, there is no difference between obtaining consent for a heritage item or a building in a heritage conservation area, compared with gaining consent for buildings which are not heritage items or not located within a heritage conservation area.
If you want to make changes that don’t comply with the Infill Guidelines, that would make gaining consent more difficult.
Orange City Council recognises these extra requirements by appointing a Heritage Advisor who is a heritage architect contracted to Council to provide free architectural advice to assist you with your project and work. Home owners benefit directly from this process, and it assists with the consent process and with the local knowledge required to find the skilled trades for your works. The community are encouraged by Council to use this service to assist with the design process and with possible grant applications.
Engaging with Council staff early in the process and having an open dialogue at the beginning of a project is encouraged.
There is a category of building assessments called ‘complying developments’. This category is designed to streamline the assessment of very straightforward and commonly-designed projects, which can be assessed and approved by a private certifier rather than Council staff.
Having your house or property listed as a heritage item does mean complying development certificates cannot be issued. Only detached outbuildings and swimming pools can be issued a complying development certificate for a property in a conservation area. This process is there to protect those with valued significant buildings and their neighbours.
Will I be able to propose an ‘exempt development’?
There is another category of building projects known as ‘exempt development’ which allows minor developments which have minimal environmental impact to occur without needing any approvals.
Some works under the state wide policy for exempt development may not be allowed for heritage items or a building in a conservation area. However, Council’s Local Environmental Plan contains a provision (clause 5.10(3)) that allows minor or maintenance work of any type to occur without the need for a development application to be lodged with Council, provided the minor or maintenance works will not have a significant impact on the heritage significance of the place.
This involves filling in a simple exempt works form, submitting that to Council’s Planning staff and, provided it meets the requirements, notice will be provided back to you that works can begin.