Port Phillip Council to introduce stricter planning controls by extending heritage overlays.

Port Phillip council is proposing Amendment C142 to its planning scheme that will see 140 new properties included within its heritage overlays.

The extension of the heritage overlays will now include properties that the council believe are 'Significant' or 'Contributory' heritage places, allowing for more planning controls on these properties.  

The amendment expands the scope of both Heritage Overlay 6 (HO6) and Heritage Overlay 391 (HO391), broadening the buildings and streets that are included within them.

HO6 comprises St Kilda East bound by Wellington Street / Dandenong Road to the north, Orrong Road to the east, Argyle and Inkerman Street to the south and St Kilda Road to the west.

HO391 comprises Alma Road to the north, Alexandra Street to the east, Mooltan Avenue to the south and Hotham Street to the west.

14 Raith Court in St Kilda East will be removed from the heritage overlay.

The amendment is part of an on-going program by Port Phillip Council to review heritage precincts within the municipality in order to address what the council say are gaps in the current heritage precincts.

The council state in their explanatory report that the amendment updates overlays so heritage controls remain current and reflect best practice to assist in their conservation.

Port Phillip council has strict controls compared to other councils in Victoria, as a large part of the municipality is already protected by a number of heritage overlays.

The amendment can be read in full here.

What is a heritage overlay?

A heritage overlay is an area identified by councils to be protected due to the historical nature of certain buildings contained within.  The overlay allows greater planning controls within an overlay to ensure that heritage buildings are conserved and that new development does not have a detrimental impact.

Amendment C142 to the Port Phillip Planning Scheme

Below shows the areas that will be affected by the amendment:

The amendment will affect homeowners and developers of newly included buildings as they will now have to apply for a planning permit for most buildings and works which means additional costs as well as added time to the development process.

There are three categorises of buildings in a heritage overlay:

Significant heritage places

These buildings and surrounds have the strictest controls as they are individually important places of either State, regional or local heritage significance. Some of these places may be listed on the State Heritage Register which requires approval from Heritage Council Victoria for any works or changes. 

Contributory heritage places

These include buildings and surrounds that are heritage places of local significance which directly contribute to the significance of the Heritage Overlay. However they have less controls than significant heritage places.

Non-contributory properties

These are buildings that do not add to the heritage significance of an area but are included in a heritage overlay. These buildings are controlled under the overlay as any new development may impact the overall heritage significance of a place. They have the least controls as they do not directly contribute to the heritage of the area.

Do I need a planning permit to develop my property in a heritage overlay?

Buildings in heritage overlays require planning permits for a broad scope of works. This is to protect the heritage significance of the buildings and area.

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

subdivide land

demolish or remove a building (including part of a building)

construct a building (including part of a building or a fence)

externally alter a building

construct or carry out works

construct or display a sign

externally paint an unpainted surface

externally paint a building if the painting constitutes an advertisement.

Other controls may also apply such as internal alteration controls and controls over trees.

Applying for a Vicsmart planning permit in a heritage overlay

However minors works such as external painting of a building or constructing a fence can usually be applied through a Vicsmart planning application.

These type of applications are approved in 10 business days and have significantly lower application fees than a regular planning permit application.

Buildings and works in a Heritage Overlay that can be applied through Vicsmart:

 • External painting

• Construct a fence

• Construct a carport, garage, pergola, verandah, deck, shed or similar structure

• Construct and install domestic services normal to a dwelling

• Construct and install a non-domestic disabled access ramp

• Construct a vehicle cross-over

• Construct a domestic swimming pool or spa and associated mechanical equipment and safety fencing

• Construct a rainwater tank

• Construct or display a sign

• Lop a tree

• Construct or install a solar energy facility attached to a dwelling

• Construct and install an electric vehicle charging station

• Construct and install services normal to a building other than a dwelling, including chimneys, flues, skylights, heating and cooling systems, hot water systems, security systems and cameras, downpipes, window shading devices, or similar

The amendment will be independently assessed by a Planning Panel this month. The Minister for Planning will then decide whether to adopt the amendment into the Port Phillip planning scheme following on from the Planning Panel’s report. 

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