What works or activities do you need a permit for?
Anything which alters the place or object including:
- Building extensions, constructions, interior works, demolition or relocation of
- Buildings and structures, changes of colour schemes and signage
- Subdivision and construction of new buildings and garden structures such as fences or decks, pathways and driveways, and changes of materials
- Works to registered trees and gardens which are not regular maintenance works
- Excavations at registered sites or damage or alteration to an archaeological artefact.
Do you need a permit for minor repairs?
If minor repairs for maintenance are required and you are replacing new for old and like with like you do not require a permit, for example a galvanized roof must be replaced with a galvanized roof of the same profile. The basic aim of repair work should be to retain as much as possible of the original historical material. In some specific cases, such as the treatment of original and important paintwork inside a building, early advice must be sought from Heritage Victoria as the works may alter or diminish the significance of the place.
Should I contact Heritage Victoria before I lodge a permit application?
Yes. In the first instance we recommend you contact Heritage Victoria to assess whether your works may be eligible for a permit exemption or require a permit. If a permit is required, a pre-application meeting will save you time in preparing your application and will increase the likelihood of it being approved first time. Send preliminary documents associated with the proposed works to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much will a permit cost?
A published schedule of fees for permits is available. In cases where large alterations or changes are proposed, it is also recommended that applicants employ a recognised conservation architect, archaeologist or horticulturist to ensure minimal damage to a registered place. For conservation works such as repair, restoration and reconstruction, the fee is waived; and for pensioners who carry out works to their own home, there is no payment of fees.
What level of documentation is needed?
The documentation required is similar to that required for a planning permit. Plans or typed specifications prepared for local councils will usually be acceptable. You must ensure that the documentation is legible and not ambiguous as to the intent of the works. Drawings will almost always be required.
Are there any exemptions from the need to obtain a permit?
Yes. Exemptions can be made from the requirement to seek permits for particular classes of works at the time of registration or on the recommendation of the Executive Director following an application from an owner. These exemptions often cover all the normal maintenance and upkeep issues faced by owners. Common exemptions include interior painting, carpeting, and refurbishment of kitchens and bathrooms. In some cases, particularly where a conservation or master plan exists, developments which might include extensive changes to heritage places can be exempted.
Who can apply?
The owner has the final responsibility for obtaining necessary permits. Agents such as an architect, horticulturalist, archaeologist, property manager or project manager or a tenant may apply with the owner’s written agreement, which must be provided to the Executive Director.
Is local government involved?
Yes. All applications are referred to the local government authority for comments and consultation.
How long will the process take?
Permits must be processed by the Executive Director within 60 days unless an extension is granted by the Heritage Council. Previous experience has shown that most minor matters are dealt with in less than 30 days. Major alterations and contentious matters require advertising for 14 days to enable interested parties to make submissions. A decision on such applications usually takes 30 to 60 days after the advertising period.
What needs to be submitted?
Heritage Victoria has implemented a system of electronic lodgement of permit applications. Applicants are encouraged to email their applications. As with all permit applications, an online permit application must include an electronic copy of your application documents such as:
- Photographs or slides which help to illustrate the existing conditions and reason for the alterations or works
- Existing conditions drawings
- Plans, elevations and sections of the proposed alterations
- The schedule of the proposed works
- Details of proposed colours and finishes where possible
- Statement of the anticipated condition of the site following any excavation
- Reasons for carrying out any excavation or damage to an archaeological object or artefact.
Are permit applications advertised?
Sometimes. If the Executive Director determines the proposed application may have a detrimental effect on the place, the owner is required to advertise the proposal in a circulating newspaper circulating in the area. Unless the property is in an isolated location, a sign at the site is also usually required. The Executive Director then makes the application available on the advertised permit applications page and at the office of Heritage Victoria for public comment for the next 14 days, and submissions are accepted from interested parties up to 14 days from the date of advertising.
What happens next?
If the Executive Director can determine the matter on the information supplied, a permit may be issued. If the application is contentious and submissions have been received from other parties, the applicant and the other parties may be invited to discuss aspects of the application before a determination is made. The process of discussion is kept as informal as possible. Written material supplied must be accurate, factually correct and unambiguous.
Permit policies and decision making guidelines are included on this site.