Our local heritage is an important asset to our region. Heritage conservation and management is the responsibility of all three tiers of government, with each having their own set of legislation and policy responsibilities.
After significant planning reform (introduction of Planning Act 2016) it became necessary for Council to critically review the Local Heritage Register, and the Fraser Coast Planning Scheme 2014 Heritage and Neighbourhood Character Overlay Code and maps - to ensure that Council’s framework for heritage protection is up to date, reflects best practice and encourages the appropriate use of the region’s Local Heritage Places.
A review by external heritage consultants found that there are opportunities to improve and streamline Council’s current heritage policy and processes. The recommendations from the Heritage Review were endorsed by Council at Ordinary Meeting No. 16, December 2017 (PDF)
The following projects will be undertaken in 2018/2019 to address the recommendations as adopted. Some of these projects will require community involvement and we welcome your suggestions and participation.
Incentives, notices and heritage agreements
Conservation and management of heritage can be complex and the costs, processes and legislation may not be fully understood by the community.
The review recognises that there are opportunities for Council to explore options for incentive schemes to encourage conservation of local heritage places, reuse or continued use of existing heritage properties and to engage the community in valuing our heritage.
Council also recognises it needs to improve its own conservation practices.
Current Fraser Coast Regional Council incentive schemes include:
- a discount on rates to property owners who have demonstrated how they have performed conservation measures on their Local Heritage Register-listed properties;
- development application fee is waived if the application was solely triggered by a Local Heritage listing (demolition excluded).
There is an opportunity to explore more effective policies that can facilitate heritage conservation and appreciation. Other Councils provide:
- free or subsidised specialist advice;
- a heritage levy on rates which is spent on heritage programs and conservation;
- exemption certificates;
- discounts on infrastructure charges for adaptive reuse of heritage buildings; and
- financial assistance, heritage agreements and technical resources.
This project will explore and evaluate possible incentives or programs for implementation on the Fraser Coast. It will engage with the Heritage Advisory Committee for advice and recommendations, and engage with members of the community who have an interest in heritage assets.
The Queensland Heritage Act 1992 (PDF) provides for local government to enter into heritage agreements (part 7), to issue notices about essential repair and maintenance of state and local heritage places (part 8) and to issue exemption certificates (part 6). Council is undertaking research and considering the benefits of each.
The aim of these undertakings is to streamline and improve Council policy and processes and includes:
- preparation of a simplified template for the Fraser Coast Local Heritage Register place cards. View the current place cards for the Local Heritage Register.
- preparation of draft amendments to Council’s policy Guidelines for nominations for inclusion in, removal from, or alteration of the Fraser Coast Heritage Register for future Council consideration;
- removal of duplication caused by maintaining both a Local Heritage Register and Heritage and Character overlay. Remove onerous assessment provisions and assessment triggers (eg. adjoining State Heritage places).
Identify thematic heritage and character areas – Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Character areas
What is Neighbourhood character and why do we value it?
Neighbourhood Character overlays are mapped and included in The Fraser Coast Planning Scheme 2014 and applies to areas that have been identified as having a specific character due to their streetscapes and the consistency or character of their built form.
A Neighbourhood Character Overlay Code is applicable to development within the overlay and seeks to create outcomes that are compatible with the character of the precinct.
The review recommended that a thematic study of Hervey Bay should be undertaken to provide a more detailed analysis of potential heritage and to identify potential neighbourhood character areas. This project will have many stakeholders and will involve community engagement.
The stakeholders may include:
- the local and wider community;
- land owners;
- development industry;
- community groups and non-government organisations;
- representatives of Council (councillors) and other levels of government; and
- representatives of relevant Council programs and state government agencies.
If you know of a streetscape where you think the ambience or the character needs to be retained and protected from adverse development (demolition, alteration, vegetation clearing) we would like to hear from you. You can check if it is already on our Local Heritage Register.
For more about this project and to have your say visit our Hervey Bay Character Study engagement page
Identify thematic heritage and character areas – Industrial and Commercial Demolition Control Areas
This project involves preparation of draft amendments to the Fraser Coast Planning Scheme 2014 to introduce Industrial and Commercial Demolition Control Areas to retain the character of the key historic industrial and commercial buildings of Maryborough.
Currently our planning scheme provides some protection for dwelling houses within the demolition control precinct (Heritage and Neighbourhood Character Overlay Code) that display characteristics of Victorian, Federation or Inter-War architectural styles but this does not extend to commercial or industrial buildings unless they are specifically listed on the State or Local Heritage Registers.
Maryborough has a large number of commercial and industrial buildings that display Victorian, Federation and Inter-War characteristics that contribute positively to the heritage streetscape and deserve to be protected through the Planning Scheme. An attractive heritage or character environment assists in attracting external investment as well as maintaining existing businesses, and helps foster civic pride and responsibility, contributing positively to our quality of life.
Demolition Control Areas are not about prohibiting development, but rather promoting responsive and sympathetic design outcomes. The outcome sought is that the form, scale and design of development, whether involving new buildings or additions or alterations to existing buildings needs to be sympathetic with the local streetscape and character of the surrounding area. The challenge is to create a balance between protecting our heritage and enabling good investment and development outcomes for our region.
This project is extensive and will involve many stakeholders and will include community engagement. We envisage the project will see fruition in mid-2019.
These projects are underway in 2018/2019. It is anticipated that the draft amendments to the Planning Scheme will take approximately 3-4 months.
The legislated steps in the process of amending the Fraser Coast Planning Scheme 2014, can take 6-12 months.
Until amendments to the planning scheme are adopted, the current planning scheme provisions will continue to apply.