It will be easier in the ACT to do minor developments
which are of no significance to a heritage property's existing
The ACT Government has made amendment to the Planning and
Development Regulations 2008 which modifies the standard provisions
for the exemption of minor development on heritage properties from
the need to apply for a development approval in certain
The Planning and Development Amendment Regulation 2015 (No 1),
which commenced on 22 September 2015, aims to reduce red tape and
decrease regulatory burden where minor development is proposed to
be undertaken on heritage properties which are of no significance
to the existing heritage values.
Reduced red tape and regulatory burden
The Explanatory Statement provides that the purpose of the
regulation amendment is to:
reduce an unnecessary regulatory burden on owners of heritage
make more consistent the regulatory treatment of heritage
property owners and non-heritage property owners;
make the development assessment process for heritage properties
more efficient; and
maintain an appropriate level of protection for places or
objects on the ACT Heritage Register.
Prior to this amendment, an owner of a heritage property was
required to apply for a development approval for development even
if that development did not affect the heritage values of the
property and would have been exempt under the Planning and
Development Regulations from requiring development approval if
undertaken on non-heritage property (standard exemption
Consequently, even where development was of little or no
significance for the purposes of the Heritage Act (ACT) or
development assessment under the Planning Act (ACT), it still
required to be assessed by the Planning and Land Authority and, on
referral, by the ACT Heritage Council, for approval.
Effect of the amendment
Essentially, the amendment will allow the standard exemption
provisions to apply to heritage properties provided that the
proposed development will not affect the heritage values of the
Under a new section in the Planning and Development Regulation,
development that is to be undertaken at a place or on an object in
the ACT Heritage Register or under a heritage agreement might be
exempt from requiring development approval if the ACT Heritage
Council provides written advice to the Planning and Land Authority
that, if carried out, that development:
will not diminish the heritage significance of the place or
is in accordance with heritage guidelines;
is in accordance with a conservation management plan approved
by the ACT Heritage Council;
is in accordance with a permit to excavate; or
is an activity described in a statement of heritage effect
approved by the ACT Heritage Council.
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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