Preparing a conservation plan

Conservation plans provide a set of policies and actions to assist in managing and conserving heritage-listed properties. Thus page identifies what you should consider when preparing a conservation plan.

Conservation plan requirements

Physical investigation

 A detailed site examination of the interior and exterior of a building should include:

  • photographs and drawings (site plan, floor plan and elevations/sections) that identify the original structure, additions and their significance
  • a paint analysis identifying the original or significant colour schemes and finishes/decorative work
  • a landscape analysis identifying significant landscape features such as trees, garden layout and surface treatment.

Research of documentary sources

The history of the site, possibly recorded in a heritage citation, should include:

  • an overview history of occupants, building and grounds
  • archival and photographic material identified with dates and sources if available.

Statement of cultural significance

The statement of cultural significance for the site and its key elements should address the cultural significance of:

  • buildings and, where applicable, sections of buildings
  • the site as a whole, including items such as significant planting and landscaping
  • moveable artefacts associated with the site.

Example: original drawing for Observatory Reserve, Wickham Terrace (PDF - 59kb).

Measured drawings

Measured drawings of building and/or structures identifying different construction phases should be drawn to a scale for the intended purpose and include:

  • a site plan
  • floor and roof plans
  • elevations
  • typical cross sections of building.

Conservation policy

The policy should identify:

Conservation action plan

A dilapidation schedule of a building's repairs should clearly illustrate through drawings or photographs the conservation work required in order of priority and include related costs.

Management and maintenance strategies

While safeguarding the cultural significance of a heritage place, strategies for adaptation and redevelopment should include, where applicable:

  • areas within the site for erecting extensions or new building(s) and/or structure
  • the best way to introduce services such as air conditioning, plumbing, lighting and wiring
  • the potential for internal adaptation and decoration
  • sensitive measures for reducing noise
  • the best options for addressing security requirements
  • measures to protect significant landscape features and vegetation.

Interpretation strategies for publicly accessible buildings

Opportunities for interpretation should be explored to:

  • identify the potential of the building(s) and grounds for appropriate interpretative initiatives
  • provide high-quality measured drawings for use in displays.

Preparation of a conservation plan

Professional consultants with expertise in architecture and/or history usually prepare conservation plans in accordance with a specific brief.

Conservation plan brief

Download a standard conservation plan brief (Word - 35kb) that outlines the scope of work and contractual aspects. Change the brief in Microsoft Word to suit your requirements.

Assistance provided

Council provides free architectural advice to assist owners in preparing specific briefs for conservation plans.

Owners are eligible for heritage grants for costs incurred in preparing conservation plans for their properties under Council’s Heritage Incentives Scheme.  

More information 

View other Council online fact sheets:

For more information, email Council's City Architecture and Heritage team.

Last updated:18 March 2019