Heritage places information and advice
Brisbane City Council’s local heritage process aims to identify and protect places of cultural heritage significance in Brisbane. On this page, find out about legislative roles and responsibilities, how heritage places are protected, tips for building and maintenance, and potential financial effects of heritage listing such as property value and insurance premiums.
Brisbane’s local heritage places reflect aspects of our local history and culture. Heritage places range from the convict-era buildings in the Central Business District (CBD) to the shops, schools, churches, factories and houses in our suburban landscape. In response to community concerns, Brisbane City Council introduced heritage listing as legislation in the 1987 Town Plan.
Heritage protection is afforded to places in Brisbane under the:
- Heritage overlay (within the City Plan)
- Local Heritage Register
- Queensland Heritage Register
How to check if a property is heritage listed
- Search for your property in Local Heritage Places online.
- Check the Heritage overlay in City Plan online (electronic version of Brisbane City Plan 2014).
- Check the static Local Heritage Register as some places, such as local heritage infrastructure items (tram shelters, bus shelters etc) are included in this.
You can also:
- phone Brisbane City Council on 07 3403 8888
- check the Queensland Heritage Register on the Department of Environment and Science website.
Heritage listing criteria
To find out the criteria for Queensland Government listing, check the Queensland Heritage Register.
Legislation and oversight
Government roles and responsibilities
Council and the State Government's Department of Environment and Science are the only two organisations that provide Brisbane properties with legal protection.
The State Government's Queensland Heritage Branch registers properties to the Queensland Heritage Register.
Council's City Architecture and Heritage team oversees:
- properties added to the Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan) Heritage overlay
- Local Heritage Places online to identify and conserve Brisbane's heritage places.
The team also provides recommendations to Civic Cabinet and the Heritage Advisory Committee. The committee is an independent body including representatives from professional, industry and community members providing advice to Civic Cabinet.
Protection for heritage places
Your heritage place is protected by Council’s legislative framework to control demolition, removal and development in accordance with the City Plan provisions.
The Burra Charter
The Burra Charter provides conservation and management guidance for Australian places of cultural heritage significance.
The Australia International Council on Monuments and Sites, who oversee the charter, is the peak body for heritage conservation.
Definitions - heritage place and character house
A character house is particular to the area's character. Houses of traditional building character are identified in the Traditional building character overlay in City Plan. Development is guided by the Traditional building character (design) overlay code and demolition is assessed using the Traditional building character (demolition) overlay code.
A heritage place or precinct is identified as of 'cultural heritage significance' when it fulfils specific criteria. Local heritage places are included in the Heritage overlay mapping in City Plan and the majority of development on the site of a Local heritage place will require assessment against the Heritage overlay code.
Nominating a place for the Brisbane Heritage Register
Use Local Heritage Places online to find out if the heritage place meets one or more of Council’s heritage criteria. If it does, you can nominate the place to be investigated for inclusion in the Heritage overlay in City Plan. Find criteria and nominate a place.
Heritage place building work and maintenance
If the original fabric of a heritage place is unharmed, you do not need permission for routine maintenance and repainting (i.e. painting areas that were already painted). Check Council's fact sheets for advice about caring for heritage property:
It is not necessary to employ qualified professionals or tradespeople to carry out building work, however, it is recommended experienced professionals and tradespeople do the conservation work. This will help protect the property’s heritage significance and safeguard its integrity and monetary value.
You are not obligated to carry out special maintenance on your heritage place, but it's in your interest to carry out ongoing maintenance to protect property value and avoid expensive remedial work.
Queensland heritage-registered property owners may be required to secure and stabilise deteriorating structures by notice from the Department of Environment and Science.
Financial effects of heritage listing
Whether the property value will be affected by a heritage listing cannot be generalised as every heritage place is different. A residential zone house should not suffer any loss in value.
It may rise in value with the certainty of heritage protection. This benefit can flow on to nearby properties because the listing helps to protect the streetscape's character.
Effects on insurance premiums may vary depending on the insurance company and the specific circumstances of a heritage place.
Heritage status alone, should have no effect on insurance premiums. Insurance cover should reflect the building's age, construction and condition.
Public access to heritage places
The public do not have heritage property right of access.
For information on conservation and guidelines to plan for future work, you can read our heritage property fact sheets.
You can also refer to the City Plan fact sheet about heritage and character buildings.
Alternatively, you can contact Council.