Heritage exemption certificate to carry out development on a local heritage place

Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan) has been developed by Brisbane City Council in consultation with the community to support a simple, fast and clear development assessment process. The plan guides how land in Brisbane can be used and developed to support economic growth, while protecting our city’s enviable way of life.

What is a heritage exemption certificate to carry out development on a local heritage place?

The Queensland Heritage Act 1992 (the Act) allows local governments to issue heritage exemption certificates to owners of places identified as being of local cultural heritage significance in the planning scheme, Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan).

If the proposed development triggers assessment under City Plan, the local heritage exemption certificate may exclude you from assessment against City Plan.

Heritage exemption certificates are not intended to deal with major changes or complex developments to local heritage places, but to cover work which will have no more than a minimal impact on the heritage significance of a local heritage place.

Examples of the types of work that may qualify for a heritage exemption certificate are outlined in our fact sheet:

What is a local heritage place?

Places determined by Council as having local heritage significance are called a local heritage place and are identified within the Heritage overlay of City Plan.

There are more than 2000 heritage places in the Heritage overlay. To check if your property is included as a local heritage place, you can search your property using the City Plan Interactive Mapping tool. City Plan overlays will be outlined in the Property Holding Report or can be identified by viewing the Heritage overlay mapping.

What if my property is listed as a Queensland heritage place?

Some local heritage places in Brisbane are also identified as Queensland heritage places.

For properties that are both a local and state heritage place, you will need to apply to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) to determine the suitability of the proposed development.

To ascertain if your property is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register, and understand the state’s application process to carry out development (including a state heritage exemption certificate), visit the Queensland Government's website.

If I have a heritage exemption certificate, does that remove the need for development approval?

No. Even with a heritage exemption certificate issued by either EHP or Council, you may still require approval for the proposed work where the development triggers assessment required under City Plan.

For example, the proposed work on the local heritage place may also trigger assessment against the Flood overlay. Therefore, assessment would be required against this component, which is not relevant to the heritage exemption certificate.

You may choose to engage a town planning consultant to help determine all the relevant assessment benchmarks for the proposed work. A town planning consultant may also be able to help you prepare your application.

What type of work on a local heritage place may qualify for a heritage exemption certificate?

Examples of the type of work that may be eligible for a heritage exemption certificate are listed below.

  • Building work that is not prescribed accepted development in City Plan and will have no more than a minor impact on the heritage significance of a place, such as:
    • replacing roof cladding with new materials matching the existing, where the roof is structurally defective or severely damaged by natural causes and the roof itself is not specifically identified in the description of the citation as being culturally significant fabric
    • replacing deteriorated timber joinery elements including stairs (treads and framing), veranda boards, doors, windows, architraves, mouldings that reconstructs original/significant joinery in form, materials, details, and finishes
    • restumping using modern materials that will not result in a noticeable visible change to the original floor level or streetscape context of the building
    • dismantling and reconstructing a section of a masonry or timber framed wall where the wall is structurally unsound or defective and the new work will match the material, detail and finish of the original
    • demolishing or removing all or part of a non- significant building or structure, not specifically identified in the description of the citation as being culturally significant fabric
    • conservation work identified in a Conservation Management Plan prepared by a suitably qualified consultant, for the local heritage place.
  • Operational work that is not prescribed accepted development in City Plan and will have no more than a minor impact on the heritage significance of a place, such as:
    • removal of trees or a significant landscape element (e.g. garden bed) not identified in the description of the citation.

How do I apply for a heritage exemption certificate on a local heritage place?

From 1 July 2016, requests for heritage exemption certificates on a local heritage place can be made to Council.

Your application will need to include:

  • a scaled site plan showing the heritage boundary, existing features of the place, location and extent of development and any demolition required
  • other scaled drawings of the development including plans, sections and elevations as necessary
  • up-to-date photographs of the place showing all areas that will be affected by the development
  • a specification of work proposed
  • consultant report/s, if applicable
  • a copy of the Conservation Management Plan or heritage agreement, if applicable
  • a copy of the heritage exemption certificate issued by EHP, if applicable.

You can lodge your request with the above material using Council’s Exemption Certificate for a Local Heritage Place online application form.

After lodgement, you will be sent a fee quote for payment prior to the assessment of your request. Please refer to the development assessment and compliance fees for the applicable fee for a request for a heritage exemption certificate.

Council will assess and decide the request for the heritage exemption certificate in approximately 20 business days from receiving the application.

More information

Find out about other types of exemption certificates under the Planning Act 2016.

For more information, you can also phone Council on 07 3403 8888 and ask to speak with a Planning Information Officer.

Disclaimer: The content of this information sheet is a summary only and has been prepared to assist the reader to understand City Plan. Please refer to the full City Plan document, entitled Brisbane City Plan 2014 on Council’s website for further detail.

13 September 2017