Heritage and Development


Own a heritage item or live in a heritage conservation area and need to know how to get consent to do an alteration or addition? Or perhaps need to do ground excavation works at your property which may disturb archaeology or Aboriginal objects? This page provides comprehensive information and advice on identifying heritage places, how to sensitively develop your heritage property and the approval pathways required.

Heritage is an important feature of Newcastle’s built and natural environment. The heritage significance of a place is what makes it special. It can include buildings and places with special historical, cultural, social, architectural, archaeological, natural or aesthetic value.

In New South Wales the responsibility for managing and regulating cultural heritage is split between the state and local governments.

  • City of Newcastle has responsibility for local heritage, through environmental planning instruments including Local Environmental Plans and Development Control Plans.
  • The Heritage Council of NSW, assisted by Heritage NSW, has responsibility for heritage items of state heritage significance listed on the State Heritage Register, for Aboriginal objects and Aboriginal places, and for archaeological sites and relics of state and local significance.

Our Heritage Strategy (PDF) gives an overview of City of Newcastle’s approach to managing and regulating heritage in Newcastle. It is based on the principles and processes of the Burra Charter and best practice. In particular:

“The Burra Charter advocates a cautious approach to change: do as much as necessary to care for the place and to make it useable, but otherwise change it as little as possible so that its cultural significance is retained.”

The Burra Charter, Australia ICOMOS, 2013