Living in a Heritage Conservation Area

Page hero image

Living in a Heritage Conservation Area

Our city has a rich portfolio of dedicated heritage conservation areas that are recognised for their character and heritage significance. We manage them to reinforce our Novocastrian cultural identity and our sense of pride in our heritage places.

This section is for those who currently live in a heritage conservation area as well as for people who may be considering buying a property in a heritage conservation area. 

Current heritage conservation areas:

  • Cooks Hill
  • The Hill
  • Newcastle East
  • Hamilton Residential Precinct
  • Hamilton South (Garden Suburb)
  • Glebe Road Federation Cottages
  • Hamilton Beaumont Street
  • Newcastle City Centre.

Cooks Hill

Cooks Hill has a distinctive village character that is evocative of another time. 

  1.  Cooks Hill Map (pdf)
  2.  Cooks Hill Heritage Inventory Listing Sheet (pdf)

The Hill

First known as Church Hill - then Prospect Hill - this area is the historic heart of Newcastle with a 'San Franciscan' feel with streets running down the hill to the harbour.

  1.  The Hill Map (pdf)
  2.   The Hill Heritage Inventory Listing Sheet (pdf)

Newcastle East

Newcastle East has long been a focus of industrial and residential activity. The East End is characterised by two and three storey terrace houses on narrow lots, with some important examples of workers' cottages. 

  1.  Newcastle East Map (pdf)
  2.   Newcastle East Heritage Inventory Listing Sheet (pdf)

Hamilton Residential Precinct

The Hamilton Residential Precinct Heritage Conservation Area is a low scale, residential area typified by small lot housing of generally one or two storeys, with the character of the area and its streetscapes representative of the late Victorian, Federation and Inter-war periods of Australian urban development.

  1.  Hamilton Residential Precinct Map (pdf)
  2.  Hamilton Residential Precinct Heritage Inventory Listing Sheet (pdf)

Hamilton South 'Garden Suburb'

This area was designed as a 'garden suburb' where houses were built in the single storey bungalow form in a garden setting. Parkway Avenue is a strong visual legacy of the town plan by the architects Sulman and Hennessey. 

  1.  Hamilton South 'Garden Suburb' Map (pdf)
  2.  Hamilton South Garden Suburb Heritage Inventory Listing Sheet (pdf)

Glebe Road Federation Cottages

The area is important at the local level in demonstrating the principal characteristics of the Federation period and the nature of residential building construction in Newcastle between 1909 and 1915.

  1.   Glebe Road Federation Cottages Map (pdf)
  2.   Glebe Road Federation Cottages Heritage Inventory Listing Sheet (pdf)

City Centre Heritage Conservation Area

Newcastle is the second oldest city in NSW. It features a special blend of old and new architecture, archaeological sites and a places of historical interest. It is listed as a heritage conservation area as we acknowledge that the future of the city is embedded in its human scaled streetscapes, its unique history and cultural heritage.

  1.  CBD Map (pdf)
  2.  Heritage Inventory Listing Sheet - Newcastle City Centre (pdf)

I want to makes changes to my property and its in a heritage conservation area

If you are thinking of altering a property in one of these areas, you will likely need to submit a development application unless it falls into a category of   exempt or complying development.

What do I need to know about development in a heritage conservation area?

Generally speaking most types of development in a heritage conservation area will need to be approved through a development application process. To make this process easy and streamlined, we have collaborated with the local architectural industry to establish design guidelines that will protect the charming streetscapes and significance of our heritage conservation areas. 

The guidelines are contained in our  Heritage Technical Manual.  Following the guidelines ensures a sense of the past continues to be reflected in our living streets and makes the job of assessing development applications efficient and speedy. 

We assess development applications using both the Newcastle DCP and the Heritage technical Manual, to ensure all development proposals achieve a 'best fit' outcome for our heritage conservation areas.

What are the height limits and floor space ratios (FSRs) for heritage conservation areas?

Across the city, building height and density is set by the  Newcastle LEP and shown on the Height of Building maps and the Floor Space Ratio maps that accompany the LEP.  However, the heritage conservation areas are not included in the Height of Building maps or the FSR maps because these areas do not have a prescribed height limit or floor space ratios. The purpose of excluding the heritage conservation areas is to ensure that new development responds to existing character and ensures that contributory buildings are conserved and protected. 

Newcastle East and the City Centre Heritage Conservation Areas are included in the Height of Building and FSR maps. 

Colour schemes in heritage conservation areas

Traditionally, colour palettes were designed for a particular period and architectural style specific to a building. Heritage houses will often look their best in colours matching the age and architectural style of the building. We have prepared a useful  Guide to interior finishes (pdf) which includes the traditional range of colours with the corresponding Australian Standard numbers for you to refer to or colour match where appropriate.

Although the colours you choose are ultimately your decision, restrictions do apply, such as:

  • Painting over face brickwork or natural stone (not permitted)
  • Roof materials (must not be changed without the prior approval of Council). As a general rule, changing the colour of original roof tiles will not be supported
  • Masonry wall surfaces such as face brick can be maintained by a gentle clean or by re-pointing the joints where significant deterioration is evident. Taking care of masonry surfaces is the best way of maintaining the beauty of historic buildings.

Review of Heritage Conservation Areas Report

Council adopted the Heritage Conservation Areas Review Report at its meeting of 28 June 2016.

  Review of Heritage Conservation Areas - Final Report (pdf)