Frequently asked questions
- Is my property listed?
- My place is in a State heritage area - what does this mean?
- How are places nominated for the South Australian Heritage Register?
- Does an owner have any say in the listing process?
- Can a property be taken off the Register?
- Can I make changes to my place?
- What will happen with my development application?
- Will the property's value be affected if it is listed?
- Will insurance premiums be affected?
- Is demolition permitted?
- Are there penalties for carrying out work without approval, or demolishing a state heritage place without approval?
- Am I required to carry out special maintenance?
- Is it necessary to employ qualified professionals or tradespeople to carry out building work?
- Who should I contact in the case of accidental damage, such as fire, flood or earthquake damage?
- Where can I get advice?
Is my property listed?
Places that have been confirmed or interim listed in any National, State or Local heritage lists are included in the South Australian Heritage Register. To check if your place is listed, search the online databases or contact the Register Clerk in the State Heritage Unit on (08) 8124 4960 or email DEWNRHeritage@sa.gov.au
My place is in a State heritage area - what does this mean?
Legally, every place in a State heritage area is treated as a State heritage place. More information about State heritage areas.
How are places nominated for the South Australian Heritage Register?
Individuals or organisations can nominate a place for entry as a place of State significance in the South Australian Heritage Register. More information about nominating a place to the Register.
Does an owner have any say in the listing process?
An owner is always advised regarding a proposed heritage listing before the listing process commences. More information about entering a state heritage place in the South Australian Heritage Register (84kb pdf).
Can a property be taken off the Register?
Section 23 of the Heritage Places Act 1993 (the Act) states that:
‘If the [South Australian Heritage] Council is of the opinion that an entry relating to a place in the Register as a State Heritage Place is no longer justified, or that an entry relating to a State Heritage Place should be altered by excluding part of the place to which the entry applies, it may give notice of its intention to alter the Register by removing or altering the entry…’
A view or opinion that a Place no longer meets the standards for State heritage-listing does not necessarily bring the provisions under Section 23 of the Act into consideration. Such a listing in the Register may become ‘no longer justified’ only where new information has come to light since the listing, or some event has taken place, that makes it ‘no longer justified’.
Examples of such circumstances are:
Example 1. a Place, at the time of its heritage listing, is thought to have a special association with a person’s life and it is later discovered not to have that association;
Example 2. a Place suffers extensive damage which destroys its heritage significance.
Both these examples may lead the Council to determine that the entry in the Register is ‘no longer justified’. It is important to note in these examples that only a change in the facts that are the basis of the heritage-listing of the Place warrants the Council to consider it for removal.
Legal advice is clear that section 23 of the Act does not give the Council (or any other party) power to remove a place from entry in the Register on the basis that, at a later date, someone forms a view that it should not have been included or continue to be included in the Register.
Can I make changes to my place?
Yes, heritage places can be altered or developed, but it is first necessary to obtain development approval. The Development Act 1993 requires that any 'development' be approved by the relevant planning authority (usually the local council).
For a State heritage place or a place within a State heritage area the definition of ‘development’ is expanded to include “demolition, removal, conversion, alteration or painting of, or addition to, the place, or any other work that could materially affect the heritage value of the place” (eg non-structural alterations, painting and other conservation work such as re-roofing or salt damp repair etc).
Please use this checklist (43kb pdf) to assist you with the development approval process.
What will happen with my development application?
The Development Act 1993 requires all development applications affecting State heritage places and State heritage areas to be referred to the Minister responsible for the Heritage Places Act 1993 for advice on potential impact of development on heritage significance of a place.
DEWNR conservation architects advise the Minister, and in some instances, act as the Minister's delegate regarding commenting on and approving applications for development of State heritage places.
Will the property's value be affected if it is listed?
This may be the case when an old building is being used for a purpose well below the most commercially valuable use permitted by the zoning (eg, a cottage in a commercial zone on a major road). However, a house in a residential zone should not suffer any loss in value. It may even experience a rise because of the certainty of knowing its heritage character is protected.
Will insurance premiums be affected?
Heritage status, on its own, should have no effect on insurance premiums. Insurance cover should reflect the age, construction and condition of the building, regardless of heritage listing. Please see our fact sheet for more information.
Is demolition permitted?
Not normally. If demolition is thought to be necessary, a development application would need to be lodged with the local council explaining the reasons in detail.
Are there penalties for carrying out work without approval, or demolishing a state heritage place without approval?
Demolition or other unapproved development, damaging or reducing the heritage value of a State heritage place, are serious offences. Penalties are provided for in both the Development Act 1993 and the Heritage Places Act 1993.
Am I required to carry out special maintenance?
The Heritage Places Act 1993 requires people to take 'reasonable care' of a State heritage place. As with any property, it is in the owner's interest to carry out ongoing maintenance and repair work to protect the value of the property and avoid expensive remedial work.
Is it necessary to employ qualified professionals or tradespeople to carry out building work?
There is no legal requirement to do so. However, it makes sense to use experienced professionals and tradespeople when undertaking conservation work. This will protect the heritage significance of the building and help to safeguard the property as a financial investment. DEWNR or a local heritage adviser can often refer owners to skilled tradespeople.
Who should I contact in the case of accidental damage, such as fire, flood or earthquake damage?
Contact DEWNR and your local council as soon as possible. If a building is not structurally sound or secure, the owner will be given immediate approval for stabilisation and repair.
Where can I get advice?
If you are considering conservation works or development that affects a State heritage place or property within a State heritage area, advice from an experienced heritage consultant is recommended. DEWNR also produces publications containing practical conservation advice on issues such as painting, rising damp, cleaning stone masonry and creating a maintenance check list.
DEWNR's State heritage conservation team can be contacted on (08) 8124 4922 or DEWNR.StateHeritageDA@sa.gov.au