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Living in a State Heritage Area

State Heritage Areas

South Australia has 17 State Heritage Areas in diverse locations across the state. These clearly defined areas represent significant aspects of South Australia's rich natural and cultural heritage and, as a group, encapsulate much that is the State’s identity and character. Some of these highly significant areas are recognised for their architectural merit, their town plan or contribution to South Australia's development, while others demonstrate natural features of aesthetic or geological importance.

The establishment of a State Heritage Area provides the basis for protecting the locality's heritage significance. It ensures that the area’s unique qualities are protected from inappropriate development and supports the community's ability to work together to conserve the character and features of the area. It also provides a basis for setting priorities for funding and restoration work, and in many cases has enhanced the local economy of the region by raising its profile for liveability, recreation and tourism.

Living in a State Heritage Area is something to take great pride in and its heritage can enhance your living and working experience.

If you own a property in a State Heritage Area, you may have questions about what you can and can’t do with your property.

Proposed changes to any property or public space within a State Heritage Area requires Development Approval through your local council, as required by the Development Act, or Planning, Infrastructure and Development (PDI) Act, depending on where you live in South Australia. Council refers such changes to the Minister for Heritage for advice.

Heritage places can be altered or developed, but it is first necessary to obtain development approval through the relevant planning authority, usually the local council.

Any changes to a property within a State Heritage Area are defined as ‘development’ under either Act and 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” (this includes non-structural alterations, external painting and other conservation work such as re-roofing or salt damp repair etc.).

Heritage South Australia has a team of highly experienced heritage conservation architects who can help you. Early engagement means a quicker referral response time as a part of development approval requirements. We encourage owners to contact our conservation team to discuss their ideas and to use our Register of Heritage Trades and Consultants when planning any development or conservation work.

If your property is in a State Heritage Area and is open for tourist purposes, please let us know and we can promote through our social media channels.

*Note: an exemption exists for the painting of existing painted surfaces to the exterior of properties in activated PDI Act and Colonel Light Gardens State Heritage Areas. Further, ‘minor in nature’ repair works to properties may be exempt at the discretion of the local council in these specific State Heritage Areas.

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