State Heritage Areas
A State Heritage Area is a clearly defined region with outstanding natural or cultural elements significant to South Australia's development and identity.
A State Heritage Area may include early or important settlements, other significant towns or suburbs of heritage value, or natural landscapes, and are notable for their distinct heritage character or 'sense of place', formed by:
- buildings and structures
- spaces and allotments
- patterns of streets
- natural features or the developed landscape.
Although State Heritage Areas are protected under legislation, places within the area can be altered or developed as long as the work is sympathetic to the character of the area.
South Australia has 17 State Heritage Areas that reflect heritage values of importance to all South Australians:
- Arckaringa Hills
- Belair National Park
- Colonel Light Gardens
- Gawler Church Hill
- Innamincka/Cooper Creek
- Moonta Mines
- Mount Gambier Cave Gardens
- Mount Gambier Volcanic Complex
- Mount Schank
- Mount Torrens
- Port Adelaide
Development in a State Heritage Area
The protection of State Heritage Areas has been strengthened through the introduction of a new planning system for South Australia, outlined here.
Any development1 within a State Heritage Area (under the Heritage Places Act 1993) must be approved by the relevant (planning) authority in accordance with the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 (PDI Act).
Development is defined by the PDI Act and the Planning, Development and Infrastructure (General) Regulations 2017 (PDI Regs) and includes:
- Building work
- The demolition, removal, conversion, alteration or painting of, or addition to a State Heritage Place2
- Any work that could materially affect the heritage value of the place.
1. Note there are some exclusions, which are detailed in Schedule 5 of the PDI Regs.
2. A State Heritage Place is also defined as any property within State Heritage Area.
The relationship between the PDI Act and the Heritage Places Act 1993 is illustrated here. For further information please contact Heritage South Australia on (08) 8124 4922 or email DEW.StateHeritageDA@sa.gov.au.
Managing development in a State Heritage Area
Applications for development in a State Heritage Area are assessed by the relevant (planning) authority against the applicable Zone, Overlay and general policies in the Planning and Design Code.
Importantly, the development application must also be referred, by the relevant authority, to Heritage South Australia (Heritage SA), as delegate of the Minister responsible for the Heritage Places Act 1993 (Minister), for support, or to provide a direction to refuse or to add conditions to any approval. The referral process can be seen here and Heritage SA’s internal assessment process can be seen here.
Direction means that Heritage SA (on behalf of the Minister) can direct the relevant authority to direct refusal or add conditions to the development approval in the event of approval.
For further information on the referral and assessment process please contact Heritage South Australia on (08) 8124 4922 or email DEW.StateHeritageDA@sa.gov.au.
Heritage SA’s Heritage Standards are instruments under the PDI Act.
They are a supplementary assessment tool, linked to State Heritage Overlay in the Planning and Design Code, and provide site-specific heritage policy to inform delegate decisions on referred development proposals. Decisions are based upon consideration of the degree of adverse impact a proposal may have on the heritage values of the State Heritage Area as seen in the Heritage Assessment Framework. For further information please contact Heritage South Australia on (08) 8124 4922 or email DEW.StateHeritageDA@sa.gov.au.
Heritage Standards will be developed for all State Heritage Areas, replacing the current Heritage guidelines for development, in consultation with local councils, Planning and Land Use Services – Attorney-General’s Department, the South Australian Heritage Council, communities and key community groups.
Heritage Standards for Colonel Light Gardens State Heritage Area
The Heritage Standards (Colonel Light Gardens State Heritage Area) are the first Standards for a State Heritage Area to be completed as part of the new planning system for South Australia.
The Heritage Standards were developed by Heritage South Australia, in consultation with landowners and key stakeholders, to reflect their new statutory role in the new planning system.
Heritage SA will continue to use the existing guidelines for development for other State Heritage Areas as the basis of heritage decisions for any referred development until such time as new Heritage Standards are developed.
For further information about Heritage Standards please contact Heritage South Australia on (08) 8124 4922 or email DEW.StateHeritageDA@sa.gov.au.