New State heritage assessment trigger for development commences in Queensland

By Nicole Besgrove and Karen Trainor

16 Feb 2017

The triggers for assessment of development that may impact on listed heritage places in Queensland have been expanded. 

Development that is a material change of use of premises (MCU) on a heritage place or on a lot that adjoins a Queensland heritage place is now assessable development under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) unless a specific exclusion applies.

Development which falls within the scope of the new heritage assessment trigger will be assessed against the relevant provisions of the State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP) and the chief executive administering SPA will act as a concurrence agency.

Purpose of heritage trigger amendment

Prior to August 2012, referral to the State as an advice agency was required for development applications involving an MCU or Reconfiguration of a Lot on land adjoining a Queensland heritage place. This trigger has now been reinstated for an MCU.

The purpose of the assessment trigger is to ensure the assessment of impacts of adjoining development on the important views from, or setting of a Queensland heritage place. The trigger will allow consideration of the building bulk and form of adjoining development.

Heritage trigger for assessable development

The new trigger applies to development that is a material change of use of premises on a heritage place or on a lot that adjoins a Queensland heritage place, however it will not apply to excluded MCUs or development within Priority Development Areas (PDA) (referred to as PDA-related development).

An "excluded MCU" means an MCU:

  • if the premises adjoins an archaeological State heritage place within the meaning of the Queensland Heritage Act 1992; or
  • that is for:
    • a dwelling house more than 25m from the boundary of a lot that is or contains a Queensland heritage place; or
    • any use more than 75m from the boundary of a lot that is or contains a Queensland heritage place; or
  • that involves single storey buildings or structures only; orthat does not involve building work, other than:
    • the internal alteration of existing buildings or structures; or
    • minor building work that is the external alteration of existing buildings or structures.

SDAP amendment

As a consequence of the amendment to the SP Regulation, amendments of the SDAP were made. The purpose of the relevant part of SDAP has been changed to regulate development on and adjoining a State heritage place to:

  • conserve cultural heritage significance for the benefit of the community and future generations;
  • minimise or mitigate unavoidable impacts on cultural heritage significance; and
  • maintain or enhance the setting and streetscape adjoining the State heritage place, and views to and from the State heritage place, where these aspects form part of its cultural heritage significance.

What does this mean for development which is the subject of these changes?

If you are proposing to develop land on or adjoining a Queensland heritage place by way of an MCU, the chief executive must also assess the development application against the SDAP and approve the development. Therefore, a heritage impact report will likely be required to accompany the development application.

If you own a Queensland heritage place, the impact of adjoining development for an MCU (other than for excluded development) on the heritage values of that place will need to be assessed before the development can be approved.


Get in touch

Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.