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What is a Heritage Overlay?

The heritage character of your property is likely what attracted you to your house in the first place, so it makes sense to preserve this character in the interests of future resale.



A heritage overlay is applied to any heritage place that has been formally recognised on the heritage register or identified in local heritage studies.


Queensland is home to many historical gems, from worker’s cottages to churches, Queenslanders and pre-federation houses. If a building is on the Queensland Heritage Register (Register) it is subject to development restrictions under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 and the Queensland Heritage Regulation 2015.


The result is that changes can be made to properties on the Register, providing those alterations do not diminish its heritage value. Many changes are regarded as development and in turn will require approval from the relevant Council and/or the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP).


If your property has particular characteristics, such as waterways, heritage character, locally significant vegetation or other constraints or features, an overlay may exist over your property. To understand what this means if you are proposing development on your property, it is recommended that you contact your local council.


Points to keep in mind when performing alterations and additions on a heritage home:

  • Understanding the characteristics of your house and its style can help in planning new work

  • Consider not just the house but its setting within its site and street

  • Getting rooflines and the overall form of additions right is the key to successful new work

  • The detail of specific design elements such as doors, windows and even stumps all contribute to successful design


It is important to engage qualified Town Planners if you are the owner of a heritage building or an adjoining site. During their initial site review they will identify and advise you of any applicable state or local government heritage overlay codes and possible implications for your development plans.


To find out whether a Heritage overlay affects your property in the Toowoomba region and to find out more information, go to:

https://www.tr.qld.gov.au/planning-building/do-i-need-approval/heritage-advice


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