What’s heritage protection?
If something is heritage protected, it means that it has environmental or cultural significance and should be preserved for future generations. A building can have local, State, national or even world significance. For Ku-ring-gai homes, it’s more likely the first of these that will apply.
You can find out whether your home is heritage protected simply by entering your address into the Ku-ring-gai council website.
What’s a Heritage Conservation Area?
A Heritage Conservation Area (HCAs) is Ku-Ring-Gai council’s attempt to preserve an entire area that’s been recognised for its historical and aesthetic character.
Here, the council will take into account features such as buildings, fences, trees and gardens to make sure the area’s appeal is protected from inappropriate development.
Because we live in one of the most attractive and architecturally interesting parts of Sydney, many areas of Ku-Ring-Gai are affected by HCAs.
You can download a map of Ku-Ring-Gai’s HCAs and find a list of current and proposed HCAs on the Ku-ring-gai website here.
The benefits of heritage protection and HCAs
You might rest easy knowing that a giant apartment block or multi-storey carpark isn’t going up right next door any time soon. So too may any buyer who likes the look and character of your home. In that sense, an HCA can help protect property prices, especially given that many buyers choose Ku-Ring-Gai for its wonderful gardens and older style homes.
Heritage homes often also attract buyers who are looking for unique details and craftsmanship in the build and the care that was taken to build them in years gone by. Depending on the type of home, people may also pay for a protected style of home. For instance, Federation and Arts and Crafts homes – as well as art deco bungalows and modernist classics – all have their devotees who wouldn’t dream of living in anything else.
Even for those not set on one style, a heritage listed property can hold a gravitas that newer properties don’t have, and that makes for an excellent selling point when it comes time to market your home.
And the downside of heritage protection?
That said, heritage protection and HCAs can bring with them a downside also. Protection can be restrictive and you may find yourself facing limitations on what you can do with your home in a way that you wouldn’t be if your property wasn’t listed.
If your home is heritage protected or you live within a HCA, you’ll face restrictions as to what changes you can make to the house’s exterior. If you’re considering a renovation or a fresh coat of paint, you’ll need to run it past council and work with a heritage builder, architect or consultant.
Another concern is that rather than attracting buyers, a heritage listing can result in lower land values because a buyer won’t be able to extend or modify the home.
However heritage listed homes may sometimes hold a premium over homes that aren’t listed – simply because they’re unique.
Where to find out more
Ku-ring-gai Council’s website has a wealth of information about heritage listed properties and HCAs. You’ll be able to see if your home is listed, what to consider when buying a listed property and development controls and approvals.