Heritage Strategy

The identification of buildings and areas of heritage significance and the protection of these places in the Planning Scheme relies on studies and reports prepared for the former Cities of Prahran and Malvern, and more recently for the City of Stonnington.

Council's Heritage Strategy has evolved through three main stages.

Refer to the attached document showing the History of Heritage Precinct Protection in the City of Stonnington 1989-2011 in the Reference Folder under the Documentation area.

Former Cities of Prahran and Malvern (heritage studies 1983-1993)

The former Cities of Prahran and Malvern prepared several conservation studies that provided the basis for the introduction of Urban Conservation Areas and the listing of individual buildings in the former Prahran and Malvern Planning Schemes.

Refer to the attached copies of the Key Heritage Strategy Documents (1983-1993) in the Reference Folder under the Documentation area.

City of Stonnington Heritage Strategy (1994-2004)

After the amalgamation of the two former municipalities in 1994, the new City of Stonnington commissioned Bryce Raworth Pty Ltd (heritage consultants) to prepare a report to combine the findings of the former heritage studies and identify remaining individual buildings and areas with potential for protection in the Planning Scheme.

Council then prepared a Heritage Strategy Timeframe to manage the roll-out of a strategy to protect further buildings and areas in a seven stage program.

Refer to the attached copies of the Key Heritage Strategy Documents (1996-2004) in the Reference Folder under the Documentation area.

Current City of Stonnington Heritage Strategy (2005 onwards)

Thematic Environmental History

In 2005, Council decided to prepare a Thematic Environmental History to underpin further work to identify places for heritage protection and appointed Context Pty Ltd to undertake the task. The report was adopted in July 2006. In March 2009, Context prepared the first Update Addendum to the Stonnington Thematic Environmental History. Refer Stonnington Thematic Environmental History page.

Heritage Review Action Plan

Subsequently Council commissioned Maggie Baron to prepare a Heritage Review Strategy to provide Council with an overall framework for managing heritage related issues in the City. Informed by the recommendations of this report, Council adopted a Heritage Review Action Plan in December 2006. The Heritage Review Strategy includes a set of actions related to the following issues:

  • Assessment methodology
  • Data management
  • Review of existing heritage citations
  • Assessment of new places
  • Planning scheme implementation
  • Heritage management

Refer to the attached documents for progress on Council's Current Heritage Strategy Review (2006+) in the Reference Folder under the Documentation area.

Council is currently progressing amendments to include individual places in the Heritage Overlay in the Planning Scheme and to revise several existing citations. Refer to the Planning Scheme Amendments page for current amendments.

Heritage Precinct Gap Study (2006-9)

Council has prepared a Heritage Precinct Gap Study, to address gaps in the identification and protection of areas with potential heritage significance. Bryce Raworth was commissioned to prepare a municipal-wide gap study. A Final Report was completed in March 2009. Council has completed rolling out a program for the inclusion of additional precincts in the Planning Scheme. Refer to the attached documents related to the Council's Heritage Precinct Gap Study in the Reference Folder under the Documentation area.

Heritage Gradings

The various heritage studies have used different grading systems. In April 2012 Council adopted a Unified Gradings System using the former City of Prahran grading system (A1, A2, B, C and Ungraded). A "unified grading" has been applied to all properties in the Heritage Overlay. As part of the exercise, property addresses have been updated (as required). There has been no re-assessment of the level of significance of any property apart from properties that have been redeveloped (now shown as ungraded).

Council also adopted revised grading definitions. These clarify the existing definitions. Refer to the attached documents in the Reference Folder under the Documentation area.

Heritage Assessment Principles and Practice

The following documents provide some background on the principles and practices used by Council in the assessment of places of heritage significance and in the preparation of Planning Scheme Amendments.

Refer to the attached document on Local Government Heritage Guidelines in the Reference Folder under the Documentation area.

Refer to the following link to locate the Planning Practice Note (PPN46) - Strategic Assessment Guidelines for Preparing and Evaluating Planning Scheme Amendments - published June 2015.

Refer to the following link to locate the Planning Practice Note (PPN01) - Applying the Heritage Overlay - published July 2015.

Refer to the Australian ICOMOS Burra Charter.

Refer to the following link to locate the Heritage Provisions Review - Advisory Committee Report - August 2007.

Refer to the attached document for Council's summary of the Advisory Committee Recommendations in the Reference Folder under the Documentation area.

Heritage Provisions and Policies

The Planning and Environment Act 1987 has an objective in Section 4 (1) (d) "to conserve and enhance those buildings, areas and places which are of scientific, aesthetic, architectural or historic interest or otherwise of special cultural value".

Places of heritage significance are identified and protected using provisions in the Planning Scheme, which also specifies the planning policy context and the requirements for planning permits.

State standard heritage provisions are included in:

Local (Stonnington) heritage provisions are included in:

Council also has a set of Heritage Guidelines, which provide guidance to restoration and redevelopment. Council is currently revising its Clause 22.04 Heritage Policy and its Heritage Guidelines. Refer to the attached documents in the Reference Folder under the Documentation area.

Victorian Heritage Register

Some places listed in the Stonnington Planning Scheme are also on the Victorian Heritage Register (refer relevant column in Clause 43.01s - Schedule to the Heritage Overlay). These places have been identified as of state significance under the Heritage Act 1995.

Heritage Victoria is responsible for assessing permit applications for these places and can provide guidance on proposals for restoration and redevelopment.

Refer to the link Heritage Victoria.

Specific Heritage Issues

Financial Issues

Heritage Victoria has reviewed a number of studies on the effect of heritage listings on property values (Heritage Listing and Property Valuations in Victoria - March 2001). This report includes the following finding: "Generally speaking, heritage controls do not affect property values for residential buildings, particularly buildings in precincts". Refer to the attached document: Heritage-Listing-and-Property-Valuations.pdf(PDF, 71KB)

Sustainability Conversions

The provisions of the Heritage Overlay do not prevent the installation of new sustainability measures in heritage places, which can be accommodated with due consideration to heritage impacts and other objectives. Refer to the 'Heritage Buildings and Energy Efficiency' and the 'Heritage Buildings and Sustainability' in the Heritage Victoria website under Research and Publications.

Areas of Cultural Heritage Sensitivity

Land within 200 metres of the Yarra River and Gardiners Creek has been identified as an 'area of cultural heritage sensitivity' for the purpose of the preparation of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) in accordance with the requirements of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006. The requirement of a CHMP only applies to 'high impact activities' (as defined by the Act) and to land not affected by significant 'ground disturbance'. Accordingly, most privately owned land, and all developed land is not affected.


Heritage Reference Documents