Local Heritage Study Success

AHS helps to preserve the rich built heritage of local government areas (LGAs), with multiple Local Heritage Studies undertaken.

We have been commissioned by multiple councils over the years to review their local heritage and revitalise their approaches to local heritage protection.

The Local Heritage Studies involve an extensive regional study and comprehensive review of non-indigenous heritage so that councils can reevaluate their planning schemes and how they protect and conserve local heritage places.

The Local Heritage Studies also consist of desktop assessments and historical research, targeted fieldwork programs, liaison with government officials, and community consultation.

Typically, we begin by undertaking an extensive review of the region’s history and development over time, as well as putting together a thematic framework and identifying key phases and themes. This information is utilised to develop a strategy for targeted field assessments to identify potential places of local significance.

Once complete, a priority list of places for proposed listing is developed and further research into those individual places is undertaken, including the development of site cards which have physical descriptions, a statement of significance, and an outline of which local heritage criteria the places satisfy. Places recommended for listing on a council’s heritage register or overlay can include both public and privately owned places.

Once the research and heritage citations are complete, AHS delivers expert conservation and heritage advice to council regarding the necessary planning mechanisms and performance outcomes required to ensure that the council’s local heritage places are adequately managed.

Part of this process includes numerous workshops and presentations to Councillors, Senior Executives and the Mayor, outlining clear and expert heritage advice. These workshops are then followed by robust community consultation that is undertaken in accordance with an engagement strategy developed by AHS and tailored to the needs of the LGA.

In addition to community consultation, AHS also develops ‘factsheets’ that can be utilised by council to distribute within the community and host online.

Why do you need a Local Heritage Study?

First and foremost, it is a requirement under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 for councils to have a local heritage register, schedule or overlay. While some councils have well-founded heritage preservation measures in place, some may simply borrow from the relevant State Heritage Register or utilise outdated information, without undertaking a proper local study.

We are pleased to note that councils are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility to preserve local heritage, as well as realising the countless benefits that a Local Heritage Study offers a region – now and into the future.

Adding privately-owned properties to a local heritage register or overlay has been seen as controversial in the past, but in today’s development-heavy economy it is an increasingly important preservation method.

Furthermore, there a lot of common myths and misconceptions about heritage requirements, with many believing that if they own a heritage listed place they will be heavily restricted. This is simply not the case, and at AHS we provide expertise to councils, public, and private property owners outlining the options and flexibility they can enjoy with heritage places.

This expert advice is particularly important when assisting councils in developing their local heritage registers and updated planning scheme, as it helps to inform how the planning scheme interacts with and protects local heritage places.

At AHS, we have now undertaken Local Heritage Studies for Redland City Council and Port Macquarie Hastings Council. We have also reviewed the Southern Downs Region and we are currently working with another council to update their register.

Preservation front and centre

Heritage is critically important to every region, preserving its history, identity and its people, through the protection of heritage places like houses, halls, churches, gardens and more.

We recently completed a Local Heritage Study for Redland City Council, leading to 44 properties being added to the Local Heritage Register after a major amendment was made to its City Plan.

All 44 properties were independently assessed by the AHS team and selected for the local historical themes they presented.

This was a major breakthrough for the region, with its local register consisting of mostly Council-owned sites prior to this Local Heritage Study.

Our recommendations were welcomed by Mayor Karen Williams, who also endorsed the adoption of a local heritage incentive package for impacted homeowners.

“By endorsing this major amendment, Council has shown its commitment to provide an appropriate level of protection to local European heritage on Redlands Coast,” Cr Williams said.

“The survival of these properties in private ownership is a testament to generations of owners who have recognised their value and have continued to maintain them.

“Until now, our local register has mainly listed Council–owned sites, so these additional privately-owned properties are an exciting addition.”

Contact us 

To discover how we may be able to assist you on your next project, contact us today here via our website or phone (07) 3221 0000. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn