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Heritage Overlay Process

The Heritage Overlay is a planning control that can be applied to properties, places, precincts, parks, trees and other forms that are determined to have heritage significance.

The purpose of the Heritage Overlay is to protect and conserve places of scientific, aesthetic, architectural or historical interest, or otherwise of special cultural value. 

Council utilises Planning Practice Note 1: Applying the Heritage Overlay as part of the preparation of heritage studies and planning scheme amendments. 

Heritage Overlay process steps

Once a draft heritage study or assessment has been prepared, Council undertakes a process to introduce the Heritage Overlay to the identified properties, places or precincts. 

A key step in this process is to actively engage with affected property owners, as well as identified stakeholders such as heritage organisations. 

Stage 1: Preparation of Draft Heritage Study 






Council engages a heritage consultant.

Generally, assessment of places is undertaken on a step-by-step basis, starting with a preliminary assessment. This involves a documentation review and desktop fieldwork.

On-site field work is undertaken - physical inspection of places helps identify properties that are worthy of further investigation.

From this, the heritage consultant is able to further assess places that may be of potential significance and prepare a Draft Heritage Study. 

Stage 2: Draft Heritage Study 
A Draft Heritage Study is prepared and recommends places for inclusion in the Heritage Overlay. 

Stage 3: Preliminary Consultation


Council provides an opportunity for affected property owners and key stakeholders to submit feedback on the Draft Heritage Study. This includes providing information that may not have been considered previously. 
Stage 4: Finalise the Study


Council considers the feedback from preliminary consultation and at a Council Meeting determines whether to:

  • Adopt the Study (with or without changes)
  • Commence a Planning Scheme Amendment process to apply the Heritage Overlay to the recommended places.
Stage 5: Planning Scheme Amendment Process begins
Council to seek authorisation from the Minister for Planning to exhibit an Amendment.  

Stage 6: Public Exhibition Period


Council provides property owners and key stakeholders with the opportunity to support or object to the proposed heritage controls.

The Public Exhibition Period must be publicly advertised and open for a minimum of 28 days. 

Stage 7: Consider submissions received during the Public Exhibition Period

Council considers the submissions received at its Ordinary Council Meeting and determines whether to:

  • Abandon or change the amendment, or
  • Request an Independent Planning Panel be appointed.

Stage 8: Panel Hearing (if required)


All submitters and Council are provided an opportunity to present their case to the Panel.

Learn more about Planning Panels 

Stage 9: Panel Report provided to Council

The Planning Panel Report provides recommendations to Council as to how to proceed with the amendment. 


Stage 10: Final Decision




Council considers the Panel's recommendations and decides whether to:

  • Adopt the amendment as recommended by the Panel or with additional changes, or
  • Abandon the amendment

If Council decides to adopt the amendment, approval is requested by the Minister for Planning.

Stage 11: Approval 


If Council decides to adopt the amendment and is approved by the Minister for Planning, the amendment comes into effect once published in the Victorian Government Gazette, forming part of the Bayside Planning Scheme.