Heritage Overlay

Find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about the Heritage Overlay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Heritage Overlay?

The City of Glen Eira has more than 3,500 properties of heritage significance that are currently located within the Heritage Overlay in the Planning Scheme. There are 28 precincts ranging from single streets to large areas. There are also more than 140 individual heritage properties in the municipality. Protected places include historic homes, commercial buildings, parks and gardens, railway and tram infrastructure. 

Do I need a planning permit to alter my property if it is in a Heritage Overlay?

A planning permit is usually required to undertake external buildings and works to a place in a Heritage Overlay (Clause 43.01 of the Glen Eira Planning Scheme). Specifically, a planning permit is required to:

  • subdivide land
  • demolish or remove a building (including part of a building or fence)
  • construct a building (including part of a building or fence)
  • external alterations
  • construct or carry out works 
  • construct or display a sign
  • externally paint an unpainted surface.

The Heritage Policy in the Glen Eira Planning Scheme provides guidance on how you should undertake the works. The Glen Eira Heritage Design Guidelines 2020 provide further guidance for applications relating to residential development. 

What works do not need a planning permit?

A planning permit is not required to:

  • carry out works, repairs or maintenance which do not change the appearance of a heritage place and which are undertaken to the same details, specifications and materials
  • carry out any of the following list of buildings or works, as long as the proposal is not visible from a street (other than a lane) or public park*:
    • domestic services normal to a dwelling
    • solar energy system
    • a rainwater tank (less than 10,000litres)
    • a fence
    • an electric vehicle charging station
    • a domestic swimming pool or spa and associated mechanical and safety equipment
    • a deck to a dwelling with a finished floor level of not more than 800mm above ground level.

*Please refer to the Heritage Overlay or contact Council’s Urban Planning Department to ascertain whether planning permission is required.

Do I need a planning permit to alter the inside of my building?

Most properties do not have this control. Internal alterations trigger the need for planning permission under the Heritage Overlay ONLY if the schedule to the Heritage Overlay identifies that internal controls apply.

What other additional controls can apply?

In limited instances, external paint controls, internal alteration controls (discussed above) and tree controls may apply to a heritage place. The schedule to the Heritage Overlay will identify whether these additional controls apply to your property. 

Significant, Contributory and Non-contributory ratings

Every place of cultural heritage significance has been assessed and graded according to its heritage contribution. The levels of significance are as follows:

  • Individually significant: The place is a heritage place in its own right. All individually listed properties in the Heritage Overlay are individually significant. Where such properties are also located within a larger heritage precinct, the individually significant property is considered to be a contributory place within the Heritage Precinct and the Statements of Significance for both the individual place and the precinct should be taken into account.
  • Contributory: The place is a contributory element within a larger heritage precinct. A contributory element could include a building, or building parts such as rooflines, chimneys, verandas, or other structures or works such as landscaping, front fences or paving.
  • Non-Contributory: The place is not individually significant and does not contribute to the Heritage Precinct.

Other heritage resources

If you want to learn more about heritage, visit the Victorian Heritage Database. This fully searchable online database contains information about Victorian heritage places and precincts.

The National Trust of Victoria also has information about heritage on its website.

Need more information

If you have any further questions you can talk to a Strategic Planner, contact City Futures on 03 9524 3333 or email CityFutures@gleneira.vic.gov.au