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Heritage advice
Find information about heritage listings the impact of heritage on development applications heritage grants and much more.

Heritage consists of the places and objects that we have inherited from the past and that we want to pass on to future generations. The Central Coast currently has 22 state heritage listed items which fall under the protection of the NSW Heritage Act and 364 local heritage items.

Cultural Heritage

Heritage is a key component of Australia’s identity. It defines us as a community and helps shape who we are and where we have come from. However, and just as importantly, heritage helps to identify the way forward as we develop and grow. 

The Central Coast encompasses a rich Aboriginal and non-Indigenous history which is reflected through our cultural, built and unique places and landscapes. Our natural and environmentally sensitive places can also be of heritage significance.

Types of heritage listings

Local heritage

A local heritage item is one which has cultural significance for the local area and is listed on council's Local Environment Plan (LEP). An example is Henry Kendall Cottage in West Gosford.

State heritage

A state heritage item is one which has cultural significance for the state of New South Wales, not just the Central Coast area. State heritage items are listed on the State Heritage Register for example, Norah Head Lighthouse.

World heritage

Central Coast Council is fortunate to have a World Heritage item within its boundary. This is a section of the Old Great North Road known as Devines Hill and Finchs Line located in Dharug National Park. The road is part of a group of convict built sites that together were awarded world heritage listing in 2010.

How are heritage listings made?

Central Coast Council is responsible for identifying, protecting and managing heritage at the local level through local planning regulations. Anyone can nominate an item for heritage listing.

The Central Coast currently has 22 state heritage listed items within the local government area which fall under the protection of the NSW Heritage Act 1977. It also has 364 local heritage items listed under the LEP. If the council resolves to consider a listing, property owners and residents are notified and a draft amendment to the LEP is placed on public exhibition. Submission and comments are invited and are taken into consideration before the application for heritage listing goes before council and the NSW Department of Planning.

Detailed information on current heritage items can be found on the NSW Environment and Heritage website.

What does a heritage listing mean for Development Approvals?

A heritage listing does not mean that properties or buildings cannot be modernised, altered or developed. Changes may still be made, but must have regard to the site’s heritage significance.

Any new work should be undertaken in an appropriate or ‘sympathetic’ way. For example, where possible, a sympathetic addition to a heritage item should retain the original features. New work should not necessarily try to look ‘old’ or copy the architectural detail of the original building, but rather complement the overall building form, scale, materials and finishes.

Properties near heritage items often form a significant part of the setting of the heritage item. Development near heritage items may be required to minimise any impact on the heritage property in terms of architectural style, scale, setbacks, external materials, finishes and colours.

For some changes and work to heritage items and properties within heritage conservation areas, a Development Application will need to be lodged for council approval. Prior to commencing work, and for more information on items that will need to be included in the Development Application, contact council on 02 4306 7900.

Heritage listings explained

Produced especially for owners of heritage properties, this leaflet from the Heritage Council of NSW answers commonly asked questions about listing. It explains the benefits and effects of listing in New South Wales. It also gives owners a practical insight into how to make sympathetic changes.

Read more information at NSW Environment Heritage Listing Explained

Heritage Advisory Committee

The Heritage Advisory Committee assists Council to conserve, promote and celebrate the Central Coast’s local heritage and history. The Committee focuses on the identification, registration, conservation and development of the Central Coast’s heritage resources.

Visit our Advisory Groups page for more information on the Heritage Advisory Committee.

Heritage small grants

Council offers heritage small grants to owners of heritage listed items to help them repair, conserve and maintain the cultural significance of an item. In the process, it is hoped that this will engender a greater interest and appreciation for conservation for all heritage items on the Central Coast.

For more information, please contact our Heritage Program Coordinator on 4325 8869 or email

Further information can also be found on our Heritage Grants Program page.

Central Coast History

At Central Coast Council libraries, you can find out more about our local history, as well as using the library's resources to research your own local family history.

To get started, visit the pages below:

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