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Heritage in Coffs Harbour

Have your say on our Draft Heritage Study

Heritage consists of those places and objects that we as a community have inherited from the past and want to hand on to future generations.

Our heritage gives us a sense of living history and provides a physical link to the work and way of life of earlier generations. It enriches our lives and helps us to understand who we are today.

The heritage of NSW is diverse and includes buildings, objects, monuments, Aboriginal places, gardens, bridges, landscapes, archaeological sites, shipwrecks, relics, bridges, streets, industrial structures and conservation precincts.  The Coffs Harbour area is relatively young compared to many other areas of the State, however Coffs Harbour’s heritage includes many of these elements.

Identification of Coffs Harbour Heritage Items

Council has previously undertaken studies to identify the items and places that are considered to be of historical significance.  As a result of these studies, Council’s Local Environmental Plan 2013 currently includes 97 items of environmental heritage listed in Schedule 5 to the LEP.  These items include residential houses, commercial and industrial buildings, relics from World War Two, sawmills, a gold mine, natural land formations, churches and government buildings.  Schedule 5 of LEP 2013 also includes two Conservation Areas (Coramba and Sawtell) which share the same status as the individual heritage items.

Owners of properties that are heritage items, or contained within Heritage Conservation Areas may find the information on the Owning a Heritage Item page useful.

Making Changes to Heritage Places

Clause 5.10 of LEP 2013 requires approval for major works to a heritage item or within a listed conservation area. Routine maintenance is not affected by the LEP. LEP 2013 also contains conservation incentives that apply to listed items, such as allowing uses that would otherwise be prohibited in the zone.

In most cases approval must be gained from Council when making changes to a heritage place listed on Schedule 5 of the Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013.  Some minor works are exceptions.  If in doubt, contact Council on (02) 6648 4000.

Learn more about Owning a Heritage Item.

CHCC Council Heritage Executive Committee

Coffs Harbour City Council established the Heritage Executive Committee in 2002.  The committee has a charter to:

  • endorse the Council’s heritage strategy;
  • assist Council to actively promote heritage conservation;
  • assist with any study or survey to legally protect heritage items;
  • oversee the implementation of the heritage fund; and
  • encourage best practice heritage conservation;

The Heritage Executive Committee consists of:

  • a Coffs Harbour Museum society representative;
  • a Coffs Harbour Local Aboriginal Land Council representative;
  • a Sawtell and District Progress Association representative;
  • a Coffs Harbour Heritage Trust representative; and
  • Community Representatives.

Coffs Harbour City Council Heritage Strategy

On 12 June 2014, Coffs Harbour City Council endorsed the heritage strategy for Coffs Harbour for 2014-2017.  The heritage strategy summarises the way Coffs Harbour City Council will achieve implementation of its heritage program, and includes:

  • Endorsement of the continuation of the Heritage Executive Committee;
  • actions to survey/protect items;
  • actions to produce heritage brochures and themed heritage trails;
  • actions to establish and administer local heritage fund;
  • actions to establish heritage plaques and signs; and
  • actions to promote cultural heritage.