What is Amendment C258 - Heritage Policies Review?

Amendment C258 - Heritage Policies Review proposes the following changes to the Melbourne Planning Scheme:

  • Replace the A to D grading system with the Significant/Contributory/Non-Contributory grading system, as required by State Government and to align with current best practice
  • Incorporate new heritage Statements of Significance for the large heritage precincts (which currently do not have Statements of Significance) in order to provide guidance on the heritage character of these areas. These precincts are: Carlton (HO1); East Melbourne and Jolimont (HO2); North Melbourne and West Melbourne (HO3); Parkville (HO4); South Yarra (HO6); and Kensington (HO9)
  • Replace the current local heritage policies (Clauses 22.04 – Heritage Places within the Capital City Zone and 22.05 – Heritage Places Outside the Capital City Zone) with new, updated heritage policies which provide greater guidance on the protection and redevelopment of heritage places.

Figure 1 Map of Heritage Overlays that apply across the City of Melbourne

Map of heritage overlays that apply across the City of Melbourne

Why is Council proposing the amendment?

The heritage grading system is being modernised throughout Victoria and the City of Melbourne is required by the State Government to convert from the letter (A-D) grading system to the best-practice Significant/Contributory/Non-Contributory system (refer to the document, Applying the Heritage Overlay).

The City of Melbourne is currently working on a number of important heritage projects including comprehensive heritage studies of the Hoddle Grid, Southbank, Fishermans Bend and the Guildford and Hardware Lane areas. In order to proceed with these important studies, the City of Melbourne is required to update the heritage grading system and policies as soon as possible.


What properties are affected by Amendment C258 - Heritage Policies Review?

Only properties already in the Heritage Overlay are affected by the amendment. The amendment does not propose to add or remove any properties from the Heritage Overlay.


What is the updated Heritage Gradings System?

Under the existing grading system all heritage properties are classified as A-D. Under the updated grading system all properties will be classified as Significant, Contributory or Non-Contributory. In most cases, there has been no impact to the level of protection.

The definitions of the new gradings are:


Significant A significant heritage place is individually important at state or local level, and a heritage place in its own right. It is of historic, aesthetic, scientific, social or spiritual significance to the municipality. A ‘significant’ heritage place may be highly valued by the community; is typically externally intact; and/or has notable features associated with the place type, use, period, method of construction, siting or setting. When located in a heritage precinct a ‘significant’ heritage place can make an important contribution to the precinct.
Contributory A ‘contributory’ heritage place is important for its contribution to a precinct. It is of historic, aesthetic, scientific, social or spiritual significance to the precinct. A ‘contributory’ heritage place may be valued by the community; a representative example of a place type, period or style; and/or combines with other visually or stylistically related places to demonstrate the historic development of a precinct. ‘Contributory’ places are typically externally intact, but may have visible changes which do not detract from the contribution to the precinct.
Non-Contributory Does not make a contribution to the heritage significance or historic character of the heritage precinct.



Where can I find the updated grading of my property?

The updated grading for properties included in Amendment C258 - Heritage Policies Review can be found in the proposed incorporated document, the corrected Melbourne Planning Scheme Incorporated Document Amendment C258: Heritage Places Inventory 2017. This document is currently on re-exhibition until 29 January 2018.


Where can I find the existing grading of my property?

The existing grading of properties within a Heritage Overlay can be found in the Melbourne Planning Scheme Incorporated Document, Heritage Places Inventory June 2016. To discuss the existing grading of your property, please contact the Planning Policy Team on 03 9658 9658.


How were the old gradings converted to the updated gradings system?

The City of Melbourne engaged expert heritage consultants to recommend a methodology for converting the old gradings system to the updated one. The consultants conducted sampling across all suburbs in the city and used the following general methodology:

  • All A and B grade properties were converted to Significant
  • In Parkville, all C and D grade properties were directly converted to Contributory
  • In all other suburbs, C grade properties required a desktop review where most were converted to Contributory and some to Significant
  • In the Central City, Kensington, and North and West Melbourne, all D grade properties required a desktop review
  • In South Yarra, East Melbourne and Jolimont, all D grade properties were converted to Contributory.

For full details of the methodology used, please refer to the 'Local Heritage Policies and Precinct Statements of Significance Methodology Report' on page 3 of this document or contact the Planning Policy Team on (03) 9658 9658.


Figure 2 Example maps of heritage precincts showing the old gradings system compared to the updated gradings system


What about the streetscape gradings?

The Heritage Policies Review found that Level 1 streetscapes have retained their integrity and intactness over time to a far greater degree than Level 2 and 3 streetscapes. Therefore, all Level 1 streetscapes are being called ‘significant streetscapes'.


What are the new Statements of Significance?

Statements of Significance describe the main heritage characteristics of an area. They:

  • Enhance an understanding of the heritage precincts and provide insight into their heritage characteristics and key attributes
  • Provide the local context and assist in the assessment of development applications in these areas
  • Work together with the gradings system and local policies to provide greater clarity and guidance about how a new development in a heritage precinct should be designed.

The six large heritage precincts outside the Central City that do not have Statements of Significance are:

  • Carlton (HO1)
  • East Melbourne and Jolimont (HO2)
  • North Melbourne and West Melbourne (HO3)
  • Parkville (HO4)
  • South Yarra (HO6)
  • Kensington (HO9)

As part of Amendment C258, new Statements of Significance have been written for each area, and can be found here.

Figure 3 Map of the six large Heritage Overlay Precincts outside the Central City

Map of the six (6) large Heritage Overlay precincts outside the central city

How will Amendment C258 - Heritage Policies Review affect my property?

If your property is within a Heritage Overlay in the City of Melbourne, the heritage grading and policies that apply to your property are proposed to be updated in Amendment C258.


What input has the community had in this process?

The Amendment was drafted in consultation with the community and benefited from a great deal of research and input by the community.

In early 2015, community consultation and targeted stakeholder consultation was undertaken to inform the drafting of the Statements of Significance and the revised local policies. This consultation included community workshops and heritage walks in each of the six large heritage precincts outside the Capital City Zone, meetings with residents' groups and their associated planning and heritage groups, online engagement through Participate Melbourne, and meetings with key internal and external stakeholders.

Further comments were sought from mid-December 2015 to mid-February 2016.