What is Heritage?

What is Heritage?
Jeffereys subdivision 5


Heritage' can be defined as those things that we as a community want to retain for present and future generations. The Australia ICOMOS charter for the conservation of places of cultural significance identifies heritage significance (also known as cultural significance) as:" aesthetic, historic, scientific, social or spiritual value for past, present or future generations".

These heritage values may be present in a building or a group of buildings, a street, a town, a landscape, an object, or even a place without visible evidence of its past (such as the site of an important historical event).

Age is not a pre-requisite for heritage value. A place has heritage value if it is found to have aesthetic, historic, scientific, social, or spiritual value, irrespective of its age.

Before a place is listed as a heritage item, it is first assessed to determine its significance. In NSW the seven heritage assessment criteria are:
  • Historical significance
  • Historical association
  • Aesthetic significance
  • Social significance
  • Technical/research significance
  • Rarity
  • Representativeness

To be considered a heritage item, a place must fulfil one or more of these criteria.

How heritage is protected

The main way Council protects heritage is through listing in our Local Environmental Plan (LEP) – Canterbury-Bankstown Local Environmental Plan 2023. This provides statutory protection for heritage items and heritage conservation areas.

A heritage item is a building or place that is of individual importance for its historic, aesthetic, social and/or technical value.

Heritage conservation areas are places where Council has identified a significant streetscape or broader built environment. In these areas a group of buildings, often combined with an important subdivision pattern, will form a significant townscape or streetscape. A conservation area will usually have a consistent form, scale and architectural character that is considered worthy of protection. Sometimes a conservation area is significant for its diversity and evidence of the changing patterns of development in an area.

Council can also place an interim heritage order over a place that it believes may have heritage value but is not listed in our LEP.  This order provides interim protection until the heritage significance of the property has been assessed.

Heritage listed properties in CBCity

The City of Canterbury Bankstown acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land, water and skies of Canterbury-Bankstown, the Darug (Darag, Dharug, Daruk, Dharuk) People. We recognise and respect Darug cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge the First Peoples’ continuing importance to our CBCity community.