2.16.2 Heritage Concepts

The following heritage concepts are fundamental to the heritage conservation provisions of this chapter.

The Burra Charter

The Burra Charter is a document prepared by the Australian National Committee of the International Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites (Australia ICOMOS). It provides guidance for the conservation and management of places of heritage significance.

Table 2-1: Description of Heritage Concepts

Heritage Places

A collective term used for Heritage Items, Heritage Conservation Areas, culturally significant Built Environment, Landscapes and Archaeological Sites.

Heritage Items

Heritage items can include buildings, sites, places, archaeological items, mature trees and landscapes of both state and local significance.  Items of state significance are identified on the State Heritage Register. Items of State and Local significance are identified in Schedule 5 of the CLEP 2010.

Heritage Conservation Area

A Heritage Conservation Area is more than a collection of individual Heritage Items. It is an area in which the historical origins and relationships between various elements creates a sense of place that is special and therefore worth keeping.

Two Heritage Conservation Areas are identified in CLEP 2010. One is focused on the Camden Town Centre (Camden Heritage Conservation Area Figure 2-4) and the other on Struggletown Heritage Conservation Area, in Narellan (Figure 2-7). In addition to the general controls, an overview of the character, future character aspirations and the unique controls for each Heritage Conservation Area are detailed in this chapter. These additional controls must be read in conjunction with the General Heritage Provisions. 

Culturally Significant Place:

  • Built Environment
  • Cultural Landscape
  • Archaeological Sites

Heritage as a concept is not static. Over time, culturally significant places evolve to warrant their listing as heritage items. As an area, Camden demonstrates a mixture of culturally significant built heritage, and landscapes. Although not listed as Heritage items, these heritage places are still considered to contain heritage significance and are listed in Tables 2-4, 2-5 and 2-6 and Figures 2-10 and Figure 2-11. Further investigation of heritage significance is required to be carried out on each identified place when a development application is lodged.

An archaeological site may be a known site (as listed in Table 2-6); or a site that is discovered as part of site investigations and development.

Where a development proposes disturbance to an archaeological site or relic, the applicant must contact the NSW Heritage Branch for compliance with the statutory requirements.

Development in the Vicinity of a Heritage Place

A development within the vicinity of a heritage item, culturally significant heritage place or heritage conservation area; must be assessed to determine whether it will have any impact on the significance of the heritage place and how this can be mitigated. A Heritage Impact Statement (HIS) may be required.

Aboriginal Heritage

Aboriginal Heritage includes places and objects which show evidence of Aboriginal occupation of the Camden LGA, as well as places which are of spiritual importance to Aboriginal culture or customs, but which contain no physical remains.


Where a development proposes harm to an Aboriginal site or relic, the applicant must contact the Heritage (Department of Premier and Cabinet) for compliance with the statutory requirements.

Heritage Significance

The Heritage Branch of NSW Heritage (Department of Premier and Cabinet) has established widely accepted criteria to be used in ascertaining heritage significance. In summary, a building, relic, object or place may have heritage significance for reasons of historical, aesthetic, scientific or social significance; or a combination of these. In addition, a place could be considered to be of particular note due to its rarity or representativeness.

It is important to note that a heritage place does not have to be completely intact or in good condition for it to be of heritage significance.  Rather it is the place’s ability to demonstrate the criteria discussed above that is important. Many heritage places have undergone change overtime such as extensions or alterations, and these have not had an adverse impact upon the identified significance of the place.  Before any alterations or new works are proposed to a heritage place, there must be a thorough understanding of its heritage significance.  Once this is known decisions about changes can be more easily and appropriately made.

NOTE:  The Development Application fees charged by other Authorities such as for Integrated Development will not be waived.

Heritage Impact Statement (HIS)

Council requires a HIS to be provided with a development application where, in the opinion of Council, the heritage significance of the following could be affected:

  • a heritage item (see Schedule 5 of CLEP 2010).
  • a heritage conservation area (Figures 2-4, 2-5 and 2-6).
  • a Culturally Significant Place (Built Environment, Cultural Landscape or an Archaeological Site) identified in Table 2-2, 2-3 and 2-4 and Figures 2-8 and 2-9.
  • development in the vicinity of any of the above and in the vicinity of St Thomas Chapel and Figure 2-7.

The size and content of the HIS will vary depending on the heritage place involved, and the scale and impact of the proposed development. Further guidelines for the preparation of Heritage Impact Statements can be found on the Heritage (Department of Premier and Cabinet) website or by using the following link.


Conservation Management Plan (CMP)

A CMP is generally required for items listed in the State Heritage Register. It may also be required for any major development or subdivision proposals to local heritage items, or where requested by Council. In addition to the above, it is to provide a conservation policy and associated strategy.

A HIS and CMP must be prepared by a qualified and experienced Heritage Consultant and be carried out in consultation with Council.