2.17.4 Signage on Heritage Items or in Heritage Conservation Areas


  1. Encourage well designed signage that complements and enhances the visual quality and character of heritage items and heritage conservation areas.
  2. Encourage new signage that references traditional advertising methods such as painted signage, lettering style, location and style and spot lit illumination.

General Controls

  1. Council may require a Heritage Impact Statement to accompany a development application for signage on a heritage item or in a heritage conservation area prior to the granting of development consent.
  2. The development application will be required to demonstrate that the proposed signage will complement the historic character of the building or conservation area in terms of colour, material, proportion, positioning and font.
  3. The number of signs permitted must not exceed two per elevation that is visible from a public place.
  4. New signage should have minimal impact on the character of the heritage item or heritage conservation area.
  5. Signage should be appropriately designed and located, to allow the character of the building or conservation area to remain prominent.
  6. The design and location of new signage should not dominate or obscure the architectural details of a heritage item. For example, signage should not break the parapet or roofline of a building or buildings, be placed on cast iron balustrades or in front of cast iron verandah frieze work or on top of awnings.

Note: A Heritage Impact Statement should comply with the guidelines prepared by the NSW Heritage Council

Location Controls

  1. Signage should be located in areas of the building which have been traditionally used for signage. If such areas do not exist, signage may be considered inappropriate.
  2. Opportunities for new signage located on the side of a building are limited and may only be considered where it is surface painted and of a complementary design.
  3. Painted signs on windows should be discreet, and not clutter or dominate the shop window.

Design Controls

  1. The design of new signs should be in harmony with the character of the heritage item and heritage conservation area.
  2. The design should incorporate traditional materials, colours, fonts and size, with a high standard of materials, construction and graphics.
  3. Materials for new signage should be sympathetic to the character of the heritage item and heritage conservation area, and preferably be of a painted surface finish.
  4. Fixings for new signage should be designed to allow for easy installation and removal, causing minimal damage to building fabric.

Lighting Controls

  1. External surface illumination should be discreet or concealed and is the preferred method for signage illumination.
  2. External surface illumination fittings should have minimal impact on the external fabric and be consistent with the character of the building.
  3. Internally illuminated signage is restricted to under awning signs only.
  4. Neon, flashing, pulsing or moving signage is not permitted.

Other Controls

  1. Original and early signs should be conserved and not be covered or painted over by new signs.
  2. Building name signs on the pediments and parapets of the facades are to be encouraged where appropriate, and historically accurate.
  3. Temporary signage such as promotional or ‘special offer’ signage is to complement permanent commercial signage and the character of the heritage item and/or conservation area.
  4. Corporate and franchise signage is not appropriate unless it is in harmony with the character of the heritage item or conservation area. Standard corporate signage is usually not considered appropriate in the context of the character of heritage items and heritage conservation areas and may require some modifications to suit the location.
  5. Pole signs are preferred over pylon signs. Pole and pylon signs, if appropriate, must not exceed the predominant roof height of the conservation area or heritage item or 6m above ground level, whichever is the lesser.

Note: Reference should be made to the heritage provisions within this chapter.