Works that need a permit

You need a permit or permit exemption from Heritage Victoria to change any place or object on the Victorian Heritage Register.


You need a permit for anything which alters the place or object including:

  • Building extensions, constructions, interior works, demolition or relocation of buildings and structures, changes of colour schemes and signage.
  • Subdivision and construction of new buildings and garden structures such as fences or decks, pathways and driveways, and changes of materials.
  • Works to registered trees and gardens which are not regular maintenance works.
  • Excavations at registered sites or damage or alteration to an archaeological artefact.
  • Relocation, repair and conservation treatment of objects.

More information about when permits are needed: Works and alterations to registered heritage places and objects (PDF, 346.3 KB).


The Heritage Council can create permit exemptions that allow certain works or activities without a heritage permit. Exemptions can be granted:

  • when a heritage place or object is added to the Victorian Heritage Register, or
  • because an owner applied for an exemption for particular works.

There are currently two types of permit exemptions for places on the Victorian Heritage Register:

  1. Site specific exemptions for a particular heritage place can be approved by the Heritage Council on the recommendation of the Executive Director. These are more focused on the significance of the individual registered place than generic standard exemptions (see below). Contact Heritage Victoria to find out what exemptions might apply.
  2. Exemptions to carry out works to a registered place for liturgical purposes (PDF, 21.3 KB).

Minor Repairs

If minor repairs for maintenance are required, and you are replacing new for old and like with like you don’t need a permit (eg a galvanised roof must be replaced with a galvanised roof of the same profile).

The basic aim of repair work should be to keep as much of the original historical material as possible. In some specific cases (eg the treatment of original and important paintwork inside a building) seek early advice from Heritage Victoria because the works may alter or diminish the significance of the place.

Application process

Review the above permit requirements and contact Heritage Victoria to find out whether your works require a permit. This is important because you may be eligible for a permit exemption.

The owner has the final responsibility for obtaining necessary permits. Agents such as an architect, horticulturalist, archaeologist, property manager or project manager or a tenant may apply with the owner's written agreement, which must be provided to the Executive Director.

All applications are referred to the local government authority for comments and consultation.

Overview of Heritage Permit Process (PDF, 38.5 KB)

Fill out the Permit Application Form (DOC, 457.5 KB)

Make sure you complete every field. Applications can’t be accepted if information is missing.

The documentation required is similar to that required for a planning permit Plans or typed specifications prepared for local councils will usually be acceptable. Make sure the documentation is legible and the intent of the works is clear. Drawings will almost always be required.

Tick off the Permit Application Checklist (DOC, 121.0 KB) to confirm you have included all of the documents we need. We can’t start assessing your application until we have all required documents:

Also check you’ve included:

  • the Owner and Applicant Declaration (part of the application form)
  • a current Certificate of Title for a Heritage Place (dated within 30 days of the date the application is lodged)
  • a Heritage Impact Statement clearly demonstrating (to the Executive Director Heritage Victoria and other interested parties) that you have addressed your proposal’s potential impacts on the cultural heritage significance of the place. Our guidelines will help you prepare this statement: Heritage Impact Statements (DOC, 103.5 KB)

We won’t process your application until we receive payment. Make sure your permit application form includes the receipt number and date in the lodgement section so we can confirm your payment. Applications that don’t include these details will be returned.

You can pay by BPAY, POST Billpay or at Australia Post shops (by Cash, Cheque or Debit Card Only):

Permit application fees (DOC, 87.0 KB)

Fees may be waived in the following instances:

  • Conservation works such as repair, restoration or reconstruction
  • Pensioners who carry out works to their own homes.

Confirm your application includes:

  • permit application form signed by the owner and applicant with completed receipt number and date details
  • current copy of title
  • documents setting out the works proposed: see checklist above
  • Heritage Impact Statement.

Lodge your application via email to We’ll send you a return email to confirm we received it.

If your application includes large files, send them in multiple emails or post them on a CD to:

Heritage Victoria
PO Box 2392
Melbourne 3001


If the Executive Director determines the proposed application may have a detrimental effect on the place, the owner is required to advertise the proposal in a newspaper circulating in the area. Unless the property is in an isolated location, a sign displayed at the site is also usually required. The Executive Director then makes the application available on the advertised permit applications page and at the office of Heritage Victoria for public comment for the next 14 days, and submissions are accepted from interested parties up to 14 days from the date of advertising.


If the Executive Director can determine the matter on the information supplied, a permit may be issued. If the application is contentious and submissions have been received from other parties, the applicant and the other parties may be invited to discuss aspects of the application before a determination is made. The process of discussion is kept as informal as possible. Written material supplied must be accurate, factually correct and unambiguous.

Permits must be processed by the Executive Director within 60 days unless an extension is granted by the Heritage Council:

  • most minor matters are dealt with in less than 30 days
  • major alterations and contentious matters require advertising for 14 days to enable interested parties to make submissions. A decision on such applications usually takes 30 to 60 days after the advertising period.