Permit policies and decision making guidelines

The Heritage Council and Heritage Victoria need to consider a variety of principles, guidelines and legislation when deciding whether to grant or refuse a permit application:

The Burra Charter provides heritage guidance across Australia.

  • December 2013: the Heritage Council resolved to recognise and endorse the Burra Charter 2013 as a key document for guiding best-practice cultural heritage management in Victoria.
  • 7 July 2010: the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria recognised and endorsed the Burra Charter 1999 as a key document for guiding best-practice heritage management in Victoria.

1 May 2012: the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria adopted a policy guideline governing all permit applications for heritage places and objects under s.67 of the Heritage Act 1995:

Matters to be considered in determining a permit application under section 73(1)(b) of the Heritage Act 1995 (PDF, 518.8 KB)
Matters to be considered in determining a permit application under section 73(1)(b) of the Heritage Act 1995 (DOC, 1.0 MB)

The Executive Director must consider:

  • how the proposal affects the cultural heritage significance of the registered place
  • if a refusal would affect the reasonable or economic use of the registered place, or cause undue financial hardship to the owner.

The Executive Director can’t consider change of use, car parking, or other planning issues unless the issues would result in an adverse impact upon the cultural heritage significance of the registered place.

1 July 2012: the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria adopted policy guidelines that allow the Executive Director to consider the findings of a Victorian Design Review Panel (VDRP) report when making a decision:

The consideration of recommendations of the Victorian Design Review Panel under sections 73(1)(f) and 73(1A)(b) of the Heritage Act 1995 (PDF, 462.3 KB)
The consideration of recommendations of the Victorian Design Review Panel under sections 73(1)(f) and 73(1A)(b) of the Heritage Act 1995 (DOC, 791.5 KB)

The Office of the Victorian Government's Design Review Panel.

The purpose of this policy is to encourage high quality design solutions for works to places and objects on the Victorian Heritage Register and give weight to the advice of the VDRP.

1 January 2011: the Executive Director, Heritage Victoria, has adopted the Technical Leaflet Access for all to Heritage Places (Heritage Council of Victoria, December 2008) as guidelines for all permits that include the provision of access to heritage places for people with disabilities applied for under s.67 of the Heritage Act 1995. 

Access for all to Heritage Places (DOCX, 848.1 KB)


Permit appeals

Permit Appeal Hearings are held by the Heritage Council Owners or custodians who are dissatisfied with a permit decision by Heritage Victoria can challenge that decision in person:

Heritage Council Permit Appeals

Permit Appeals Schedule

Recent Permit Appeal Hearing Decisions


Recent permit decisions

2017St Kilda Road permit (DOC, 475.5 KB)
State Library Victoria permit (DOC, 471.5 KB)
Royal Parade permit (DOC, 533.0 KB)
Richmond Maltings permit issued (DOCX, 23.7 KB)
Maltings permit (DOC, 497.0 KB)   Nylex sign permit (DOC, 474.0 KB)
Refusal: VHR0126 Spurling House  (DOC, 574.0 KB)
VHR1501 P25481 Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens (DOC, 471.0 KB)
VHR1551 P22644 Pentridge Prison (DOC, 476.0 KB)
2016VHR0211 P25346 Former Lalor House (DOC, 474.0 KB)
VHR2354 P25055 Chandler Highway Bridge (DOC, 476.5 KB)
Refusal: VHR1605 P25004 Ranelagh Estate (DOC, 576.5 KB)
VHR2306 P21342 Former Melford Motors (PDF, 1.7 MB)
VHR1667 P24958 Clayton Railway Station (PDF, 182.6 KB)
VHR1551 P24863 HM Pentridge Prison (DOC, 478.0 KB)
VHR0947 P25115 Palais Theatre (DOCX, 213.2 KB)
VHR2207 P23160 Tolarno Hotel (DOC, 471.5 KB)
VHR1551 P24265 Pentridge (DOCX, 208.6 KB)
VHR 2337 P23453 Royal Park lights (DOCX, 205.8 KB)
VHR1722 P23687 Parliament House (DOC, 474.0 KB)
VHR 0829 P23563 John Darling and Son Flour Mill (DOC, 475.0 KB)
VHR 1990 P22364 Thomson River Permit (DOC, 463.0 KB) and Thomson River Q and A (DOC, 57.5 KB)
VHR 0930 P23302 GPO handrails (DOCX, 206.5 KB)
Part Refusal: VHR 0930 P23302 GPO handrails (DOCX, 322.2 KB)
VHR 2067 P22841 Kinnears Ropeworks (DOC, 484.0 KB)
VHR 2256 P23732 Camperdown Botanic Gardens permit (DOC, 523.5 KB)
Refusal: VHR 2256 P24366 Camperdown Botanic Gardens (DOC, 635.0 KB)
VHR 2346 P23692 Mentone Hotel (DOC, 46.5 KB) and Mentone Hotel background (DOC, 46.5 KB)
Refusal: VHR H2050 P23231 Richmond Maltings  (DOC, 575.0 KB)
2015VHR H0012 P21963 Wesley Church Complex  (DOC, 130.0 KB) and *Wesley permit Q and A (DOC, 32.5 KB)
VHR H0703 P23724 Former Hoffman Brickworks (DOC, 462.5 KB)
VHR H0821 P22091 Old Colonists Homes (DOC, 464.0 KB)
VHR 2073 P222396 Kew Cottages - demolition of administration building and refusal of five storey apartment block (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Refusal: VHR0398  P19840 Calembeen Park (PDF, 336.7 KB)