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Neighbourhood character and heritage

Strategic objective

Protect the heritage and respect the character of the city to maintain amenity and liveability whilst recognising the need for appropriate, well-designed development for future generations.

Key figures

  • $4.9 million net operating cost
  • 638 planning applications were publicly advertised
  • 5,000 additional properties for heritage protection identified through the Municipal Wide Heritage Gap Study

Case study

Annual commitment

Protect the City’s heritage by continuing a municipal-wide heritage assessment of all properties not currently subject to a heritage overlay in Boroondara Planning Scheme.

Project overview

Council’s Municipal Wide Heritage Gap Study (MWHGS) aims to protect valued heritage places and precincts by including them in a Heritage Overlay control. Council continues to lead a proactive program of heritage assessments to identify and protect valued heritage places of local significance through the introduction of Heritage Overlays.

Council has been assessing dwellings, commercial buildings and public buildings in Boroondara not already protected by Heritage Overlays. Studies for Canterbury, Camberwell, Kew and Hawthorn were completed between 2016 and 2017. Hawthorn, Kew East and Mont Albert were completed in 2017 and 2018. Balwyn is the subject of separate studies.

Project aims

The Heritage Overlay is vital in enabling Council to protect heritage places of local significance.

Inclusion of properties and precincts in the Heritage Overlay triggers the need to obtain a planning permit from Council for demolition, alterations and additions and new buildings. This helps us to protect and retain our important history for future generations. 

Glen Iris and Ashburton heritage gap studies

During the 1920s and 1930s (interwar period), significant residential development in Glen Iris saw the emergence of California bungalows, Old English Revival, Spanish Mission, Mediterranean, Moderne and Art Deco styles. In Ashburton, there was also significant residential and commercial development during the interwar and early post-war periods. 

The seventh Municipal Wide Heritage Gap Study has been prepared for the suburb of Glen Iris.  The study proposes permanently including 15 individually significant places and four heritage precincts in Heritage Overlays. The amendment was exhibited during February and March 2021.  The Study has now been adopted and identifies properties and precincts to be of local heritage significance to have a heritage overlay under the Boroondara Planning Scheme. 

The eighth study to be prepared is for the suburb of Ashburton.  The study has been completed and proposes nine individual heritage places and two heritage precincts be added to Heritage Overlays.

Project outcomes

Council has carried out preliminary consultation with each study area including any affected property owners and occupiers of land nominated for inclusion in a Heritage Overlay. Planning Scheme amendments to introduce Heritage Overlays into the Boroondara Planning Scheme for Glen Iris and Ashburton are currently being progressed. 

The Municipal Wide Heritage Gap Study has identified approximately 5,000 additional properties for heritage protection across the municipality, together with 10,000 properties already included in Heritage Overlays. This is the third-highest number of properties protected by a municipality in Victoria.

As a result of the Municipal Wide Heritage Gap Study, the community will benefit from: 

  • identification and protection of all heritage places in Boroondara for current and future generations
  • places and precincts that demonstrate aesthetic, social or historical values important to Boroondara are protected
  • a stronger local identity and character.

For more information about how we are protecting and preserving the heritage of Boroondara, visit our Heritage page.