What’s happening?

We are preparing a new draft development control plan (DCP) for the State-listed heritage village of Catherine Hill Bay. As part of this process, all properties in the village have been assessed for their contribution to the heritage significance of the area and we would like to know if there are any corrections, or further information, you can provide for your property.

How are properties in the Heritage Conservation Area assessed?

Properties and buildings within the Catherine Hill Bay Heritage Conservation Area are individually assessed on the level of contribution they provide to the village’s overall heritage significance. 

The assessment is based on the development history of the buildings or lot, the building size, configuration and any modifications.

Properties will receive either a 'contributing', 'neutral' or 'non-contributing' status.

The draft Heritage Area Plan* within the DCP specifically outlines the objectives and controls that apply to properties within the Catherine Hill Bay Heritage Conservation Area.

Please view an excerpt of the draft Area Plan for the objectives and controls that apply to buildings assessed as 'contributing', 'neutral' or 'non-contributing'.

What is heritage significance?

Heritage Conservation Areas and heritage streetscapes provide an important opportunity to conserve and interpret the heritage significance of an area or significant townscape, group of buildings or sites.

It is important that the heritage significance of the whole area is considered when proposing development, as even incremental change has the ability to degrade the recognised significance of the Heritage Conservation Area as a whole. This should be taken into consideration when assessing development proposals within Catherine Hill Bay.

What type of development controls apply to the Catherine Hill Bay Heritage Conservation Area?

Development within a Heritage Conservation Area or heritage streetscape is to be compatible with the surrounding built form and pattern of development, such as existing form, massing, setbacks, scale, architectural style, topography, landscape, views, existing subdivision patterns and surrounding neighbourhood character and streetscape - including buildings.

Development should not project in front of the established building line (i.e. the verandah) towards the street. Development should not encroach into the open, undeveloped rear of the property.

Alterations and additions are not to dominate or detract from the original building and are to respect the uniformity of properties which form part of a consistent row, semi-pair or group of buildings. 

Development is to respect and minimise the impact on any significant public domain features. 

What is a heritage item?

Heritage items are those listed in Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan (LMLEP) 2014 [Schedule 5], which have been identified as having heritage significance relating to the social, cultural, natural, or technical history of the local area. These include the cemetery, hotel, former police station and lockup, and coal loader jetty.

Any proposals for development must achieve a reasonable balance between meeting amenity and contemporary needs, and protecting the heritage significance of the item. 

For more information on objectives, controls, incorporating heritage items in new developments and changing the use of a heritage item, view an excerpt from the draft Heritage Area Plan.

What is a contributory building?

Buildings and sites within the Heritage Conservation Area are identified on Building Contributions  Maps as being contributory, neutral or non-contributory to the character and heritage significance of the Heritage Conservation Area and heritage streetscape.

Contributory buildings make a significant contribution to the character of the Heritage Conservation  Area. They are normally highly intact or with reversible alterations, and date from key development periods. In the Heritage Conservation Area, contributory buildings generally originate from the period when the mining companies still owned and managed the area (Company Era) or the period following the mid-1960s mining company auction of cottages and land to mine workers (Post-Company Era).

For more information on Company Era and Post-Company Era contributory buildings, view an excerpt from the draft Heritage Area Plan.

What is considered a neutral building?

Neutral buildings do not contribute to, or detract from, the significant character of the heritage conservation area. They include buildings connected to the area’s historic development but  substantially altered, as well as new, sympathetic development. They are defined as buildings which are from:
• a significant historical period layer, altered in form, unlikely to be reversed
• a new sympathetic layer or representative of a new layer
• a non-significant historical period layer

It may be possible to remove unsympathetic alterations and additions to improve the contribution of neutral buildings to the Heritage Conservation Area. Depending on the building’s context and heritage significance, it is preferable to retain and restore neutral buildings.

What is a non-contributory building?

Non-contributory items have a negative impact on the heritage values of the area and are intrusive to the streetscape because of inappropriate scale, bulk, setbacks, setting or materials. Sites containing non-contributory buildings are often suited to redevelopment and provide an opportunity for development to reinforce the context of the area.

Non-contributory items include:
• site allotments that do not follow the original subdivision pattern
• new buildings, extensions, and alterations that do not relate to the predominant height, form or scale of the miners cottages
• new buildings that are not orientated towards the street
• new buildings that are not located on the street front
• sites with changed landforms, including excavation, retaining walls and mounding 
• exotic trees in the public domain that are not cultural plantings

What are the next steps?

Once all of the property assessment reports are finalised, the draft Development Control Plan for Catherine Hill Bay will be recommended to Council for public exhibition and community comment.

Following public exhibition, it is expected that the final draft Plan will be reported to Council for adoption by the end of 2020.

Who can I contact for more information?

For more information about the draft DCP and Heritage Assessment Reports contact:

Sherrie-Lee Evans - Heritage Support Officer

Phone: 4921 0422 or email sevans@lakemac.nsw.gov.au

Karen Marples - Engagement Officer

Phone: 4921 0326 or email kmarples@lakemac.nsw.gov.au