What is being exhibited?

    What is being exhibited? 

    There are two key documents being exhibited until 11 October 2021. 

    1. Draft Catherine Hill Bay Heritage Area Plan 

    We have prepared a revised draft Heritage Area Plan for the State-listed heritage village of Catherine Hill Bay. The draft area plan would replace 11.8: Catherine Hill Bay Heritage Precinct  Area Plan and sit within Part 11 of the Lake Macquarie Development Control Plan (DCP) 2014. 

    The draft area plan provides information about existing and desired future character of Catherine Hill Bay Heritage Conservation Area, as well as guidance for development permitted with consent under Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan 2014.

    In 2019 all properties in the area were assessed for their contribution to the heritage significance of the area. The community were able to provide any corrections, or further information about their properties.

    2. Draft Catherine Hill Bay Planning Proposal 

    We have also prepared the draft Catherine Hill Bay Heritage Conservation Area Planning Proposal to amend the Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan 2014. The planning proposal aims to give statutory effect to the revised draft Area Plan and permit development outcomes that will protect and enhance the heritage values of the Catherine Hill Bay Heritage Conservation Area. The key changes put forward by the planning proposal are:

    • reducing building heights from 8.5 metres to 4.5 metres for Catherine Hill Bay village, and from 8.5 metres to 5 metres for Middle Camp village. This will permit single storey development consistent with the bulk and scale of the historic miners’ cottages.
    • increasing the minimum lot size from 450m2 to 1000m2. This will protect the important historic subdivision pattern.

    NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) assessed the planning proposal draft DCP and has approved the documents to be placed on public exhibition for further comment.

    Download the map below to see where the draft Heritage Area Plan and Planning Proposal applies within Catherine Hill Bay Heritage Conservation Area.

    What is heritage significance?

    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 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 is a heritage item?

    What is a heritage item?

    Heritage items are those listed in Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan 2014, which have been identified as having heritage significance relating to the social, cultural, natural, or technical history of the local area. In Catherine Hill Bay, these include the cemetery, hotel, former police station and lockup.

    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 new developments within heritage areas and changing the use of a heritage item, view an excerpt from the draft Heritage Area Plan.

    Is Munmorah State Conservation Area included in the Area Plan?

    Is Munmorah State Conservation Area included in the Area Plan? 

    This Area Plan does not apply to Munmorah State Conservation Area (SCA), which is subject to the National Parks and Wildlife Act (1974) and the Munmorah SCA Plan of Management (2009).

    The Catherine Hill Bay Heritage Conservation Area covers part of the Munmorah SCA, in recognition of the importance of the bushland setting to the heritage significance of the Catherine Hill Bay and Middle Camp villages. The coverage ensures that any smaller parcels of land which are not part of the Munmorah SCA, but might be surrounded by it are covered by the Area Plan.

    How do the controls apply to the Urban Release areas?

    How do the controls apply to the Urban Release areas?

    Middle Camp (North)

    Land referred to as ‘Middle Camp (North)’ in Figure 2 in the draft Area Plan, was deemed a State Significant site and rezoned R2 Low Density Residential (Urban Release Area) in April 2012.

    The Middle Camp Concept Plan (MP10_0089) and accompanying Urban Design Guidelines were approved by the Planning Assessment Commission in 2012. More information about the Concept Plan can be found here.

    In the case of inconsistency between the Middle Camp Concept Plan, the Catherine Hill Bay HCA Area Plan and Council’s Citywide DCP 2014, the Concept Plan prevails. The provisions of this Area Plan will only apply to Middle Camp (North) where there are any omissions in the approved Middle Camp Concept Plan or if the Concept Plan approval was to lapse in the future.


    Catherine Hill Bay (South) – also known as “Beaches”

    This Area Plan does not apply to the “Beaches” development at Catherine Hill Bay (South). This land is subject to SEPP (Major Development) Amendment (State Significant Sites - South Wallarah Peninsula) 2010 as shown in Figure 2 in the draft Area Plan. More information about planning controls for development in Catherine Hill Bay (South) can be found here.


    If you have questions about the Urban Release Areas and would like to speak with the Project Team in more detail, please email council@lakemac.nsw.gov.au or phone 4921 0333.

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

    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 that form part of a consistent row, semi-pair or group of buildings. 

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

    How will this impact existing granted DA’s where works have not started?

    How will this impact existing granted DA’s where works have not started?

    The draft Heritage Area Plan and planning proposal will not impact approved development applications.

    If the draft Heritage Area Plan and planning proposal are approved after exhibition, future development applications would be assessed against them.

    If an approved development application expires (generally within five years), any new development applications will be assessed against the approved area plan, DCP and LEP at the time.

    How were properties in the Heritage Conservation Area assessed?

    How were properties in the Heritage Conservation Area assessed?

    In 2019, properties and buildings within the Catherine Hill Bay Heritage Conservation Area were individually assessed on the level of contribution they provide to the village’s overall heritage significance. 

    The assessment was based on the development history of the buildings or lot, the building size, configuration and any modifications. Properties received either a 'Contributory 1', 'Contributory 2' or 'Non-contributory' status.

    The draft Heritage Area Plan, which sits within the Development Control Plan, 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 Heritage Area Plan for the objectives and controls that apply to buildings assessed as 'Contributory 1', 'Contributory 2' or 'Non-contributiory'.

    Is there a way to find out what the contributory status of an individual building is?

    Is there a way to find out what the contributory status of an individual building is?

    Yes, the contributory status of each building is listed at the back of the draft Area Plan in a table and they are also shown on a map.

    Please refer to pages 37 - 45 of the draft Area Plan.

    If you are the owner of one of the buildings in question, we can send you a copy of the assessment sheet for that building. 

    Please email council@lakemac.nsw.gov.au with your request. Let us know which building you'd like the information for and your mailing address and we will arrange a copy to be posted to you as soon as possible.

    What is a Contributory 1 building?

    What is a Contributory 1 building?

    Contributory 1 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 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 Contributory 2 building?

    What is considered a Contributory 2 building?

    Contributory 2 buildings do not detract from, the significant character of the heritage conservation area. They include buildings that are connected to the area’s historic development but are substantially altered, as well as new, sympathetic development. 

    It may be possible to remove unsympathetic alterations and additions to improve the contribution of Contributory 2 buildings to the Heritage Conservation Area. Depending on the building’s context and heritage significance, it is preferable to retain and restore Contributory 2 buildings.

    What is a Non-contributory building?

    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?

    What are the next steps?

    The draft Heritage Area Plan and planning proposal is on public exhibition for comment.

    Formal submissions received during the exhibition period may result in changes being made to the draft. 

    Following public exhibition, it is expected that the final draft Plan will be reported to the newly elected Council seeking adoption in the first half of 2022.

Making a submission

    Where can I view the proposed changes?

    Where can I view the proposed changes?

    Online: View the proposed changes via downloadable PDF file in our document library.

    Hardcopy: If you require a printed version of the proposed changes, please email council@lakemac.nsw.gov.au or call 4921 0333 and we will mail you a copy.

    In the event that COVID lockdown restrictions ease, we will make copies available at Swansea Library and the Council Administration Building at Speers Point.

    Please note: 

    The COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 has removed the requirement for councils and other consent authorities to display physical copies of some documents so long as they are displayed on the NSW Planning Portal or an approved website.