Why has this Review taken place?

    The West Wallsend and Holmesville Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) is of local heritage significance for its historical, social and aesthetic heritage values. 

    Currently, the policies and guidelines around what can or cannot be done to properties in the West Wallsend HCA are ambiguous and open to interpretation. 

    More clear and consistent planning guidelines are needed so that Council can maintain the heritage character of the area, whilst providing clear and consistent guidance during development application process for those who wish to make changes to their properties in West Wallsend and Holmesville in the future.

    Council engaged independent consultants to revise the sections of the Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan 2014 (LMLEP 2014) and Lake Macquarie Development Control Plan (DCP) 2014 (LM DCP 2014) that relate to the West Wallsend Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) and West Wallsend and Holmesville Heritage Precinct.

    Umwelt were engaged and as part of the scope of works have prepared an interim Working Report and Building Assessment document. Council is now inviting community feedback on the Working Report and Building Assessment document.

    What are the Working Report and draft Area Plan?

    The Working Report presents the findings of a review of the West Wallsend Heritage Conservation Area and West Wallsend and Holmesville Heritage Precinct by independent heritage consultants.

    The purpose of the review was to define the current heritage significance of West Wallsend  HCA, produce a desired future character statement, assess the appropriateness of the HCA and West Wallsend and Holmesville Precinct boundaries, examine the development control framework, identify what items contribute to or detract from the area, and develop new development controls for the HCA.

    Based on the findings and recommendations of the Working Report, as well as consultation with the local community, a revised Area Plan will be developed for West Wallsend and Holmesville area. An Area Plan is essentially a section of the existing LM DCP 2014 that provides building controls regarding the type of development that is permissible in a particular area (being the revised West Wallsend and Holmesville  HCA in this case).

    Why do we need to revise the current Heritage Conservation Area and Area Plan?

    The current statement of significance for the West Wallsend  HCA, which was authored almost three decades ago and is publicly available on the State Heritage Inventory (SHI) website, recognised the need for a review of the HCA boundary which has remained unchanged since the early 1990s. In addition to this, in terms of its wider planning context West Wallsend and Holmesville have been identified as a future growth centre, with more intensive residential development envisaged to occur in and around the town centre in the years to come. The Lake Macquarie Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) also highlights the need to review the West Wallsend HCA to more effectively balance development and growth pressures with heritage conservation and protection.

    Enabling growth and more intensive development in West Wallsend and Holmesville  while conserving the place’s heritage significance is therefore a key challenge. The current area plan for West Wallsend  is very basic, outdated and confusing and Council is experiencing problems with conserving the heritage significance of the village in the face of increased development pressure for medium density development. The consequences of not addressing this issue are that the heritage significance of West Wallsend and Holmesville  will continue to be eroded.

    The purpose of the project is to develop planning mechanisms that are more effective in affording protection to the heritage significance of West Wallsend and Holmesville, whilst simultaneously providing greater clarity to Council, property owners/users and contractors with regards to the management and protection of heritage items and areas and their responsibility in that regard. The project does not seek to limit development, but to more appropriately guide it in such a way as to ensure that West Wallsend and Holmesville’s unique character and established heritage significance are protected into the future.

    What changes to the Area Plan have been proposed in Working Report?

    • It is not proposed to nominate any additional properties for individual heritage listing. Rather, properties of identified contributory value are proposed to be included as clearly identified contributory properties (graded Contributory 1 or 2) within the HCA. Appropriate objectives and controls for the management of these properties will be included within the revised Area Plan.
    • It is proposed to amend the boundaries of the HCA to better reflect the spatial distribution of contributory properties (graded as Contributory 1 or 2), and to capture significant views and vistas that contribute to the setting, character and significance of the area. Although the HCA will be made larger (such as the incorporation of a portion of Holmesville), the application of the grading system will ensure that corresponding development controls for heritage conservation/protection are relevant to each property, rather than generalised.
    • It is proposed to remove the Heritage Precinct in its entirety from the LM DCP 2014. At present, the Precinct captures a significantly larger area than is considered necessary to effectively achieve good heritage conservation outcomes. It also means that works to properties within the Precinct, irrespective of their individual significance level, triggers the need for heritage assessment in some instances. The removal of the Precinct will help to alleviate unwarranted obligations on property owners as they relate to heritage and simplify the development application process.
    • It is proposed to vary the height controls within the revised HCA boundaries to better reflect and conserve the predominate scale and character of the area from which its identified significance is in part derived. This will help to preserve the strong character of Holmesville and achieve the desired future character of the area.

    How will this affect me?

    The draft Working Report identifies a number of findings for the community and council to consider. These include:

    • Changes to the size of the HCA and the removal of the Heritage Precinct, which may mean your property’s heritage status could be altered
    • Grading of your property as Contributory 1, Contributory 2 or Non-contributory, which could alter the development controls for your property. Property reports will be mailed to property owners as part of this consultation
    • Changes to development controls for the entire HCA, which could alter the development controls for your property.

    It is noted that a key feature of the revised Area Plan is the application of gradings to each individual property within the HCA, which means that DCP controls will be more directly applicable to each property and its identified significance level, rather than generalised across the HCA.

    If you require more information in regards to the changes as it relates to your property, email [email protected].

    How were the draft Building Assessment Reports developed and what is their purpose?

    To give each property within the HCA a significance grading, a Building Assessment was undertaken. This involved a visual inspection of all properties within the revised HCA; this was undertaken via vehicle and on foot, and involved external inspection from the public domain only. There was no  internal access to any private buildings or property.

    The individual properties have been assessed for the contribution they make to the heritage significance of the HCA as a whole, and given a grading on the basis of that contribution (i.e. Contributory 1, Contributory 2 or Non-contributory). This grading was applied based on the physical attributes of the  building (such as architectural style and features), as well as its assumed age, visibility within a streetscape, condition, extent of change, etc. The contribution grading does not apply to any internal elements within a building.

    Is the Appletree Grove estate included in the review of the West Wallsend and Holmesville HCA?

    No. In 2012, the Appletree Grove Estate (“Estate”) was approved by the Hunter and Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel. As the Estate would be located next to the historic West Wallsend township, there was potential for its heritage aesthetic (the scenic qualities and original building fabric) to be impacted by the newer development. To reduce this impact, a HCA and specialised development controls were applied to the Estate. These aim at achieving a sympathetic development outcome for the heritage significance of West Wallsend. Therefore, to ensure the ongoing sympathetic contribution of the Estate to West Wallsend the HCA and specialised development controls for Appletree Grove Estate will remain unchanged.

    Why weren’t properties in Appletree Grove Estate graded?

    The planning framework considers the Estate’s development differently than the West Wallsend township. It enables more flexibility due to the Estate’s relatively new construction, while allowing a range of development outcomes such as enabling newer dwelling designs. Due to these reasons, no  properties within the Estate have been assessed for  a contributory grading. 

    Nevertheless, residents of Appletree Grove Estate are welcome to submit feedback via our survey on the draft Working Report. 

    What progress has been made on the proposed West Wallsend Heritage Mining Park?

    The adopted West Wallsend Heritage Management Strategy and Streetscape Masterplan focused on public and Council owned land, which identified and actioned the need to upgrade and preserve the heritage significance of the proposed West Wallsend Heritage Mining Park. The timeframe for investigating the proposed Heritage Mining Park is scheduled for 2025-2030 within the Glendale Development Contributions Plan. During this time, Council will begin any land acquisition discussions with the relevant landowners and initial investigations to determine environmental constraints and heritage opportunities.

    Lower Hunter Freight Bypass consultation

    Between 12 July 2021 to 27 September 2021 Transport for NSW publicly exhibited the preferred corridor for the Lower Hunter Freight Bypass which would traverse parts of West Wallsend and Holmesville. Transport for NSW are currently collating the community submissions, once completed a Consultation Outcomes report will be available the Transport for NSW website. This Consultation Outcomes report may result in some changes to the preferred corridor before the corridor is legally dedicated.

    Who can I talk to if I have a question?

    We encourage you to read this important two page factsheet about the project and how buildings have been assessed and graded in the West Wallsend and Holmesville HCA.

    If you still have questions after reading the facts sheet, please click here to ask the project team a question and we will respond as soon as possible. 

    Alternatively, call the Customer Service Centre with your enquiry on 4921 0333 or email [email protected] and we will get back to you.

Submission information

    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. 

    Hard copy: Printed copies of the draft Working Report and survey are available at:

    • Sugarvalley Neighbourhood Centre, West Wallsend  
    • Council Administrative Centre, Speers Point.

    Individual building assessments are available to view online only. 

    To search for a specific property assessment in the report:

    • open the PDF document and press CTRL + F 
    • type in to the search bar the address of the property you wish to view.

    How can I give my feedback?

    Early consultation for the West Wallsend and Holmesville Heritage Conservation Area is open until 15 August 2022.  


    By Mail:

    ATT: Sherrie-Lee Evans, Box 1906, Hunter Region Mail Centre, NSW 2310.

    Is my privacy protected when participating online?

    Yes. Your privacy is absolutely protected and Council and will only use your email to contact you with updates and to invite you to participate in consultations. You can unsubscribe from these at any time.

    Your email address and any other information provided by you will not be distributed to any third party or used for any other purpose. You may like to review our privacy statement.

    If you still have concerns, you are welcome to make a submission via mail or email [email protected].

    I've submitted my feedback - what happens next?

    Early consultation will run between 18 July - 15 August 2022. Both Umwelt and Council staff working on the project will receive and review the community feedback.

    Where information about a property (such as its age, its history, details of any modifications, etc) has been provided, Umwelt will revise the building assessment sheets to reflect this.

    Community feedback will be considered during the editing of the final documents. All feedback will be available for Councillors to review, along with any proposed changes to the documentation.

    If the changes are accepted, Council will provide a resolution for us to seek a gateway determination to exhibit the draft Planning Proposal for any changes to the Heritage Conservation Area and draft West Wallsend and Holmesville Heritage Conservation Area Development Control Plan that will provide development controls to contributory buildings. This may take a number of months for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) to assess.

    Once approved, the documents will be placed on public exhibition for further community consultation.