Permit charge waived

GLENELG Shire Council’s lead in waiving planning application fees for owners of heritage properties is unlikely to be followed by Warrnambool City.

Councillors voted to waive the extra fees that applied to permits for 185 heritage-listed properties and 600 properties in heritage precincts.

Mayor John Northcott said the permits had placed an additional burden on landowners and a disincentive to conserve their properties. 

“Conservation, enhancement and restoration of heritage properties has long been encouraged by planning policy,” he said.  “It’s not uncommon for councils in Victoria to apply a similar waiver policy for planning permit applications in heritage overlay areas.”

Warrnambool City Council said planning application fees applied to all properties affected by permanent heritage overlay. “A limited loan scheme exists for heritage restoration on properties within the heritage precinct,” communications manager Nick Higgins said.

“The loans policy governing this scheme is likely to be reviewed later in the year.”

He said planning permit fees had been waived during the period of  interim heritage control, but not after permanent controls were approved in May last year.

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