Heritage conservation

Kempsey Shire has a rich heritage that contributes to its distinct character and identity.

Under the Kempsey Local Environmental Plan 2013, Council is responsible for identifying and conserving:

  • environmental heritage 
  • heritage items and heritage conservation areas 
  • archaeological sites
  • Aboriginal objects and Aboriginal places of heritage significance.

Council’s role includes:

  • conducting heritage studies
  • listing heritage items and heritage conservation areas for ongoing protection
  • advising property owners on heritage conservation matters.

Local heritage listings

Heritage NSW provides detailed information about Kempsey Shire heritage items, including:

  • Aboriginal places listed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW)
  • items listed under the Heritage Act 1977 (NSW)
  • heritage items listed in the Kempsey Local Environmental Plan 2013.

Heritage conservation areas and heritage precincts

The Kempsey Local Environmental Plan lists two heritage conservation areas in the shire:

  • Gladstone Conservation Area
  • Bellbrook Conservation Area (National Trust Registered Urban Village).

The Kempsey Development Control Plan also identifies the following heritage precincts:

  • Frederickton Heritage Precinct
  • Smithtown Heritage Precinct
  • South-West Rocks Heritage Precinct
  • East Kempsey Heritage Precinct
  • Kempsey Heritage Precinct
  • West Kempsey Heritage Precinct.

See also History and Heritage.

Other types of heritage listings

Heritage items can also be listed on:

  • the State Heritage Register, which contains details of places and items of particular importance to the people of New South Wales, or
  • the Australian Government’s National Heritage List, where items are of outstanding heritage significance to Australia.

Information for property owners

If your property is listed as a heritage item or is located in a heritage conservation area, there may be restrictions on what you can do in that building and/or area.

The Kempsey Development Control Plan 2013 contains information for property owners and developers about the shire’s heritage and Aboriginal cultural heritage:

  • Chapter B12, Aboriginal Heritage, contains specific direction about the legislative controls that apply to Aboriginal heritage and the processes for determining and dealing with potential Aboriginal heritage matters.
  • Chapter B13, Heritage Areas and Development, contains specific information for property owners and developers regarding heritage items.

You can apply to Council for a planning certificate under section 10.7 of the Environment Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to confirm the planning details that apply to your property. The planning certificate will state whether your property is a heritage item or is in a heritage conservation area. 

For more information, go to Get planning advice or contact Council on 6566 3200.

Council’s free heritage advisory service

Owners of heritage-listed properties in Kempsey Shire can access free, expert advice on their property through Council’s heritage advisory service. 

Council has engaged the services of a heritage consultant and architect who can provide information and advice on heritage property conservation, renovations and repairs, colour schemes, and urban design and planning matters.

Consultations are available at Council’s Civic Centre in Kempsey or on-site at your property. 

Bookings are essential and can be made by contacting Council Customer Service on 6566 3200.