Reforming the Non-Rateable Heritage Floor Space (HFS) Scheme

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


The original motion was moved by Councillor Jarrett, seconded by Councillor Chan.

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         the Heritage Floor Space (HFS) scheme is currently governed by the Sydney Local Environment Plan 2012 (LEP) and the Sydney Development Control Plan 2012 (DCP);

(ii)        both the LEP and the DCP were constructed to achieve the objects of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 which include:

(a)       promoting the orderly and economic use and development of land;

(a)       promoting the sustainable management of built and cultural heritage; and

(b)       promoting the proper construction and maintenance of buildings, including the protection of the health and safety of their occupants;

(iii)      the objective of the HFS scheme governed by clause 6.10 of the Sydney LEP is ‘to provide an incentive for the conservation and on-going maintenance of heritage buildings within Central Sydney’;

(iv)      within the LEP, there is no distinction drawn regarding the formula and amount of HFS to be awarded to rateable and non-rateable buildings;

(v)       clause of the DCP provides the current working formula for HFS whereby the maximum HFS awarded to rateable and non-rateable buildings is governed by two separate and distinct formulas;

(vi)      many landowners of non-rateable buildings are charitable and not-for-profit organisations such as synagogues and churches who are heavily reliant on funding conservation works from their membership fees and donations;

(vii)     the current DCP formulas could provide a disincentive for not-for-profit organisations from seeking an award under the HFS scheme, however  their buildings are often highly significant and more costly to maintain because of their unique construction and rarity;

(viii)    while there has been a lack of applications for HFS awards over the past 25 years made by non-rateable buildings, in 2015, Council amended the scheme to allow rateable and non-rateable landowners to apply for a HFS award again after 25 years following a previous HFS award;

(ix)      City staff have met with representatives of religious organisations who own buildings within our Local Government Area about concerns relating to the HFS formula for non-rateable buildings; and

(x)       City staff are reviewing the HFS formulae as part of the LEP and DCP review and will report back to Council; and

(B)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)         provide an explanation for the different formulae applied to calculate the HFS award for rateable and non-rateable buildings via a CEO Update; and

(ii)        provide an update on the City’s review of the HFS formula for non-rateable buildings in the DCP as a part of the review of the LEP and DCP via a CEO Update or report back to Council, as appropriate.

The amended motion was carried unanimously.


Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 27/06/2022

Date of decision: 27/06/2022

Decided at meeting: 27/06/2022 - Council

Accompanying Documents: