Built environment and heritage includes policies that relate to the form of buildings, which includes a building’s height and design features, as well as how far it is set back from the street and how it relates to the surrounding area. It also covers environmentally sustainable design, landmarks and signs.

There are a number of policies included in this theme:

Urban design

The urban design policy includes strategies to create new public spaces and improve the quality of existing public spaces. It streamlines the existing urban design policy, and addresses off-site impacts of design such as: wind, weather protection and impact on adjacent public open space. It also incorporates updated strategies derived from the existing policy around development abutting laneways.

Building design

Building design addresses the form of a development, which includes a building’s height and design features, how far it is set back from the property boundaries and how it relates to the surrounding area. It introduces policy on equitable development.


The new Landmark policy strengthens the existing policy by identifying exactly where the key views of landmarks are and which parts of the view to the landmark are to be protected.

Environmentally sensitive design (ESD)

The Environmentally Sensitive Design (ESD) policy aims to achieve best practice in environmentally sustainable development from the design stage through to construction and operation.

The strategies encourage best practice through a combination of methods, processes and locally available
technology that demonstrably minimise environmental impacts. It includes strategies relating to energy performance, integrated water management, indoor environment quality, transport, waste management and urban ecology.

This policy translates and updates the existing environmentally sensitive design policy.


The Heritage policy includes strategies relating to residential development and strengthened through the introduction of policy on commercial and former industrial heritage. It also replaces the visibility test for residential additions with a depth of two rooms test to determine the suitability of additions.

The Heritage policy also includes a new section for signs in a heritage overlay.

The Heritage signs policy promotes signs that protect the significance of a heritage place.

The definitions for the various levels of heritage significance (unknown through to Victorian Heritage Register) have been edited in the existing incorporated document to improve clarity of their meaning. Note: This has NOT changed the grading of any properties, merely more clearly explained the terms.

World heritage

The World Heritage Environs Area policy protects significant views to the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton Gardens and maintains the historic character of the area.

This policy is a translation of the existing policy into the new format.


The Signs policy encourages signs that make a positive contribution to their host buildings and surrounding area.

These polices update and translate the existing policy.

Learn more about these policies

You can watch the videos below for more information about the heritage and built environment policies, or see all of our information videos on Amendment C269.