Heritage planning

The recognition and protection of heritage of local significance is the responsibility of municipal councils under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Those aspects that hold special meaning, that is, have ‘‘heritage significance”, warrant special attention and management through legislative management frameworks to ensure their “heritage values” are sufficiently identified, documented, and protected.

How is Maroondah’s heritage protected?

The planning tool used to protect Maroondah’s places of local heritage significance is primarily a Heritage Overlay (HO), which is part of the Maroondah Planning Scheme.   The purpose of a heritage overlay is to conserve and enhance heritage assets (places, landscape and objects) and those elements which contribute to their significance, while also ensuring that development does not adversely affect this significance.

Places that are of local heritage significance on their own can be protected with a site-specific HO, while groups of “contributory” properties can be protected together if they form a precinct of local significance.

Under a HO, a planning permit is required from Council, as the responsible authority, to carry out works on a place, excluding routine maintenance, repairs and some other minor works.

Heritage Overlays are also applied to places of state significance and offered statutory protection by inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) due to their State-level heritage significance.  

As of November 2021, Maroondah has 147 heritage overlays in place protecting trees, individual buildings, and groups of buildings and precincts; and two properties are listed in the VHR.

To find out if a property is located within a heritage overlay, please visit Victorian Heritage Database - City of Maroondah

What is a heritage study?

Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 local councils, as planning authorities, have a statutory obligation to ensure that the planning schemes "conserve and enhance those buildings, areas or other places which are of scientific, aesthetic, architectural or historical interest, or otherwise of special cultural value".

They do so by undertaking heritage studies with assessments of places thought to be of heritage value. Councils use the information in these heritage studies to decide if a place’s heritage significance is enough to warrant statutory protection in the municipal Heritage Overlay.

Maroondah Heritage studies 

Council is committed to ensuring the identification, protection and recognition of its heritage assets. Part of this role involves undertaking heritage studies with assessments of places thought to be of heritage value. 

Accordingly, a number of Heritage studies have been prepared in accordance the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter, 1999 and its guidelines. The following section provide a summary of the purpose and the details of the various studies undertaken to date.

As noted in the Heritage Council of Victoria report State of Heritage Review -Local Heritage Report 2020: “local heritage outcomes are ultimately dependent on Council action: completing heritage studies to identify places of local heritage significance and acting to protect them through the planning scheme.”

Maroondah Heritage Identification Study (Richard Peterson and Peter Barrett, November 1998)

In 1998 Council completed the Maroondah Heritage Identification Study. This study identified 52 sites in Ringwood and Croydon Planning Schemes. 

Maroondah Heritage Identification Study - 1998(PDF, 14MB)

Maroondah Heritage Study 2003

In 2003 Council undertook a Thematic and Contextual History of Maroondah.

The Maroondah Heritage study was divided into two stages:

  • Identification
  • Assessment

Stage one - Identification

Stage one of the Maroondah Heritage Study involved the identification of places of potential cultural heritage significance in City of Maroondah. 

This study represents a thematic environmental history of the area. 

The objectives of stage one were to:

  • produce a thematic and contextual history of urban development in Maroondah to enable comparative analysis between heritage places
  • identify and list potential post-contact cultural heritage places in Maroondah. 

Stage two - Assessment

Stage two of the Maroondah Heritage Study involved the assessment of those places identified to be of cultural significance to Maroondah.  

Heritage Study Review 2020-2021

Council has undertaken a Heritage Study Review to identify sites that have significant cultural heritage value and therefore warrant local level heritage protection.

These places or precincts will require a full heritage assessment and the preparation of a statement of significance to determine whether a place satisfies the threshold of local significance and would justify the application of the Heritage Overlay.


  • Council sought nominations of places that could potentially be included in the Heritage Overlay.
  • As part of Stage 1 of the Heritage Study Review 2020-2021, at its meeting on 13 December 2021 Maroondah Council adopted the Maroondah Thematic Environmental History Post WW2. The Thematic Environmental History: Post WW2 supplements the Thematic Environmental History prepared for Maroondah Heritage Study Stage 1 (2003) and it focuses on the development of the municipality since 1945.  It identifies the key themes that have influenced the historical development of the municipality. Find out about more about Maroondah Thematic Environmental History Post WW2
  • Stage 2 of the Heritage Study Review involves a detailed assessment of the places identified in Stage 1 in order to determine whether they meet the threshold of local significance.  This stage 2 forms part of the implementation of Maroondah heritage Study review. 
  • Following the preparation of the final report, Council will consider the recommendations of the report and initiate the planning scheme amendment process.  Formal exhibition will then be carried out as part of the statutory public consultation process.


  • Appointment of Consultant - January 2018
  • Nomination of Potential Heritage Places - 19 March to 9 April 2018
  • Delivery of First Draft Report - 29 June 2018 - Stage 1 and Stage 2 Draft prepared


  • Stage 1- Thematic Environmental History Post WW2 -Adopted by Council on 13 December 2021.
  • Stage 2- Implementation of the Heritage Study Review Amendment Process and community consultation

Find out more about The Thematic Environmental History Post WW2

Related links

Further information

For further information please contact Council's Strategic Planning team on 1300 88 22 33 or visit our offices at Realm, 179 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood.