With our more than 20 years’ experience of heritage management practice, statutory controls and the authorities who administer them, RBA are able to demystify and smooth the often complex heritage permit application process.

As a standard, we provide an efficient and precise three stage service to get your project approved. The process is akin to a SWOT analysis – assisting to marry the aspirations and vision for the site with the benefit of an informed analysis of the identified Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Unravelling the unique heritage opportunities and constraints which apply to your site is a crucial precursor to us being able to effectively analyse and comment on the proposed building works at your heritage sensitive site. Areas of noncompliance are identified early and we assist to resolve clever and sensitive solutions before the scheme is ready to be submitted to the authorities with our detailed and compelling Heritage Impact Statement to accompany it.

Our intense early involvement in a project at conception stage typically saves our clients from a lengthy permit approval process.

The following is a more detailed description of the 3 stage process:

Stage One – Heritage Values Review + Statutory Controls Assessment

Understanding the attributed heritage values of a place and the applicable statutory controls is an essential precursor to any proposed change. We carry out a site inspection, desktop and archival research and prepare a succinct, in-confidence report describing the heritage opportunities and constraints in the context of the development aspirations or requirements.

Stage Two – Design Assessment

We provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of a proposed scheme in terms of heritage impact and compliance with relevant statutory policies, and provide practical support in resolving alternative solutions as necessary to achieve an improved heritage outcome.

Pre-application meetings can provide a valuable opportunity to gauge an authority’s likely position on a proposal. We can attend pre-application meetings and negotiate with authorities on your behalf.

Stage Three – Heritage Impact Statement

Once the scheme is finalised, we prepare a Heritage Impact Statement (HIS) to accompany and support the permit application. An HIS is a detailed report containing a description of the proposed works and an assessment of their likely impact on a place’s heritage values. Heritage Victoria typically require an HIS for changes to places listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, and local councils are also increasingly requesting them.