Concurrence and referral

Here is some guidance for local councils when lodging development applications to Heritage NSW in the Concurrence and Referral (CNR) portal.

Certain development applications require approval from NSW Government agencies (the approval body) before a determination can be made by the local council (the consent authority). 

Heritage NSW manages both Aboriginal cultural heritage and environmental heritage. 

Aboriginal cultural heritage is protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and environmental heritage is protected under the Heritage Act 1977.

The heritage impacts of a development application received by local council must be assessed to appropriately manage heritage that is protected under both Acts.

The Department of Planning Industry and Environment has developed the online Concurrence and Referral ePlanning portal (CNR Portal) to facilitate NSW Government agency consultation on development applications for local councils.

Local councils are required to refer pertinent applications to Heritage NSW via the CNR portal. 

Heritage NSW uses the CNR portal to respond to:

  • Integrated Development Applications (IDAs)
  • Development Application referrals (DARs)
  • Modification applications or amendments for IDAs or DARs 

Whilst the Heritage Act 1977 defines environmental heritage as "those places, buildings, works, relics, moveable objects, and precincts, of State or local heritage significance" the responsibility of Heritage NSW covers:

  • State Heritage Register (SHR) listed items
  • archaeological relics of both State and local significance
  • inland shipwrecks (maritime heritage) which are over 75 years old or of recognised local or State significance which are protected under the Heritage Act 1977.

Refer the proposal to Heritage NSW for input in the following cases: 

Aboriginal cultural heritage

1. The proposal will harm a known Aboriginal Place or known Aboriginal object(s). 

Refer the proposal to Heritage NSW for input by the Heritage Council (or delegate) in the following cases: 

Environmental heritage 

2. The project area includes a State Heritage Register listed item or is subject to an Interim Heritage Order (IHO) that has not been gazetted by the local council. *

Check the State Heritage Inventory to confirm. 

* If a local council has gazetted the IHO, then council is the approval body for any Heritage Act applications while the IHO is in place. 

    In the CNR portal select either:

    Clause

    Clause Description

    Type

    Application type

    National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 s90

    National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 s90

    Integrated

    Development application

    or 

         

    Heritage Act 1977

    Heritage Act 1977

    Integrated

    Development application

    Note: City of Sydney Council has IDA delegation. An existing IDA being assessed by City of Sydney may be referred to Heritage NSW as an archaeological referral for comment.

    A Development Application Referral (DAR) requires development consent only, however heritage advice can be requested from Heritage NSW.

    Refer a DAR to Heritage NSW when:

    Aboriginal cultural heritage

    1. An Environmental Planning Instrument (EPI) requires referral for comment on Aboriginal cultural heritage.

    Note: For Aboriginal cultural heritage, DARs are mostly ‘non-statutory’ requests. However, some Environmental Planning Instruments require local councils to refer DARs to Heritage NSW when a proposal is likely to impact an Aboriginal Place or site that has, or is reasonably likely to have, Aboriginal cultural significance. Only DA referrals related to certain EPIs will be accepted. 

    Environmental heritage

    2. The project area adjoins or is adjacent to (i.e. is in the vicinity of):

    * 3. The proposal involves excavation on sites suspected or known to contain historical archaeological relics. Such sites may be identified:

    • in an advisory document such as an Archaeological Management Plan which has assessed the archaeological potential and/or significance of an area
    • as an archaeological item in an LEP or in a schedule (e.g. an archaeological conservation area) 
    • in an archaeological assessment as containing archaeological relics of (potential) State significance.

    * 4. The proposal involves demolition of a nominated State heritage item (which means a local item potentially of State significance but not listed on the State Heritage Register). 

    Note: For environmental heritage, DARs will also be accepted if an EPI requires a local council to refer to Heritage NSW. 

    * Note: LEPs include a requirement for local councils to notify the Heritage Council of NSW in certain circumstances. Local councils must take into consideration any response received from Heritage NSW within 28 days of referral. 

     

    In the CNR portal select either:

    Clause Clause description  Type Application type Reason
    Non-statutory Aboriginal cultural heritage referral Non-statutory Aboriginal cultural heritage referral Referral Development application (Local council to provide reason or direction)

    Local Environmental Plan Cl 5.10 

    Local Environmental Plan Cl 5.10 

    Referral

    Development Application

    (Local council to provide reason or direction)

    There are some Environmental Planning Instruments (EPI) which require referral of certain applications for heritage comment. The clauses relating to these EPIs will appear in the pick list for relevant local councils in the CNR portal. The table below lists the common clauses for DARs.

    DAR clauses

    Clause description

    Heritage NSW information

    Murray Regional Environmental Plan No 2 - Riverine Land, clause 12

    Adversely affected land or endangered fauna under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974

    State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) (Kurnell Peninsula) 1989

    Managing heritage items and relics; development of known or potential Aboriginal sites

    State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) (Western Sydney Aerotropolis) 2020, clause 28

    Conserving and managing Aboriginal cultural heritage and environmental heritage

    State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) No 47-Moore Park Showground

    Managing heritage significance and relics at Moore Park Showground

    Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (SREP) No 16 - Walsh Bay, clause 16

    Managing heritage significance and relics associated with the Walsh Bay Conservation Zone

    Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (SREP) No 30-St Marys

    Managing Aboriginal cultural heritage and environmental heritage and relics

    To reduce the administrative burden on both local council and Heritage NSW, DARs will not be accepted in the following circumstances. Should Heritage NSW reject a DAR for any of these reasons, this will be reflected in the CNR portal. Further information on rejection reasons is available on the DAR rejection page.

    1. Works relate to:

    • where there are known Aboriginal objects (which will be harmed) or
    • an Aboriginal Place (which will be harmed)
    • a State Heritage Register listed item
    • a site subject to an Interim Heritage Order

    (These proposals must be referred as IDAs)

    2. There is insufficient information – refer to the list of Essential supporting documents below. 

    3. Where an ACHAR concludes that Aboriginal objects and/or cultural values will not be impacted through the proposed activity.

    4. Where a due diligence assessment has been provided as a supporting document.

    5. Relates to a local heritage item where relics have not been identified.

    6. The proposal does not adjoin or is not adjacent to (i.e. it is not in the vicinity of) a State Heritage Register (SHR) listed item, a site subject to an Interim Heritage Order or a site with an SHR nomination.

    7. Where an historical archaeological assessment or statement demonstrates there are no known or suspected relics to manage. 

    8. Where an historical archaeological assessment or statement indicates there is a low likelihood of relics to manage.

     

    Refer a modification application (s4.55) of an IDA or DAR to Heritage NSW when:

    Aboriginal cultural heritage

    1. The project area includes a known Aboriginal Place or known Aboriginal object(s)

    and, the modification relates to an existing consent and may affect the General Terms of Approval (GTAs) or comments previously issued by Heritage NSW.

    Environmental heritage

    2. The project area includes a State Heritage Register listed item, or is subject to an Interim Heritage Order (IHO) that has not been gazetted by the local council

    and, the modification relates to an existing consent and may affect the General Terms of Approval previously issued by Heritage NSW.

    3. The project area includes a property that adjoins or is adjacent to (i.e. is in the vicinity of):

    andthe modification relates to an existing consent and may affect the comments previously issued by Heritage NSW.

    4. The proposal involves excavation on sites suspected or known to contain historical archaeological relics. Such sites may be identified:

    • in an advisory document such as an Archaeological Management Plan 
    • as an archaeological item in an LEP or in a schedule (e.g. an archaeological conservation area)
    • in an archaeological assessment as containing archaeological relics of (potential) State significance

    andthe modification relates to an existing consent and may affect the comments previously issued by Heritage NSW.

    In the CNR portal for modified IDAs select:  

    Clause

    Clause Description

    Type

    Application type 

    National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 s90

    National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 s90

    Integrated

    Modification application

    or 

         

    Heritage Act 1977

    Heritage Act 1977

    Integrated

    Modification application

    In the CNR portal for modified DARs select:  

    Clause Clause Description Type Application type 
    Non-statutory Aboriginal cultural heritage referral Non-statutory Aboriginal cultural heritage referral  Referral Modification application
     or       
     Local Environmental Plan Cl 5.10 Local Environmental Plan Cl 5.10  Referral Modification application

     

    If the local council receives amended documentation prior to determination of an application, it can be referred to Heritage NSW for comment if Heritage NSW has previously provided General Terms of Approval, reasons for refusal, or heritage comments on a proposal.

    Planning legislation provides the framework for collaboration between consent authorities and approval bodies on development applications in NSW. The clauses you choose to refer an application to Heritage NSW in the CNR portal are important and must comply with the legislation.

    Heritage NSW will not accept a referral that does not comply with the criteria outlined above and accurately reflect the required legislation. Heritage NSW will also not accept conflicting clauses, for example:

    • DA - National Parks and Wildlife 1974 – Integrated
    • DA – non-statutory Aboriginal cultural heritage referral – Referral

    In certain circumstances the local council may request comment from Heritage NSW on both Aboriginal cultural heritage and environmental heritage. The CNR portal allows you to choose more than one referral clause so that Heritage NSW knows what input is required. 

    For example, in the CNR portal select:

    Clause

    Clause Description

    Type

    Application type 

    Reason

    Non-statutory Aboriginal cultural heritage referral  

    Non-statutory Aboriginal cultural heritage referral 

    Referral

    Development application or modification 

    (Local council to provide reason or direction)

    Example: Aboriginal objects have been identified on the site

    and

           

    Heritage Act 1977

    Heritage Act 1977

    Integrated

    Development application or modification

    N/A

    Heritage NSW welcomes comments from the local council within the CNR portal to convey important information about the reason for referrals.

    If you are unsure which clause to choose, contact Heritage NSW on (02) 9873 8500.

    If you are unable to see a clause, contact eplanning.support@planning.nsw.gov.au

    Heritage applications require specific documentation for assessment to occur. Here is a list of essential supporting documentation to upload (depending on the scope of the application):

    Aboriginal cultural heritage (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974)

    IDA

    • Statement of Environmental Effects
    • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Report
    • Drawings and drawing table (see below for tips) 

    DAR

    • Statement of Environmental Effects
    • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Report (ACHAR)
    • Drawings and drawing table (see below for tips) 

    An ACHAR must be prepared in accordance with the following:

    Environmental heritage (Heritage Act 1977)

    IDA

    • Statement of Environmental Effects
    • Statement of Heritage Impact
    • Drawings and drawing table (see below for tips)

    and when there are known or suspected relics to manage on site:

    • Historical Archaeological Assessment
    • Archaeological Research Design

    DAR

    • Statement of Environmental Effects
    • Statement of Heritage Impact
    • Drawings and drawing table (see below for tips)

    and when there are known or suspected relics to manage on site:

    • Historical Archaeological Assessment, or a detailed assessment of impacts to archaeology in the Statement of Heritage Impact or Statement of Environmental Effects

    The following information will guide preparation of these essential supporting documents:  

    Naming conventions for uploaded documents 

    To make documents easily identifiable in the CNR portal, Heritage NSW requests the following naming conventions to be followed: 

    • proposal name or description
    • address
    • document type

    For example: Alterations to dwelling – 7 Moonshine Place Dubbo – SOHI

    File names should not exceed 100 characters. 

    Here are some common document type acronyms and naming conventions recognised by Heritage NSW:

    Document type  

    Naming convention

    Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Report

    ACHAR

    Amended documentation and plans (any type)

    Amended_[item type]

    Archaeological Assessment (Historical)

    AA

    Archaeological Management Plan

    AMP

    Archaeological Research Design

    ARD

    Archaeological Zoning Plan

    AZP

    Conservation Management Plan

    CMP

    Landowner’s consent

    Landowner

    Development Application

    DA

    Due Diligence

    DD

    Drawing

    Dwg 1; Dwg 2 etc

    Heritage Impact Statement

    HIS 

    Plan

    Plan 1; Plan 2 etc

    Statement of Environmental Effects

    SEE

    Statement of Heritage Impact

    SOHI

    Drawing table

    A list of drawings in a table supports efficient assessment by Heritage NSW. Here is an example of how applicants should present the list of drawings (Dwg) submitted for assessment.

    Upload the drawing table to the CNR portal as a Word document. 

    Dwg No

    Dwg Title

    Date

    Rev

    Proposal/site Name:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Heritage NSW will request further information if it is necessary to undertake a heritage assessment for any IDA. All requests will be provided in writing via the CNR portal. All requests are uploaded to the CNR portal, ideally within 23 days of payment of the required fee by the applicant.

    Once a request is uploaded to the CNR portal, the application clock stops while the local council obtains the information from the applicant. Once the requested information is uploaded to the CNR portal  – and accepted by Heritage NSW as sufficient – Heritage NSW will recommence the assessment.

    If insufficient information is provided for assessment with a DAR, Heritage NSW will provide comment indicating the lack of information and close the referral.

    If the relevant information becomes available in the future, the local council will need to refer the application once again to Heritage NSW via the CNR portal.

    Aboriginal cultural heritage

    IDAs under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 may or may not be advertised. If advertising occurs Heritage NSW requires notification – and copies – of all submissions (or lack thereof).

    Whilst indication of the exhibition period is not mandatory in the CNR portal, providing this information allows Heritage NSW to schedule work and ensure timely assessment.

    Environmental heritage

    IDAs related to the Heritage Act 1977 are required to be publicly exhibited for 28 days. Once the submission period ends, the local council is required to provide copies of all submissions (or notification of no submission) to Heritage NSW by uploading them in the CNR portal. This formal notification through the CNR portal triggers the statutory timeframe.

    More information

    A guide to uploading public submissions in the CNR portal is available in the ‘Knowledge Management’ tab in the portal. Refer to the Council Quick Reference Guides.

     

    For CNR Portal support requests - email eplanning.support@planning.nsw.gov.au

    Local councils and NSW agencies only – phone 02 8217 2030