Interim Heritage Orders (IHOs) are a swift mechanism that can restrict or block development plans for a property. The recent case of Li v Willoughby City Council [2018] NSWLEC 1262 has highlighted just how easily a council can make such orders, if they consider the property may be of local heritage significance and is being or is likely to be harmed.

In this case, the council relied solely on a report prepared by the Council’s planning manager and a draft Inventory Sheet for the property in question prepared nine years earlier. The Inventory Sheet referred to studies and reports prepared by heritage consultants at the time it was created. The Court ultimately held that this document was enough to satisfy the IHO, despite the fact that nine years ago when the report was prepared the council had declined to make the same order. Therefore the heritage order was valid, and development on the property has halted.

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