Guildford heritage listing information

Guildford family


Guildford's heritage is important.

The City of Swan is considering nominating Guildford Historic Town to be included on the State Register of Historic Places.

All Guildford owners and tenants were invited to complete a survey. The submission period has now closed.

A decision will be made by Council about whether to nominate Guildford or not, and then, if the nomination goes ahead, the State Heritage Office will make the final decision.

Find out more about the process and what a place on the State Heritage Register would mean for you. 

Why should Guildford Historic Town be considered for nomination?

The City’s Heritage Strategic Plan 2013 found a lack of recognition of the importance and diversity of the City’s heritage. Nominating Guildford Historic Town to be assessed for inclusion on the State Register would be an important acknowledgement of its outstanding values. If entered in the State Register this would provide a unifying story for the community, promote a sense of place and create opportunities to work together to promote Guildford as a unique place to live, work and visit. It could further support the tourism economy and increase associated employment and visitation.

What is the heritage significance of Guildford?

The Heritage Council has not yet undertaken its heritage assessment of Guildford Historic Town. However, the City of Swan’s Conservation Precinct Policy for Guildford suggests the precinct may have State value for the following reasons:

  • Originally a market town, Guildford is one of three towns established during the founding of the Swan River Colony in 1829, along with Perth and Fremantle
  • The well-defined boundaries of the place (the Swan and Helena Rivers) have enabled the town to maintain much of its historic character
  • Guildford retains many elements from its early establishment, and subsequent 19th century development, including its original street plan based around a central square.

Who decides what should be entered on the State Register?

The Heritage Council of Western Australia determines which places are of State significance. The Minister for Heritage makes the final decision on whether a place is entered on the State Register. The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage prepares heritage assessments for the Heritage Council, and this process includes engagement with owners, residents and other key stakeholders.

What is the role of the City of Swan in the registration process?

If the City of Swan Council, following the survey, resolves to nominate Guildford Historic Town to be assessed for inclusion in the Register, and asks the Heritage Council to begin the assessment process, City staff will provide general support to the Heritage Council as needed.

What would an entry in the State Register mean for me as a property owner?

Entry on the Register would recognise and celebrate the unique heritage values of the town where you live or conduct business. The entry would offer protection under the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990, ensuring any major changes proposed for the place maintains its cultural significance.

Issues that fall outside the scope of the Heritage Act, such as parking, traffic or land use, will continue to be dealt with by the City of Swan.

Would I still be able to make changes to my property if Guildford is entered on the State Register?

Yes. The entry of a place on the State Register does not prevent the owner from making changes to their property. Owners will continue to discuss their project ideas and apply to the City of Swan (or relevant authority) for approval as required under the City’s Local Planning Scheme No 17.

Currently, only development applications for properties listed in the State Heritage Register are referred to the Heritage Council for advice/recommendation. However, the proposed listing of Guildford Historic Town will result in all development applications within the town being referred to the Heritage Council.

Heritage Council advice would be provided to the City on the heritage aspects of a planning proposal related to the State heritage values of Guildford. As Guildford Historic Town would be included on the Register for its values as a precinct, the Heritage Council’s advice relating to properties which are not individually registered will relate more to the impact the proposed works would have on the overall values of the area, and less on the impact on individual elements, details or interior spaces.

Referrals to the Heritage Council are usually handled within the City’s normal planning time-frames so there would be no delay overall in decision making for development applications.

The Heritage Council has recommended the City engage an appropriately qualified staff member, so that the Heritage Council can decide to delegate responsibility for providing statutory advice on routine matters to such an officer. Funding for the staff resource would need to be considered as part of future budget considerations.

The City’s Conservation Precinct Policy for Guildford will continue to guide any proposed development or changes within the precinct if Guildford is added to the State Register.

What happens next?

Results from the public survey will be presented to the City of Swan Council and made publicly available on the City’s website in early 2018.

The Council will decide whether to formally nominate the Guildford Historic Town for inclusion on the State Heritage register. The State Heritage Council will then assess the application and undertake their own assessments.

The residents and Council will then be informed of the Heritage Council’s decision.

Further questions?

If you have any further queries please contact the City's Strategic Planner Hannah Thornton on 9267 9288 or