Allocating HFS

HFS allocation requirements

The proposed floor-space ratio of a development triggers the requirement for heritage floor space to be allocated, including the amount of HFS, as set out in clause 6.11 of the Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012. Under these circumstances, the development consent would include a condition requiring allocation of the relevant HFS amount to the site.

HFS may be transferred to a development site from the available HFS on the City of Sydney's register. Unless an applicant owns HFS, for instance from a previous HFS award, they will need to purchase HFS.

Buying and transferring HFS

The applicant is responsible for negotiating the purchase of HFS from an owner that is registered with the City. HFS owners can be identified in the most recent HFS update. The applicant then contacts the City to confirm the HFS amount outstanding and its availability for sale.

A copy of the signed deed between the HFS owner and the purchaser is sent to the City. The original section 12 notice under the Conveyancing Act 1919 must also be sighted by the City. It is returned once the HFS transfer has been registered.

A transfer of HFS will only be registered when the City has received evidence of the payment of stamp duty on the transfer and the sales price of the HFS is disclosed for publication. A $440 fee must be paid to complete the registration process. A letter is then sent to the HFS buyer confirming the transfer and/or allocation.

Allocating HFS to a development site 

Once the HFS required to be allocated has been obtained, the applicant must notify the City so it can be registered. The City is then able to provide written confirmation that the relevant condition of development consent has been satisfied.

The amount of HFS allocated to a development site is then considered spent and cannot be sold again.

Alternative HFS allocation scheme 

The alternative heritage floor space allocation scheme details arrangements for using planning agreements and bank guarantees as an alternative to allocating HFS. The scheme is a temporary measure to address a shortage of available HFS. A developer may only use these alternative arrangements if it demonstrates it has made real and ongoing efforts to acquire HFS and has been unable to obtain the amount of HFS required under its development consent.

The alternative arrangements are triggered by a request to enter into a planning agreement in respect of HFS allocation and a section 4.55(1A) application to modify the relevant condition of the development consent.


For more information about the HFS allocation and transfer procedure, please contact:

Peter Blow
Strategic Planning and Urban Design Unit02 9265 9619

Last updated: Wednesday, 15 August 2018