Heritage Places Since European Settlement

Heritage, by definition, is something that is transmitted from the past or handed down by tradition. It may thus apply to buildings, archaeological sites, sites of important events, ruins, cemeteries, shipwrecks, trees, landscapes, gardens and precincts. While the Shire is responsible for managing many forms of heritage, this webpage relates only to places that are protected by the Heritage Overlay in the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme. This generally means places that are part of the Peninsula’s history since European settlement, which includes buildings and other structures, gardens, historic sites, and a small number of historic trees. For information on natural heritage such as bushland reserves, natural features and the like, visit the Shire's Biodiversity Programs webpage.

The Heritage Overlay

Heritage places in the Mornington Peninsula are listed under the Schedule to Clause 43.01 (Heritage Overlay) of the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme. The Heritage Overlay means that permit approval is required to demolish or remove a building, and to change the external appearance of the place. Depending on the nature of the heritage place, the controls could extend to vegetation removal, external painting, and interior alterations.

There are hundreds of individual sites of local significance listed under the Schedule to the Heritage Overlay. The Schedule also includes several heritage precincts of which the most extensive is the Sorrento Historic Precinct.

Over 70 heritage places are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, which is a list of heritage places of State significance. If the heritage place is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, permit approval is required through Heritage Victoria.

The former Point Nepean Quarantine Station, located inside Point Nepean National Park, is the only heritage place in the Mornington Peninsula that is of national significance.

You can read more about how heritage places are identified and assessed on the Heritage Victoria website.

Victorian Heritage Register

Heritage places of State significance are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR). You can find detailed information about places on the VHR on the Victorian Heritage Database website, which contains:

Alteration or development of a place on the VHR requires a heritage permit issued by Heritage Victoria, which is part of the State Government's planning department. A planning permit from us is not required unless the place is also affected by some overlay or provision in the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme. An example is the Design and Development Overlay.

You can contact our Planning Services team on (03) 5950 1010 or planning@mornpen.vic.gov.au to find out whether a place is listed on the VHR, and whether a planning permit is also required from us if the place is on the VHR.

National Trust Heritage Register

The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) is the State's premier community-based heritage advocacy organisation that actively protects and conserves places of heritage significance for future generations to enjoy. The National Trust Heritage Register is the most comprehensive single heritage register in Victoria, covering all types of cultural and natural heritage, including buildings, trees, landscapes, gardens, public art and pipe organs.

Local Historical Societies

The Mornington Peninsula Library maintains the Mornington Peninsula Local History Network, which can be used to find your local historical society. The Heritage Trail(PDF, 4MB), produced by the Mornington Peninsula Local History Network with the assistance of a community partnership grant from the Shire, provides a visual guide to multiple heritage sites on the Mornington Peninsula.