A NSW Government website

Section 144 variation to an excavation permit

How to submit a request if you propose a variation to an existing approved section 140 excavation permit.


Approval for variation of an excavation permit is granted under section 144 of the Heritage Act 1977.

Reasons for a variation may include, but are not limited to:

  • change in archaeological personnel, such as the excavation director
  • change of applicant
  • change in the scope of the minor works.

Below, we have set out the application process from lodgement to outcome.

Gather your essential documents

Changes to the proposal should be clearly outlined in the documents attached with your application.

These include:

  • a letter or report to clearly explain the variation (including changes to the archaeological assessment or research design and excavation methodology)
  • development consent and approved stamped plans (for example, approved review of environmental factors or development application) or a clear statement as to why it is not required
  • the excavation director details, CV and response to the Criteria for assessing excavation directors.

To change the excavation director, the following must be provided:

  • a written statement by the new excavation director that they either agree to the methodology as proposed, or
  • an updated research design and excavation methodology to support the application.

To change the applicant, the following must be provided:

  • a written statement by the new applicant acknowledging their understanding of the project and the permit conditions.

Hard copies of documents are not required.

Request pre-lodgement comments

Consider requesting pre-lodgement comments on your proposal.

See Pre-lodgement service for more information about this free service.

Set up your user account

Register a user account for the Heritage Management System if you are a first-time user.

Lodge your application

Lodge your application online via the Heritage Management System.

You will receive an application ID and payment receipt.

Your application is checked for completeness within 14 days.

Application assessment

Once accepted as complete, your application is allocated for assessment and the application clock starts. The timeframe is 21 days.

The nature and extent of impact on the significance of the archaeology is assessed. Internal specialists may provide input.

You may be contacted to discuss your application, provide additional information or clarify details.

An assessment report is then prepared with recommendations for determination.

Application outcome

The Heritage Council of NSW is the approval body; however, most applications are determined by a delegate.

The Heritage Council meets once a month. We can refer applications to the Heritage Council if:

  • the proposal would remove State significant archaeology
  • it is potentially in the public interest or high-profile
  • the proposal is large – for example, it covers an extensive area like a precinct, suburb or town, or infrastructure.

You can check the status of your application by logging into the Heritage Management System go to the dashboard section ‘My open applications’.

You will be informed of the outcome in writing.

Contact us

Heritage NSW

Phone: 02 9873 8500

Email: [email protected]