Requests for Canberra sites to become heritage listed have surged, with the number of submissions made to the ACT Heritage Council increasing by one-third last financial year alone.
Figures have shown 904 requests were sent to the council during the 2019-20 financial year, up from 663 requests in the previous financial year.
The number of nomination requests made to the council for a site to be eligible for heritage listing has almost doubled since 2015-16, when 517 submissions were made.
While requests made to the council have soared in recent years, the acceptance of nominations has remained largely unchanged.
Just 36 per cent of all requests made in 2019-20 were supported by the heritage council, with a further 33 per cent supported but with conditions for heritage protection.
That's compared to almost 55 per cent being supported in 2015-16, and 26 per cent supported with conditions.
The acceptance of a heritage request nomination does not mean a site is added to the heritage register.
If a nomination is accepted by the council, further steps are carried out - such as research, assessment and public consultation - before a final decision is made.
A spokesman for the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate said there had been several factors behind the surge in heritage requests.
"[There has been] an improved awareness within the ACT community of their obligations in the Heritage Act ... and the need to seek council advice and approvals," the spokesman said.
This also included an increase in the number of places registered on the ACT Heritage Register, which created the need for advice and approvals on additional places, the spokesperson added.
Out of the more than 900 decisions made by the council in 2019-20, 485 of them related to built and historical places, while 396 were to do with Aboriginal heritage places.
Among the places in the past financial year that had been accepted for initial nomination by the council were the original Canberra Aerodrome remnants in Deakin, the Curtin Radburn residential precinct, the Ginninderra Creek Corroboree Ground cultural gathering place and the Kingston Chambers.
National Trust ACT president Gary Kent said there was a considerable backlog to sites that had been accepted for nomination to be formally added to the heritage register.
Among those have been parts of the Kingston shops, which have been waiting for formal registration for several years.
"Unless the system's changed, the backlog will get worse," Mr Kent said.
"Canberra was founded in 1913 and that's over a century of heritage, and more people are now aware of local and family history."
To help deal with the surge in requests for advice from the council, a new permanent position was created within ACT Heritage to cope with the demand.
"Over the past five financial years, several temporary positions have also been created to respond to periods of high demand," a directorate spokesman said.
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