Monday 29 March 2021

Historic Brisbane bayside home back on demolition path after court ruling

A Brisbane home with bayside views and built more than 70 years ago, looks likely to disappear after a Queensland court overturned Brisbane City Council’s rejection of a demolition application.

The house at 478 Flinders Parade in Brighton, Brisbane’s northernmost suburb, has the waters of Moreton Bay just metres from its doorstep and was built pre-1947.

Property owner Aaron Hawke submitted his demolition application on May 8, 2020, but it was rejected on July 9 because it conflicted with Brisbane’s identity, according to Council.

“[The demolition application] does not maintain the traditional building character … [and] does not protect residential buildings constructed in 1946 or earlier,” Brisbane City Council wrote.

“The house has not been demonstrated to be structurally unsound.

“The existing pre-1946 dwelling house has a relationship to the precinct and continues to maintain and represent a traditional building character streetscape in building form and scale.”

Between late 2006 and early 2007 and between late 2009 and early 2010, two pre-1947 houses were demolished in the area close to the subject property.

The first at 466 Flinders Parade was knocked down because it had been substantially altered and had therefore become structurally unsound.

The second at 484 Flinders Parade disappeared because it was not considered to be a good example of traditional timber and tin design and construction.

“Since 1964, the character of this section of Flinders Parade has changed dramatically,” court documents said.

“The large vacant block on the corner of Flinders Parade and Fourteenth Avenue was subdivided and two new large modern houses were constructed thereon.

Brisbane bayside home

The proximity of the home to the waters of Moreton Bay.CREDIT: GOOGLE MAPS 

“An existing vacant parcel of land was developed with a more modern form of design and construction. Another larger lot was subdivided and developed with a large and modern house.

“The net result of all of this was that this section of Flinders Parade now comprises of 13 dwellings of which only four have been definitively identified as pre-1947 houses.”

Two Brisbane heritage architects, Malcolm Elliot and Michael Kennedy, gave evidence to Queensland’s Planning & Environment Court.

“The house is an isolated, lower quality example of pre-1947 residential construction within a section of the subject streetscape otherwise predominated by prestige bayside residences of contemporary design, materiality and detailing,” Mr Elliot testified.

“The retention of an isolated representation of traditional building character within an otherwise predominantly modern part of the streetscape is not considered to represent a concerning, meaningful or significant loss of any traditional building character.”

However, Mr Kennedy held a different view.

“[The subject house] makes an important contribution to the traditional building character in this section of Flinders Parade. It is prominent in the street and displays obvious traditional building character. It is one of four pre-1947 houses that together with a large house at 472-474 collectively impart traditional character to this section of Flinders Parade,” he said in his evidence.

However, Judge Richard Jones decided “the street no longer has a sufficient level of traditional character” and allowed Mr Hawke’s appeal against the original Brisbane City Council rejection.


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