Market Valuation of historic or character homes potentially subject to heritage type restrictions can be challenging.  A successful Appeal against a Brisbane City Council refusal to permit demolition, provides some further clarity.  The central issue was whether the house contributed to the traditional building character of that part of the street within the Traditional Building Character Overlay.

Flinders Parade, Brighton is one of Brisbane’s best known and popular esplanades overlooking Moreton Bay.  It is a 3.5 km long promenade containing a narrow foreshore of extensive public recreational amenities, walkways, cycleways, etc.  It also contains a diverse mix of housing dating from the late 1800’s to recently built modern homes.

Interestingly, only the section of Flinders Parade where the property was located was considered relevant when contemplating whether the “street” could be described as having traditional character.  Of those properties, 4 were identified as pre-1947 houses. Six of the eight post-1946 houses were “very large and of modern construction”.  Two pre-1947 houses had been demolished in the Street between 2006 to 2010.

The Court found that :

  • the “Street” comprised a mixed character as the pre-1947 houses were physically isolated from each other lacking a cohesive presentation of the “Street” which was dominated by large modern houses
  • The term ‘character’ is defined as – ‘the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing“‘ and “the task is to consider the visual character of the street as a whole, not the character of houses or groups of houses in isolation
  • What gives an area (or street) ‘traditional character’ is a combination of traditional building form and roof styles, traditional elements, detailing and materials, traditional scale and traditional setting
  • the setting of the Street had been “dramatically and invariably changed

The Court decided “the street no longer has a sufficient level of traditional character” and allowed the Appeal against the original Brisbane City Council refusal.

Hawke v Brisbane City Council [2021] QPEC 16

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