UPDATE 5.10pm: THE managing directors behind a proposed multi-level residential development for Highgate Hill say they have approval to demolish three houses on Jones St and intend to do just that, despite protest from community members.
The land is owned by Highgate Hill Future Property and jointly managed by directors Duncan Patterson and Orazio D’Arro of Arquis Property Group.
“The demolition application was lodged through a reputable and experienced private certifier, and was approved on 26 October 2015. The demolition approval has been registered on council records since that time.”
Mr Patterson said the application for the unit development was lodged with the council in November last year and said inquiries with both the Brisbane City Council and the State Government did not show any heritage listing for the houses, believed to be pre1911 on the relevant registers or heritage overlays.
“Nor are they located within a demolition controlled precinct which would otherwise place additional controls for the removal of the houses,” Mr Patterson.
“Finally, the properties are situated in an area defined under the Brisbane City Council City Plan 2014 as a ‘Medium Density Residential Zone’ and on a site located immediately next to several five storey residential unit blocks.
“This planning designation entitles the development approval to be assessed under the Planning Scheme codes of the town plan and has been zoned as such since the late 1960s. Accordingly, the landowner has the necessary lawful approval to remove the houses and intends to act upon that approval in the proper manner.”
EARLIER: COMMUNITY members are worried five pre-1911 houses at Jones St, Highgate Hill, and Quay St, city, may be demolished.
It comes after being told by Brisbane City Council Neighbourhood Planning and Development Assessment chair Councillor Amanda Cooper last week they would be protected.
As workers with heavy machinery rolled up to Jones St, Highgate Hill early on February 8, more than 100 community members rallied to block access to the site.
Councillor Helen Abrahams (The Gabba) reported from the protest that community members were “beside themselves”.
Cr Amanda Cooper revealed on February 2 that council would protect the three houses at Highgate Hill — 18, 20 and 28 Jones St — and two in Brisbane’s city.
The plan was to implement a draft Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) to preserve the character of sites containing pre-1911 buildings at Highgate
Hill and the city. It would require approval by the State Government before it could be introduced.
But Cr Abrahams said council realised the developer already had approval to demolish the houses and its plan would not save them.
“We’re still looking for independent advice as to if there’s any way that we can get rid of that building approval,” she said.
Cr Abrahams said the Highgate Hill protesters were asked to move by police and told only asbestos removal would be done to the houses on February 8.
“Which gives time for the independent advice and also for the TLPI to be in place,” Cr Abrahams said.
She said the protesters agreed to head home for the day but would be back at 7am on February 9.
“We agreed to meet on the streets to see what action we can take then,” Cr Abrahams said.
A spokeswoman from Cr Quirk’s office said council had received an application for a new development on the Jones St site.
“This has not been approved. In fact council has indicated that the initial proposal would be an overdevelopment of the site, does not reflect the character of the local area and is not in line with the Neighbourhood Plan,” the council spokeswoman said.
Brisbane City Council has been approached this morning for further comment.
The developer Highgate Hill Residences Development Pty Ltd has been contacted for comment via the development applicant, Trent Forrest of Cardno HRP.