In brief – The Planning and Environment Court has dismissed an appeal against Brisbane City Council’s decision to refuse a development application for the demolition of a pre-1946 dwelling in Spring Hill. This is one of many decisions this year which act as a reminder to developers that Brisbane City Council has taken a firm view on the protection and maintenance of traditional character dwellings within its local government area.
Birleymax Pty Ltd (Birleymax) made a development application to the Council for the demolition of a pre-1946 dwelling at 87 Birley Street, Spring Hill. The Council refused the development application and Birleymax filed an appeal in the Court against the Council’s decision.
Over the course of the appeal, the Council’s reasons for refusal narrowed considerably and it was submitted by the Council prior to the hearing that the development application was in conflict with the Traditional building character (demolition) overlay code of the Council’s planning scheme as the demolition of the dwelling would not protect a federation era or earlier building and such demolition may only occur if it was demonstrated that the building was not capable of structural repair.
Birleymax did not assert that the building was not structurally sound. Rather, Birleymax contended that the building was not of a federation era or earlier building and to the extent the development application was in conflict with the Council’s planning scheme, there were sufficient grounds to overcome the conflict being that the dwelling did not contribute positively to the visual character of the street and did not represent traditional building character.
The Court however, after hearing the evidence put forward by the parties, formed a view that the: